Topson Rumored to Join Tundra Esports
There are just a few days left before the roster lock for The International 12 (TI12) qualifiers, and it is now down to those teams that still need to decide or reveal their final lineups. However, a major shakeup may be occurring within Tundra Esports' roster despite appearing to be one of the more established squads. The team has been rumored to be bringing on former two-time TI champion Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen. The rumors have picked up some steam as Tundra's midlaner, Leon "Nine" Kirilin, has been seen playing the support role in pubs lately. At the same time the team’s support player, Martin "Saksa" Sazdov, who has been dealing with health issues, seems to have not engaged in any ranked games in the past few days.
Topson might replace Saksa at Tundra Esports
As a member of Tundra's roster for the past two and a half years, Nine has played the midlane across professional and ranked games, but doubts emerged when his recent match records showed him playing as the support.
According to Dota 2 Pro Tracker, Nine has played 37 games over the last eight days between his two accounts, predominantly playing Skywrath Mage and Rubick in the support role.
Consequently, speculations regarding Topson joining Tundra began to float around which were fueled by Saksa’s pattern of missing tournaments due to health-related reasons over the past few months.
His withdrawals from tournaments like the Riyadh Masters 2023, Bali Major 2023, and DreamLeague S20 are due to anxiety, sleep disturbances, and mental health struggles. During this time, Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling has filled in for the team.
If Nine is actually switching to the support role and Aui_2000 wants to remain focused on coaching, Saksa may be taking a prolonged break from competitive Dota 2, leading to an open position in the team.
Topson, who has been drawn to competitive Dota 2 this year, continues to play in pubs in the midlane. On YouTube, the player recently posted a cryptic picture of himself smiling in response to the community's inquiry on whether “it (presumably the rumor) is true” or not.
Things are unclear regarding Tundra's future with Topson, and it is possible that even if Saksa is unavailable, Topson is not exactly the substitute as rumors suggest currently. Any roster changes, however, should be made public in the near future.