Liquid’s long-standing Dota 2 roster is making its first change in two years.
Lasse Aukusti “Matumbaman” Urpalainen, the team’s carry or mid-laner, has been benched, according to the team’s Twitter account. Matumbaman has played for Liquid since its formation in 2015.
The move is a shocking one, given that there are only ten days to the Epicenter Major, with The International 2019 taking place in Shanghai in August. That said, a fitting tribute for Matumbaman will be released by Liquid soon, and the current Dota 2 squad will be still be competing in the Major.
Liquid will announce the new teammate closer to the event, and has to hope that the new player can gel well with the current squad. The new roster will have to prove themselves at the upcoming Major, and if Liquid wants to make a run at being the first two-time TI winner, their Major finish will be a good indication of how it will do later in Shanghai.
While Liquid did not disclose much details about the decision to bench Matumbaman, their Twitter statement revealed that the decision was a “mutual one”, and that it was “in the best interest of all parties”.