Image via Valve (Licensed)
Three days after the conclusion of Valve’s $20.9 million event, teams are already shuffling their rosters.
In an interview with South Korean commentator Aqua Heart, MVP Phoenix offlaner Lee “Forev” Sang-don confirmed that the entire roster is currently involved in contract negotiations, as contracts in Dota 2 tend to run out with the conclusion of the International.
Initially it was reported that the offlaner had left the team, as the player wrote in a since deleted Tweet that his journey with the team had come to an end, leading fans to believe that the best South Korean roster in Dota 2 history was splitting up.
This was cleared up, however in the interview with Aqua Heart. Forev explained that he wanted to make potential organizations aware of the squad’s contract situation.
“We are getting offers, and I made that tweet about the contract ending to notify more teams about it,” Forev said. “We may stay under MVP with better terms or move to different organization, nothing is set for now.”
In the interview, Forev also emphasized that the current roster will be sticking together unless either of them receives a major individual offer.
“The team agreed that the best option would be all five of us staying together, but if some of us get really good offers individually we would let them go.”
The tale of MVP Phoenix’s international success through 2016 is one of the most unique storylines in Dota 2. After a lackluster launch in South Korea, which is often credited for adding the first semblance of professionalism to the esports industry, Valve’s MOBA title fell short of its main rival, League of Legends, in the South East Asian nation. Despite regional game retailer Nexon investing heavily into domestic competition, the game never took hold. In December 2015, Valve elected to shut down the game’s South Korean server, a move many onlookers viewed as the final nail in the coffin for South Korean Dota 2.
Even with all of these setbacks, the MVP Phoenix roster succeeded in winning two international LAN titles as well as placing top four at the Shanghai Major and top six at both the Manila Major and the International 6. Those performances that have earned the squad a total of $1.6 million in 2016 alone.