I know this is not what you guys expected to hear. It is certainly not what I wanted. Unfortunately, reality can't always meet our hopes. We are parting ways with BuLba and Qojqva, and Liquid will be without a Dota 2 squad for the time being.
I've known BuLba for some time now and I have so many good memories from our time together. He's one of the nicest guys I've met, and we've shared some great experiences. There are many reasons why we did as well as we did at TI4, but Bulba's captaining and leadership as a support was undoubtedly one of the most important factors. It was a performance that I am proud of and would have liked to have built upon. Not only is Bulba's play remarkable, but so is his eye for talent -- it was actually BuLba who first spotted qojqva as a possible new addition to our team one year ago. Bulba is the most dedicated Dota player I know and I can't wait to see what he can do with his new team.
Qojqva this year has been one of the most impactful players around. His play for us was so consistent and we could always rely on him. Despite being young in age, he's already playing a very mature game and has plenty of time to get even better. There is no doubt in my mind that Qojqva and Bulba are going to do great in the years to come.
There are few players out there at the level these two can play at. If it was at all possible, I would have liked to have continued with them on Liquid. However, the reality is that after a rough year, they have asked to be released through a buyout with another organisation. The organization wishes to remain unknown for now and I respect their request. I just want to use this opportunity to thank BuLba and Qojqva for everything they gave to Liquid. The last year certainly wasn't easy, but by working hard and battling through, you've earned yourselves a great opportunity going forward.
For all our fans who supported us through the ups and the downs this year I want to apologize that I wasn't able to keep these guys around. We've been a through a lot with the players in the past year, both good and bad. I admit there was some tension between the organization and players as well. I know we could have done better for them, and we've learned how we can be a better organization going forward.
As far as Liquid's future is concerned, we are going to have to do without a Dota 2 team in the foreseeable future. I absolutely want to be a part of the Dota scene with a professional team, but it has to be with a team that makes sense. While I'm disappointed things haven't worked out, it would be unwise to rush our decisions. We'll do our best to return with a Liquid team that's worthy of our fans, and when that happens, we hope that you will be there to support us once more. Thank you for being the best and most loyal fans in the world.
When I first got the opportunity to form a Liquid Dota 2 team, it felt like a dream come true. I remember around 2 years ago when Nazgul messaged me, asking what my hopes and aspirations were. I followed Starcraft: Brood War and Starcraft 2, and Liquid was a huge favorite of mine.
The first year with the team was great with lots of memories, and even now I can feel the nostalgia rushing through my mind. From our surprise underdog victory at the G-1 qualifiers beating Na'Vi, to that epic victory over Mouseports with our Rapier Gyro and Tinker in the Defense, and finally ending with our road to TI3 -- with the bootcamp beforehand, and our victory over LGD in the loser bracket. However I was still not fulfilled, as I always strive for better results. Reforming the team after TI3 was inevitable, as there were obvious conflicts between members. And thus, we looked for new players.
I remember first talking to qojqva a few months before ti3. He impressed me not only with his individual skill, but also with his improvement. When he first joined Mouz, he was a bit shaky on his offlane role, and to this day, I still flame his furion that died solo four times to my clockwerk. But over time he worked hard and asked for advice from several people and showed a lot of passion for the game. If you watched Mouseport's replays from TI3, you could see that he was playing exceptionally, and I really wanted to play with him. Wayto also impressed me a lot on Dignitas. He captained the team and almost took a team that had more conflicts than Game of Thrones to top 8 at TI3. His game sense is phenomenal, and I hope Peter succeeds because he is a hard worker and has a lot of passion.
We did quite well the first few months after the roster change, but when the patch hit we just couldn't adapt well enough. Our playstyles and players just didn't mesh together. We brought in Demon, who helped turn that around and breathe some new life into the team. He’s a great friend and an exceptional player, and I thank him for all his help. Regardless, though, after losing Ti4 qualifiers to NaVi.USA, I knew something had to change. So I volunteered to draft and captain randomly one day after dreaming about it (ya I dream about weird stuff). I remember qojqva and Wayto laughing when i first brought it up. "Oh god bulba support. This is gonna be a nightmare." It wasn't something I’d ever done before. I even had a naked Greevil as my courier, because I had never bought a chicken before in my life. The only wards I had ever placed were in the offlane for vision and for mid lane, when my support sent it mid at 6 minutes. But I still had hope.
Unfortunately at the start it was an actual nightmare. I had doubts within a few days, but I knew that something had to change. In the state we were in, we were going to lose at the play-ins in Seattle. There was no way that I could let that happen and face myself every day knowing that I didn't do enough to prevent our failure. So throughout the next few weeks, we tried and tried, and it still wasn't going well. But a week before TI4 we found some stuff that worked and kept practicing it and went into the tournament with some actual confidence (something we had lacked for several weeks).
TI4 happened, we beat some teams and lost to others. It surprised many people, and we heard of a lot of people say "Oh you guys did great, we didn't expect much of you, be proud of your results." But anyone that knows a competitor understands that those words mean nothing. You either satisfy that fulfillment part of your brain that craves to have pride through your successes or you wallow in sorrow. We actually were confident in a top 6 or top 8 placing after the first 2 or 3 days but oh well. You lose confidence in what was working because of a loss or two, after it worked several times before, and it’s the death of you. You become so caught up in what’s working and are afraid to try something new with so much at stake.
TI4 as well as the year before was definitely a learning process for every Dota player. I learned that having 4 other people that want to work as hard as you and show as much passion as you is key. There is no point in just sitting and hoping that things will change or will get better. As for the announcement, I've decided to leave Liquid because I think its time for change. I had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories and friends within the organization. Shoutout to Hotbid, Alex, Robin, Dario, Victor and my old teammates including both TC and Fluff. TC is a solid player and Fluff is a passionate individual. We had our hurdles with the organization this past year but I am positive that we both came out looking at the next step on what to fix. Thanks to all the fans and people who enjoyed watching us play. It was a great honor.