Admir M. September 16, 2020
Team Empire has officially pulled the plug on its "promote the academy roster" experiment.
The organization announced a new roster that would see it part ways with offlaner and captain Alexey “Mastery” Vinchevskiy and support Dzhama “jAMES” Abdurashitov, while former carry Alexey "Smiling Knight" Sviridov has been temporarily benched.
Support players Sergey "Ecnart" Slobodyanyk and mid laner Alexander "lightless" Potapenko are the only remaining members of the previous roster. lightless will be moving to the carry position in the new lineup.
The first half of the 2019-2020 Dota 2 season was a waste for Empire as it never gained ground due to non-stop roster changes. The team promoted four of its academy players from Team Empire Hope to the main roster in order to bring some stability for the following months. The promoted lineup exceeded expectations by performing well in regional events, winning the Vulkan Fight Series and finishing as the runners up at the Arena of Blood Season 2. A bad showing in Omega League might have undone any good will the team had built up with the team placing 11th in Europe's lower division.
Joining Empire will be CIS veteran Maxim "Shachlo" Abramovskikh on loan from Gambit Esports, support player Oleg "sayuw" Kalenbet, and mid laner Vsevolod "Nattynarwhal" Pelekha who is a newcomer in the scene.
Shachlo is a well-known player in the CIS scene with a career stretching back to the early days of Dota 2. sayuw is a returnee to the team, having spent the 2018-2019 season with Empire's various teams.
The team has already played its first few games in BTS Pro Series Season 3 and are off to a shaky start with two draws and a loss to Ninjas in Pyjamas.
With a promising roster under its wing, only time will tell if Empire can return to the top of the regional scene.