After a disastrous finish at the recently concluded Dota 2 ESL One Mumbai 2019, it appears that Team Team will undergo a roster change.
Both Nico "Gunnar" Lopez, who plays position two, and Jason "Newsham" Newsham,?who plays position four, have been removed from the team. The move is a surprising one, as the team is set to compete in the upcoming MDL Disneyland Paris Major in May.
The team started out strong in the Group Stage, only be to beaten by Mineski 0-2 in the first round of the Upper Bracket and eliminated by TNC 0-2 in the Lower Bracket.
The team was officially registered in September of last year. The name is a sort of homage to Jonathan "Loda" Berg's Team_Team.
Team Team's?roster was composed of Guilherme Silva "Costabile" Costábile, Eric "Ryoya" Dong, Braxton "Brax" Paulson, Newsham, and Michael "ixmike88" Ghannam. Since then, Costabile left to join WP Gaming and Samuel "Sammyboy" Anderson joined?as his replacement. Ryoya?later left?the team as well, jumping over to?Flying Penguins. Ryoya was then?replaced by Gunnar on Team Team. Sammyboy also?left?by March, but Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao?joined the team just in time for the qualifiers of the Paris Major.
Teams changing rosters after every tournament is not a new thing in Dota 2, but the behind the scenes look at?this current move has piqued the interest of some?fans. In particular, Gunnar?mentioned initially that he had left the team, while?Newsham did?the same. This was on April 20, a day after Team Team was eliminated by TNC and ESL One Mumbai was still ongoing. However, hours later Gunnar?claimed that the two?"were kicked" from the team.
The roster change and Gunnar's comment?sparked some?drama that?fans have been hoping to happen. According to some fans in the Dota 2 community, EE has the habit of joining a team and then later taking over and eventually having a say in the roster. Examples included EE joining CLoud9 and later allegedly have WehSing "Singsing" Yuen removed to be replaced by Adrian "FATA-" Trinks. EE would allegedely do the same while in Team Secret, removing Rasmus Berth "MiSeRy" Filipsen and Aliwi "w33" Omar.
While that would have been left to be categorized as rumors, none other than Kyle "Kyle" Freedman has called out EE on this behavior during the ESL One Mumbai 2019 tournament. In a discussion?prior to the start of the Lower Bracket Finals of Natus Vincere against Keen Gaming, Kyle claimed that this was?a surprise as this has long been an EE move. Specifically, Kyle said that the MO for EE included?joining a team, and he?don't perform well in LANs or tournaments, he managed to convince the team to kick out members in favor of his friends. Kyle ends by saying that in the books that he read, the hero of the story always show loyalty, honor, and faith in their friends, and that it is time for fans to "stop rooting for the villain."
In a Reddit post?that has since turned into somewhat of an EE bashing, fans continue to give examples of such behavior and debate as to whether such moves were needed or not.
In a recent interview with AFK Gaming, Gunnar said that a roster shuffle was discussed and there was a verbal agreement that it would only happen after the Major. He also said that people get kicked all the time and that there shold not be any hate. Gunnar added that he no longer has a "beef with (EE) now.”
As of this writing, Team Team has yet to announce replacements for Gunnar and Newsham.