Ten players that have missed the professional scene this year - Part 1.

A new Dota 2 season has already started - the qualifiers to PGL Open Bucharest, SL i-League Invitational Season 3, ESL One Hamburg 2017 have been finished or are close to the end, the rest of qualifiers will start very soon. The majority of teams have completed their main rosters and are ready to explore new horizons, however, there are cyber-sportsmen, that had proved themselves on the professional stage, but were forgotten before the start of the season. We decided to make a list of ten most famous players that had left on the outside of the season 2017/2018.

[Jon «13abyKnight» Andersen]

Age: 25
Country: Denmark
Current MMR: 8090
Main achievements:

Jon started his professional career in 2011 but not in Dota 2 - StarCraft II was the main discipline of the Danish cyber-sportsman at that moment, in which he succeeded too. The player changed a row of eSports organization during three years, including Natus Vincere, FXOpen e-Sports, and Millenium. He can record victories at 4PL Close Combat Cup 2011 Cup 75, 2012 World Championship Series: Denmark Nationals and EU Rundown Cup 1. Also, Jon was in the top eight at 2013 WCS Season 3 Europe: Premier League, 2012 StarCraft II WCS: Europe Finals, 2012 Battle.net World Championship, HomeStory Cup VIII and 013 WCS Season 1 Europe: Premier League that brought him about $25,000.

Andersen has got into the professional Dota 2 scene since 2014, however, has not been able to achieve some results for a long time, having held only prize places at tournaments with a prize pool in the sum of $5,000 or less.

The team Danish Bears became a new step in a career of Jon «13abyKnight» Andersen, where the guy flourished. Danish Bears won or reached the final stages in a number of qualifiers to small tournaments, receiving a title of “The CIS killers” as CIS teams had no power against the Danes. Organizations started looking after the roster and The Imperial signed a full contract with guys. This was followed by probably the main achievement of the Dane in his professional Dota 2 career - a victory at WESG 2016 Europe & CIS Finals, where a slot at the final stage with a fantastic prize pool in the sum of $1,500,000 was the main prize.

Guys’ results didn’t stay unnoticed and the famous organization Cloud9 lured 13abyKnight and the company to its ranks. This may be only superstitious beliefs but this roster had gained “a curse of the second place” that proved in the final of WESG 2016, where TNC Pro Team beat Cloud9 with a score 2:1. After a contract with Cloud9, roster’s things were suddenly getting worse and the roster was disbanded on 13.05.2017 due to unsatisfactory results.

13abyKnight started playing in the mix Crescendo and the failure at the qualifiers to The International 2017 disbanded this roster too. Jon had left without a team and Andersen didn’t find respectable mates in a transfer season - maybe the cyber-sportsman made a decision to have a rest from the professional scene.

[Joakim «Akke» Akterhall]

Age: 29
Country: Sweden
Current MMR: 6400
Main achievements:

Joakim «Akke» Akterhall started playing games on the professional level in 2006 and his first roster had an unimaginative name “Team Team”. The Swede played DotA over two years, however, tournaments had very small prize pools in the sum of about $500-$1000 at that time and no one considered eSports seriously. That was the reason why Joakim went to university.

The cyber-sportsman had tried to combine a study and a participation in tournaments but he had a small success in that, so he made a decision to leave games and to graduate. One year later, Joakim «Akke» Akterhall with his friend Lod[A] started exploring Heroes of Newerth and they even achieved some results, however, their love to Dota 2 was stronger.

Friends returned to DotA in December 2011 and created the team eXperience, they signed a contract with the organization Counter Logic Gaming three months later. Things were going not so good, however, they held prize places at StarLadder StarSeries Season 1 and The Defense Season 2, followed by the failure at International 2011 and Joakim left the team to join No Tidehunter.

This period became the beginning of the incredible Akterhall’s career. In two weeks after the signing of a contract, guys won a championship at DreamHack Winter 2012 and at StarLadder StarSeries Season 5 a half a year later. The success of the team didn’t go unnoticed and the organization The Alliance signed a contract with Akke and the company. The team gained momentum and started winning tournaments one after the other: DreamHack Invitational 2013, The Premier League Season 4, G-1 Champions League Season 5, DreamHack Summer 2013, StarLadder StarSeries Season 6, and The Premier League Season 5.

The team had such power in August 2013 that was considered for a reason as one of the favorites of The International 2013 that had a prize pool in the sum of $2,874,000. The Alliance didn’t disappoint their fans and smashed their opponents and presented incredible matches against Natus Vincere in the grand final. A victory at this The International was achieved by the Swedish roster and the players would memorize the grand final for a long time.

After TI3, the team kept the power until October 2014 inclusive, holding prize places at all championships, where they participated, for over a year, however, further results started getting worse. Initially, roster started holding the last places at large championships and then, at the qualifiers to them, so a decision to part ways with some players was made. Results of The Alliance had not become better and the team returned to its “golden roster” in August 2015. Guys won World Cyber Arena 2015 and StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 1 and then, they began going down again. The whole roster was disbanded and Akke created the team Horde.

This team was, also, unlucky to achieve something and Joakim moved to the team Crescendo headed by EGM. Guys had practiced, participated in small championships and qualifiers to various tournaments, however, held the 9th place at the regional qualifiers to The International 2017 and were disbanded. Akke didn’t receive worthy offers during a transfer window and moved over the professional scene. Considering that the Swede is 29 - probably, this season was the last for the cyber-sportsman. He has not announced an end of the career but it’s coming to this.

If Akke doesn’t find a respectable team, we will be glad to see him as an analyst at events, because he has already had such an experience - Joakim Akterhall had been an analyst at The International 2017.

[Dominik «Black^» Reitmeier]

Age: 24
Country: Germany
Current MMR: 7886
Main achievements:

Dominik «Black^» Reitmeier received some popularity in 2009 when he was playing in the ranks of EnRo-Griffins and diamondz. A bit later, the German cyber-sportsman had an awful illness, we will not stop on it. Dominik told about the difficult period of his life in a profile of The Kiev Major 2017:

Reitmeier returned to the professional scene in the end of 2011, however, changed two teams in Dota 2 in four months, which results left much to be desired. After two months of being inactive, Dominik «Black^» Reitmeier received a full contract with Mousesports and won the first big trophy of his career - the team held the first place at RaidCall EMS One Summer Season. Dominik brought a unique style of the game to the team and “mice” became a strong enough European team and qualified twice to The International, however, they had a bad luck at the large LANs, so the roster lost its sponsor.

A move to the China and the signing of a contract with Vici Gaming became the next step in the German’s career. Surely, this step in a career can be called the most successful, because Black^ and the company won the championship titles at i-League Season 1, ESL One New York 2014, The Summit 2, the second place at Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015 and the third places at i-League Season 2 and World E-sport Championships 2014. Despite impressive results, the European player looked inappropriate in the Chinese team, so he was kicked from VG in February 2015 and left the Chinese region after a small pause.

Then there was a participation in the rosters of Team Tinker that were signed by Mousesports and Fnatic after a short time but, to tell the truth, there were no results at all. Guys passed qualifiers to large championships but everything was over with that - the last places followed the team. The accession to Team Faceless can be called “A new era” for Black^. Literally, the roster started dominating in Southeast Asia in two months - the team won absolutely all qualifiers to big and small competitions and the tag “Team Faceless” became famous all over the world. The team didn’t win tournaments, however, made a lot of problems to the strongest and most famous teams, frequently making a sensation. It seemed that players were not satisfied with such circumstances and some members of the team moved to other ones, motivating this with a desire to win trophies.

At the moment, Dominik «Black^» Reitmeier has not found a new team for himself and has a status of “a free agent”. Despite this, the player keeps streaming and improving his skill in a matchmaking, Faceit Pro League and various customs and a victory over the OpenAI bot can be referred to the Dominik’s list of recent achievements.

[Kurtis «Aui_2000» Ling]

Age: 24
Country: Canada
Current MMR: 8300
Main achievements:

Kurtis «Aui_2000» Ling became famous due to his performance on the roster of PotM Bottom and Team Dignitas, in which rosters he held prize places at the tournaments that were considered not so big at that moment. The Canadian cyber-sportsman helped his team to fight their way to The International 2013, however, the roster was disbanded after the failed participation in the World Championship. Aui_2000 joined the team Speed Gaming after a small break, together with which reached the top 3 at few tournaments, including the championship at MLG Championship Columbus and the second places at Dota 2 League Season 4 and Dota 2 Champions League Season 1. The success of the team didn’t go unnoticed, so the eSports organization Cloud9 lured the perspective roster to their ranks.

The team participated steadily enough, however, the guys were followed by “a curse of the second places” - the second place was held at the majority of championships by Cloud9. The roster had got to TI4 and held the 5th-6th place there but they didn’t hold a place higher than the second one at championships that were after it, so the head of the organization parted ways with Kurtis. Kurtis signed a contract with Evil Geniuses and prevailed at Dota 2 Asia Championships in February. The finest hour of Kurtis happened at TI5, where EG held the first place and the team earned about $6,634,661.

Suddenly for everyone, the captain of Evil Geniuses decided to fire Ling due to reasons, that left unknown to the public, right after the end of The International 2015. Not to allow such occasion happen again, Kurtis assembled its own team - Digital Chaos, together with which he became a dread of North America. Unfortunately, the team didn’t go further than North America and Aui_2000 received an invitation to return to Evil Geniuses and, also, to hold the desired position of “carry”. This story lasted a little more than a month and the Canadian cyber-sportsman was removed from the main roster again.

During a transfer window after The International 2016, EternalEnvy started assembling a new roster and invited Aui_2000 as a friend since Cloud9. No one believed in the roster as it included only Jacky’s friends but Kurtis proved again that he was the king of the North American region, raising the team to the top level. By world standards, Aui_2000 and the company were “averages” that could win almost every roster in the world and lose to a tier-3 team. The guys won the majority of qualifiers without an effort, however, they were not able to reach the top 3 at the Majors and large championships. The 3rd place at The Manila Masters, the 2nd one at ZOTAC Cup Masters and the 4th place at DOTA Summit 7 can be noticed among roster’s achievements.

The team won the qualification to TI7 in July this year and the roster was provided with a sponsorship from Cloud9. The team held the 13th-16th place at the World Championship a month later and was disbanded. The whole roster moved to the various teams and Kurtis «Aui_2000» Ling left without teammates. He has been unlucky to find a worthy team during a transfer window, so one of the best North American carries has a status of a free agent and is waiting for a window of opportunity to break into the professional scene.

[Dmitry «Ditya Ra» Minenkov]

Age: 22
Country: Russia
Current MMR: 7990
Main achievements:

Dmitry «Ditya Ra» Minenkov started his performance on the professional scene in December 2014 on the roster of Power Rangers, where he spent the major part of his career. The team was referred as “a tier-2 roster” and sometimes entered some championships and, also, gave a fight to the top teams of the professional scene. Dmitry became very famous outside the CIS region as he had received an invitation from Natus Vincere. Minenkov signed a contract with the Ukrainian organization in December 2015 and team’s things went better.

Natus Vincere passed lots of qualifiers to different events in eight months and held prize places at some of them. The team had held the second place at StarLadder i-League Invitational #1 and the first one at DreamLeague Season 5 League Play in May 2016 and a few weeks later, the roster stopped in a step from the championship but this time at DreamLeague Season 5. Guys began gaining momentum and held the second place at ESL One Frankfurt 2016 and received a direct invite to The International 2016 and this was exactly what all fans of Natus Vincere had expected not only in CIS but outside it.

A victory at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2 had become the last straw in a cup of confidence of Natus Vincere before TI6 and they were put in the top 4 of the most important championship of the year due to an invite from the organizers. Starting from the group stage, it was clear that strategies were not working and the roster went to the lower bracket of the playoffs, where they were overcome by Team Liquid - as a result, they held the 13th-16th place. The team made a decision not to make replacements, however, it was noticeable from the game in autumn that there were disagreements on the roster. The head of the organization decided to part ways with two cyber-sportsmen, including Dmitry «Ditya Ra» Minenkov.

Vega Squadron wanted to see Dmitry in its ranks, however, this decision led to nothing - the team didn’t get to even a single tournament in four months and the player left the ranks of “The Sharks”. Minenkov has been being in a status of a free agent for five months but all reshuffles avoid him. Ditya Ra will definitely return to the professional scene - it’s only a matter of time.