Rumor: 33 to Replace zai at Team Liquid
With the International 12 (TI12) having concluded, competitive Dota 2 action may be in a stage of blues for a while, but the focus shifts to the many roster changes that are likely to occur. As early as the first day, following the conclusion of the event, rumors and speculation have already begun circulating about possible changes. According to cyber.sports.ru, Tundra Esports' offlaner Neta "33" Shapira may be moving to Team Liquid, replacing Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg. In the wake of his elimination from TI12, zai had hinted at retirement from competitive Dota 2 and then said he is considering taking a break before arriving at his next decision.
33 may move from Tundra and replace zai at Team Liquid
As per the rumor, TI11 champion 33 will join Liquid to play in the offlane. The following players will make up the team's roster in this case.
Michael "miCKe" Vu
Michał "Nisha" Jankowski
Neta "33" Shapira
Samuel "Boxi" Svahn
Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi
Team Liquid's coach William "Blitz" Lee also stated that their new signing is almost confirmed at this point and that the team had spoken to almost every single Tier 1 offlaner in the TI12 afterparty.
During the exit interview at TI12, where Liquid finished 5th-6th, zai suggested retirement by saying, “it was probably my last World Championship. I plan to take a break and see how it goes. Not quite sure where it will lead me."
Zai had a successful year with Liquid, finishing second at five tier one events despite not winning any tournaments.
Now, 33 might be departing Tundra Esports to take his position, which would be one of the biggest moves of the season. Since September 2020, when they played as mudgolems, the player has been with this group of players. They have been one of the most fearsome teams in Dota 2 after being recruited by Tundra in January 2021, with the triumph at TI last year being the highlight.
Tundra participated in the midlane with Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen at TI12, after Martin "Saksa" Sazdov had to withdraw due to health issues, and finished 13th-16th despite being a powerful force in the group stage. Overall, the 2023 season was up and down, with some great moments of top tier gameplay from the squad but there were also underwhelming performances at international games.
So far, no formal statement on zai's departure has been made by Liquid, nor has Tundra confirmed any roster changes. The Dota 2 community is in for a long season of shuffling, which will most likely take up the entire month of November 2023 as well as some of December.