Steven R. April 21, 2019
Team Team has made some surprise roster moves and Jacky “EternalEnVy” Mao is taking some serious heat for it.
A day after the North American squad washed out of ESL One Mumbai, Team Team mid laner Nico "Gunnar" Lopez and support player Jason "Newsham" Newsham both posted ominous “LFT” messages on Twitter. Gunnar added “we were kicked” shortly after.
This sparked a deluge of criticism towards the team’s newly added carry player EternalEnVy, which was later discussed during the ESL One Mumbai grand finals broadcast. Newsham went on to discuss on Twitter about how his family had purchased tickets and hotel rooms to watch him play at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major, with Gunnar telling an almost identical story to the ESL One Mumbai commentary team during a break in the grand finals. This also sparked a vicious rant on EternalEnVy from desk analyst and former player Kyle “swindlemelonzz” Freedman.
“It just feels like if his team isn’t succeeding, it’s anyone but his fault...I was at a point told face-to-face by Jacky Mao himself that we were the same person, but I knew how to talk to people, which is bullshit,” Kyle said. “I care about other people.”
Despite being among Dota 2’s most popular players, EternalEnVy has a reputation for bringing drama and massive roster shakeups wherever he goes. The biggest example of this came in 2016 when Aliwi "w33" Omar and Rasmus "MISERY" Filipsen were kicked from Team Secret in favor of Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora shortly after winning the Shanghai Major. More recently, EternalEnVy took massive heat during his time with Fnatic for the team’s release of longtime offlaner Khoo “Ohaiyo” Chong Xin.
This year has seen EternalEnVy become a journeyman, starting the season with CompLexity Gaming, moving on to Infamous, starting his own team in Flying Penguins, and then leaving that group for Team Team. Each stop has resulted in major roster turnover, which has then resulted in a fair bit of finger pointing. He released a succinct statement on the move on Twitter, simply saying “I don't dislike Gunnar.”
Worth noting is that while cuts seem to follow EternalEnVy, he is not the captain of Team Team. Officially, the person in charge of the squad is veteran player Michael "ixmike88" Ghannam. Ixmike88 hasn’t issued any sort of statement on the move but hasn’t been silent either, clapping back a bit at Peter “ppd” Dager on Twitter for his quips about the release.
Though Kyle speculated that Gunnar had been cut in favor of Eric "Ryoya" Dong, no replacements have officially been added to the Team Team roster. With a glut of sponsorless stacks and talented free agents in the North American Dota 2 scene right now, there are many possible moves for Team Team.
Despite the change, the team retains its spot at the Disneyland Paris Major. The tournament begins on May 4.