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SumaiL

SumaiL wins in his return to pro Dota 2 with Team Liquid

Syed “SumaiL” Hassan is back in action, and so far it doesn’t look like he ever left.

The former Evil Geniuses star played his first professional match in over five months, joining Team Liquid for DreamLeague Season 15 as a stand-in for Samuel "Boxi" Svahn. In his Team Liquid debut, SumaiL put forward a solid performance as the team’s mid laner and helped the team take the 2-1 series victory over Brame.

The series opened with a bit of a rout in favor of Team Liquid. Though SumaiL played well enough, Michael "miCKe" Vu quickly snowballed as Phantom Assassin after getting Power Treads, Sange and Yasha, and Desolator in just 17 minutes. He ended the game with 11 kills and zero deaths, leading Liquid to a strong opening win.

Team Liquid decided to roll with its hot hand in game two, putting miCKe on Spectre. That should have put Liquid in position to dominate in the late game, but Brame pestered Spectre badly in the early game by killing miCKe three times in the first 10 minutes. Though the game dragged on past the 50-minute mark, miCKe just couldn’t take over the proceedings and allowed Brame to force a decisive third game.

SumaiL shined bright in game three. The rubber match was a bloodbath right out of the gate with Team Liquid getting most of the kills. All three cores on the team ended up getting their licks in, but SumaiL’s Puck pick put him in a position to completely annihilate Brame. The game was wrapped up cleanly with SumaiL finishing at 15 kills and zero deaths.

What is SumaiL doing right now?

While SumaiL remains a peerless talent in Dota 2, he is currently a free agent. After parting ways with Evil Geniuses, SumaiL played for Quincy Crew but never became a permanent member of the squad. From there he had a run with OG that went reasonably well, but was cut short due to travel restrictions.

He reemerged several months later with Just Error, a CIS team that was largely made up of former members of the five-time major championship Virtus.pro roster. The team disbanded after just one tournament, and SumaiL disappeared once again for months.

It is unclear whether SumaiL’s run with Team Liquid is a test run for joining the team or if he is indeed just a temporary replacement for Boxi. Boxi was announced to be on hiatus due to family issues, though it’s unclear what those are or how long he might be gone for. 

This would be far from the first time that an organization established a flimsy pretext in order to make a roster change and SumaiL would be a compelling addition to Liquid. That said, Boxi has been a core member of a roster that has stuck together through thick and thin across multiple organizations, and it’s unclear whether his fellow players would opt to make such a change at this point.

Why was SumaiL removed from OG?

OG offlaner Sebastian “Ceb” Debs stated that SumaiL was kicked out of OG due to travel restrictions.

“As an American he wouldn’t be allowed to enter Europe still. That’s probably gonna be the case for some months...There are a lot of problems,” Ceb said at the time.

Though OG put together a superstar roster at the start of 2020, global travel restrictions saw the team only compete together once during the qualifiers for the ESL One Los Angeles Major. After the tournament’s cancelation and the pivot to online regional leagues, OG was forced to play with a variety of substitutes while SumaiL played with the team from overseas.

But once larger tournaments such as Omega League and EPIC League started being put together, the team's roster needed to come together in a more structured practice setting. They felt this wasn’t possible with SumaiL playing remotely, so the team kicked him, brought back Ceb, and shuffled the roster around to accommodate the change.

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