As the post-TI roster shuffle continues, teams are working non-stop to find the right players and finalize their lineup. In every competing region, the urgency to restructure ahead of the 2021-22 DPC season has been prevalent for each team.
Whereas some teams are still in the process of remaking their lineup, others have already finished their work. Team Empire and their latest roster hope to stamp their mark in the upcoming DPC emphatically.
Team Empire Reveals New Roster
A few months after the team went inactive, a new lineup was introduced in November prior to the 2021-22 DPC.
It will consist of Position 3 player Andrii “Ghostik” Kadyk working as the captain, who played for Team Unique during the 2021 DPC. He also appeared in TI7 with Team Empire where he finished in 7-8th, winning $617,198 in prize money.
Ghostik is accompanied by Alexander “Lightless” Potapenko and Sergey “[T]SA” Timchenko, players who each have a couple years of experience in their own right. For lightless, he returns to the organization after being let go in October 2020.
Rounding out the lineup are Vitaly “Mannik” Brezgin and Oleh “Kaori” Medvedok, relatively unknown players who earned the chance of representing a major organization. Although nothing is known about the tandem, they are steadfast to prove why they caught Empire’s attention in the first place.
All will look to improve from a rough 2021 season in which Empire bounced around the CIS regional league. Following relegation to the Dota 2 esports Lower Division in Season 1, the team were promoted back to the Upper Division in Season 2.
In the TI10 CIS Closed Qualifier grand finals, they were excruciatingly close from qualifying for the event against Team Spirit. After building a 2-1 lead, Empire went on to lose the series by losing the next two games. Team Spirit would go on to win TI10, whereas for Team Empire, they watched the event from their couch.
Team Empire’s Roster Compared to Other Rosters
Although the Empire turned many heads with their new roster, most people are unsure how to compete in actual esports tournaments. For starters, they will field two unknown players against relatively experienced teams like Virtus. Pro, TS, and Na’Vi.
The same sense of uncertainty can be directed towards their incoming veterans as well. Outside of that TI7 appearance, Ghostik hadn’t mustered similar success in the four years since that time. The same can be said for lightless and [T]SA, both of whom hovered in the Lower Division last season.
Despite each player’s past shortcomings, they look to override them with Team Empire for next year. With a predominantly young team, they hope to emulate the success Team Spirit engineered out of winning TI10. The road to prominence may look daunting for the team, but it can be done against all odds with enough diligence.