Gambit Esports have announced the departure of player Andrey “Afoninje” Afonin and head coach Anatoly “boo!k” Ivanov from their Dota 2 team.
This year, Gambit started off strong, with Alexander “Immersion” Hmelevskoy and Artiom “fng” Barshack joining the team in April. Despite this, the team hit some struggles in the middle of the year.
The disappointment culminated in their failure to make The International. Defeat at the hands of Team Empire, Winstrike Team, FlyToMoon and Vega Squadron saw Gambit knocked out of the CIS Qualifier, despite an initial win over eventual winners Natus Vincere.
Gambit transferred Ivan “VANSKOR” Skorokhod to Team Spirit, who have since disbanded, and Rinat “KingR” Abdullin to Team Empire. Neither of their teams managed to make it to The International either, finishing 8th and 4th respectively in the same CIS Qualifier.
Afoninje and boo!k had been part of the new Gambit team since the purchase of their Ferzee roster in October 2018. Before joining Ferzee, boo!k had been the coach of the former Gambit roster while Afoninje came from Effect.
The replacements for the two departing members have not been announced, but with the team not attending TI and the season culminating there, they will have some time to search for the right players. However, this also means fans will have some time to wait to see Gambit play again with whoever joins the team in the next few weeks.
CIS hopes will be pinned on Na’Vi and Virtus.pro, as the two teams from the region who are attending TI for their shot at the biggest slice of the ~$32 million prize pool up for grabs in Shanghai, China.
The matches begin 15th August and the 18 teams will be whittled down to two, who will meet in the grand final on 25th August in a best-of-five clash for the trophy, title and life-changing win.