MinD_ContRoL Reportedly Set to Stand-in For Team SMG at TI12
Following his successful stint with OG at the DreamLeague Season 21, 28-year-old Bulgarian offlaner, Ivan "MinD_ContRoL" Ivano, could potentially grace The International 2023 (TI12) despite crashing out of the Western European qualifiers with Nigma.
MinD_ContRoL could be travelling to Seattle as a stand-in for Team SMG, possibly replacing Natthaphon "Masaros" Ouanphakdee, with the latter reportedly facing VISA issues. This development was first reported by Metaratings.
Will MinD_ContRoL play for Team SMG?
In the wake of Team Secret's captain, Clement "Puppey" Ivanov, being linked to Team SMG, the Dota 2 community is now buzzing with the potential of MinD_ContRoL's prospective collaboration with the Southeast Asian team. Neither the player nor the organization has made any statements regarding this development.
Reportedly, MinD_ContRoL has already participated in several practice matches alongside the Team SMG roster, fueling further speculation regarding his potential involvement.
While the prospect of Puppey and MinD_ContRoL joining forces with the SEA team has excited many in the Dota 2 community, there has been no shortage of dissenting voices. Russian analyst Khaled "sQreen" El-Khabbash publicly criticized the organization, questioning the decision-making process.
On his Telegram handle, sQreen voiced his concerns, saying, "What are the rumors about Puppey and Mind Control in SMG? The team confidently secured their qualifications, and all players rightfully earned their spot in the year's main tournament. And then this happens: they want to bring in two veteran players from Europe. Are they making the right decisions there? I see it as a grave injustice to the players who might potentially be replaced. In the past, there were strict criteria for substitutions, and players had to agree to them. But now, it seems like a mess."
He went on to express his doubts about the visa issues reportedly faced by both players, stating, "So, are you telling me that two players from the same team, who usually have no trouble obtaining visas for their respective countries, suddenly encounter visa problems simultaneously? It's either extremely poor management or questionable substitutions – there's no other explanation."
Popular Filipino Dota 2 personality Nico “KuyaNic” Nazario also contributed to the speculation by sharing a potential Team SMG roster for The International 2023 on his Facebook page. Team SMG earned their spot at The International 12 through the rigorous regional qualification process for Southeast Asia dominating Blacklist International by a giant 3-0 score at the finals. Before the qualifiers, the former Old G and Natus Vincere player, Volodymyr "No[o]ne-" Minenko, joined the ranks of Team SMG, further enhancing their roster.
Possible Team SMG Lineup for TI12:
Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng
Volodymyr "No[o]ne-" Minenko
Ivan "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov (stand-in)
Tue "ah fu" Soon Chuan
Clement "Puppey" Ivanov (stand-in)
As the Dota 2 community eagerly awaits official confirmation or denial of these rumors, the prospect of MinD_ContRoL donning the Team SMG jersey at The International 12 has undoubtedly added an air of anticipation to the upcoming tournament.