Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross says he was kicked from Team SMG in a particularly heartless fashion that had to do with the passing of his mother.
The veteran support player was kicked from Team SMG on May 20, with the organization announcing the news on Twitter and other social media channels. The team had finished sixth in the SEA Dota Pro Circuit league’s second tour, and many other similarly positioned teams are making changes as well. But according to ninjaboogie, the reason for his exit wasn’t the team’s poor performance. He says he was kicked from the organization because of concerns that the recent death of his mother would impact his performance. He later discussed the move in greater depth on Twitter.
“I was supposed to fly back and join the team on the 14th. My mom had a stroke on the evening of 12th and was admitted. I asked if i could have my flight moved as bootcamp starts on the 20th. [Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng] gave me a call on the 14th asking my decision. I gave my decision the following day and was informed he wanted to talk. They had a meeting without me and informed me the were going to continue without me,” ninjaboogie said on Twitter.
Alongside this, ninjaboogie included what is seemingly a text message sent to MidOne. The message includes ninjaboogie saying “I am certain I want to play” but that he wasn’t going to leave his mother in a trying time.
What’s next after ninjaboogie’s kick from Team SMG?
ninjaboogie’s kick garnered widespread sympathy from others in the pro Dota 2 scene. Many fans and peers within the pro scene offered their condolences. His former organization and teammates were noticeably silent, not posting anything since the news was broken.
With ninjaboogie out, Team SMG has the following players on its roster:
- Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng
- Kam “Moon” Boon Seng
- Ryan “Bimbo” Jay Qui
- Tue “ah fu” Soon Chuan
It is unknown who will be replacing ninjaboogie on the Team SMG roster. The next tour of the Dota Pro Circuit is set to begin around June 5. Team SMG placed sixth in the second Dota Pro Circuit tour and will be looking to climb into qualification for the PGL Arlington Major.
ninjaboogie finds himself in an awkward position, being left teamless ahead of the last tour of the season before The International 2022. It’s possible another team may scoop him up, or he could hastily put a new roster together in time for open qualifiers for the third tour. The most likely situation is ninjaboogie trying to join an existing team ahead of the TI11 qualifiers.