B8, the CIS organization helmed by the legendary Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, has replaced rookie carry player Alexandr “pio65” Zalivako with former Team Singularity mid player, Steve “Excalibur” Ye.
While pio65 was part of the roster unveiled by Dendi in the team’s competitive debut at the ESL One Los Angeles Major CIS Open Qualifiers in early February, he was not the team’s initial choice to take up the hard carry role.
In a vlog posted on B8’s official YouTube channel, Dendi revealed that the team initially had Zaur “Cooman” Shakhmurzaev as their carry player but he left for regional rivals Virtus.pro (VP) mere days before the Los Angeles Major qualifiers.
Desperate to find a carry player to fill out their ranks, B8 was forced to turn to pio65, a little-known CIS pubstar who virtually had no competitive experience at the time.
“Unfortunately, we have to part ways with Pio65. We are grateful for his help, especially in the hard times, and for the work we all did during this time. Good luck, Sasha!” B8 said in a statement.
Cooman’s abrupt departure from B8 was notably part of a string of roster issues that shook up the top teams of the CIS region, headlined by Natus Vincere captain Bakyt “Zayac” Emilzhanov’s sudden departure for VP.
While B8 entered the scene to much fanfare, the team has only had a middling amount of success thus far with their most notable result being a 5th-6th place finish at WePlay! Tug of War: Mad Moon.
With a more experienced player in Excalibur — who has been playing professionally since 2014 — joining the roster, B8 will surely be looking to improve as they are set to compete in the online leagues of ESL One Los Angeles Online and WePlay! Pushka League.
B8 Dota 2 roster:
- Steve “Excalibur” Ye
- Danil “Dendi” Ishutin
- Andrey “Ghostik” Kadyk
- Rinat “KingR” Abdullin
- Nikola “LeBron” Popović