One The International champion is leaving the stage.

Leon “Nine” Kirilin, formerly Tundra Esports midlaner and support, is leaving Tundra Esports following The International 2023, pointing to a need to take a break “from all the traveling and stress of playing.”

The Western European organization confirmed Nine’s departure this morning, calling the 25-year-old’s time at Tundra “nothing short of legendary.”

Tundra Esports entered TI12 as its defending champions and kicked off the tournament with a stellar 8-0 group stage performance. The team was unable to continue its momentum in its seeding decider, however, and lost to nouns, which sent them to the lower bracket in a matchup with Entity. Another 2-0 loss sealed their fates, with Tundra ending their title defense in the bottom half of the competition.

Nine leaves, Tundra Esports Dota 2 roster without a support once more

Tundra Esports wins US$8.5 million in prize money from TI11
Credit: Valve
  • Oliver “skiter” Lepko
  • Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen
  • Neta “33” Shapira
  • Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu
  • Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling (coach)

Nine, who won TI11 with Tundra as the team’s midlaner and established himself as a formidable player with an off-meta hero pool, recently deputized at position four at recently-concluded TI12 following Martin “Saksa” Sazdov’s extended break for health reasons.

Nine confirmed on his personal social media that he would be taking a break from competitive Dota, calling the past two years “the most stressful” period of his life.

“It’s time to chill a bit and live life just the way I want to,” the player wrote. “I will come back eventually when I feel ready, if that is what I want.”

Tundra — now two down from its TI11-winning roster — enters the new season without a position four support once again and will be looking to complete its roster before ESL One Kuala Lumpur in December next year.

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