Saksa Puts Mental Health First: Withdraws from Riyadh Masters 2023

Vignesh Raghuram
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Saksa with Tundra Esports at TI11</p></div>
Saksa with Tundra Esports at TI11


Tundra Esports faces a setback at Riyadh Masters 2023 as Martin "Saksa" Sazdov withdraws due to health issues, citing anxiety, sleep disturbances, and mental health struggles.
The Macedonian pro player's withdrawal prompts the team to bring in coach Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling as a stand-in for the remainder of the tournament.
Tundra Esports currently holds a 1-3 win-loss record in the group stages and will need to overcome the absence of Saksa to improve their standing in the competition.

Tundra Esports might need to play with a stand-in once again after Martin "Saksa" Sazdov announced that he is withdrawing from the Riyadh Masters 2023. Saksa took to Twitter to share his heartfelt message, revealing that he has been battling anxiety, sleep disturbances, and other mental health challenges. The burden of these issues has led him to make the difficult decision to step away from the tournament.

Tundra Esports had already taken precautionary measures in light of Saksa's situation. Prior to his announcement, The International 2022 champions had revealed that their coach, Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling, would be standing in for Saksa for the remainder of the tournament.

Despite the last-minute change, the team was hopeful that their expertise and camaraderie would help them navigate through the challenges posed by the prestigious event.

Saksa Explains His Withdrawal From Riyadh Masters 2023

Saksa expressed his gratitude towards his teammates and Tundra Esports for their unwavering support throughout this challenging period.

The team, in turn, extended their well-wishes to Saksa for a speedy recovery.

This is not the first time that Tundra Esports has had to make a last-minute change to their lineup. Earlier this month, in the Bali Major 2023, AUI_2000 had to step into the lineup after Saksa had to fly home due to illness. The team managed to secure a Top 3 finish in the major despite the challenging circumstances.

Currently competing in the group stages of the Riyadh Masters 2023, Tundra Esports has encountered a rocky start, securing only one victory out of four matches. The absence of their star support player, Saksa, poses an additional hurdle for the team, and they now find themselves needing help to maintain their standing in the competition.

The team is scheduled to face Shopify Rebellion and Team Aster later today and will compete against the likes of Team Liquid, TSM, and Team Secret in the following days.

The Riyadh Masters 2023 will take place from 19th-30th July in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and features a total prize pool of $15 Million USD, the highest non-TI prizepool in Dota 2 history.

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.