The Internationals 2021, the biggest annual Dota 2 prestige event, starts on August 5th.
Out of the 18 Dota 2 pro teams that are supposed to partake, 12 slots are already locked in. The six remaining slots will be the conquest of the TI qualifiers. The qualifiers kick off soon, starting with the Eastern European region on June 23rd.
Meanwhile, there have been quite a few post-AniMajor developments that have shifted the rosters for several teams. Here is a summary of the most important pre-qualifier roster shuffles so far.
SumaiL’s ‘Royal Return’ to Dota 2
Samuel ‘Boxi’ Svahn has traditionally been the Team Liquid offlaner, practically even before the current 5-man group adopted the Team Liquid banner (previously they were in Alliance). Leading up to the DreamLeague DPC S15, though, Boxi had to give up his station to attend to family matters. Syed ‘SumaiL’ Hassan was appointed as a stand-in.
Although many Dota 2 enthusiasts speculated that SumaiL might become a Liquid regular, nothing of the kind came to pass. Liquid’s side, featuring SumaiL as the midlaner, failed to progress to the Dota 2 WePlay AniMajor playoffs stage. Soon afterwards, Team Liquid coach William ‘Blitz’ Lee confirmed Boxi's return to the position 3 seat.
SumaiL’s ‘free agent’ status was evidently not meant to last. OG’s iconic carry player, Anathan ‘Ana’ Pham recently decided to step down from pro Dota 2 altogether. This is not a decision of whim, but one of thorough deliberation.
In the same DreamLeauge tournament where SumaiL tried his Liquid stand-in stint, Ana had given playing competitive with OG a last attempt. Ana's year-long absence from pro Dota 2 had obviously not helped his case. DreamLeague DPC S15 was Ana’s final sojourn at OG.
SumaiL has been recently confirmed to feature on the OG roster for the qualifiers as the position 1. This is not the first time that SumaiL has donned the OG jersey. Previously, he had played a pro Dota 2 tournament as the OG offlaner in Sebastien ‘Ceb’ Debs’ stead.
Ana has famously made some post-TI departures from OG in the past. In DPC 2020, Yeik Nai ‘MidOne’ Zheng filled his shoes, but he was let go ahead of DreamLeague 15.
Speaking of MidOne, he had joined the newly formed Team SMG in the last Dota 2 pro circuit season before the AniMajor. They had pushed through the lower brackets with MidOne’s help. Although they failed to qualify for the Major, they now have additional reinforcements in hopes of making some waves in the regional qualifiers. As the final roster rearrangement before the qualifiers, they have signed ex-Fnatic midlaner Kam ‘Moon’ Boon Seng.
With Moon’s departure, Fnatic have moved Ng Kee ‘ChYuan’ to the mid lane. Fnatic’s new recruit, Wu Heng ‘Deth’ Yang, will be stepping up to position 3 in the upcoming qualifier.