With under one week until the EPICENTER Major in Moscow, it was announced late last week that Team Liquid has benched MATUMBAMAN. The announcement came as a surprise to many in the industry.
Team Liquid’s mid/carry player, Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen has been with the team since 2015. Together with his Liquid teammates, he formed part of the longest lasting five-man squad in Dota 2 history. The five-man squad, who have been together since January 2017, boast an amazing 68% win rate as a team.
MATUMBAMAN has been an integral part of Team Liquid’s line up since he first joined. His performances have helped steer Liquid to unprecedented success in major Dota competitions. This includes their TI17 winning season.
Without further details at this time, you can only speculate about the suddenness of MATUMBAMAN’s departure from the starting team. With that said, the announcement comes at an unusual time for Team Liquid. The EPICENTER Major in Moscow starts on June 22. To hear that Team Liquid has benched MATUMBAMAN this close to a Major is a surprise, to say the least.
Team Liquid’s social media post has shown nothing but love for 24-year-old MATUMBAMAN. But could a departure this close to a Major be signs that all is not well in Liquid’s camp? Dota, after all, is no stranger to fallouts among teammates.
Now that Team Liquid has benched MATUMBAMAN, both team and professional are free to explore other options. Team Liquid must scramble to fill the empty spot and must do so quickly. Their place at EPICENTER Moscow is already secure so they are in desperate need of a replacement. Their social media post indicates that news of their new player will follow shortly, so keep your ear to the ground for that.
With regards to MATUMBAMAN, who can say what’s next? At the time of writing, his Twitter offers no answers, short of retweeting the announcement posted by Team Liquid. He is essentially a free agent and can pursue opportunities elsewhere should he so choose.
One thing’s for certain – expect any number of teams to be scrambling to sign one of the best Dota players in the world.
With a change in the roster, this close to a Major, Team Liquid may struggle to adapt in time for the competition. It will be interesting to see how the team performs when EPICENTER rolls around on June 22.
Did the news that Team Liquid has benched MATUMBAMAN come as a shock to you? Who do you think should replace him and what team should he join next? Comment below with your thoughts.
Featured photo from Team Liquid
Follow Matt on Twitter @MattyMead2006.
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