Dota 2 roster shuffle: MATUMBAMAN returns to Team Liquid

·Senior Esports Producer
·3-min read

Finnish star carry player Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen announced on Wednesday (17 November) that he will be returning to Team Liquid for the upcoming 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season.

MATUMBAMAN's return to Liquid comes shortly after his departure from Team Secret on Monday (15 November) after two years with the team and a third place finish in The International 10 (TI10) in October.

MATUMBAMAN was Liquid's carry player from 2015 to 2019, playing alongside Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi, Ivan "MinD_ControL" Ivanov, Maroun "GH" Merhej, and Kuro Salehi "Kuroky" Takhasomi during the organisation's most successful era in Dota 2.

MATUMBAMAN helped Liquid claim the championship of TI7 in the only finals sweep in the history of the tournament, on top of winning one Major and finishing second in two others. He parted ways with the team in June 2019 and played with Chaos EC until October before joining Secret in November of that year.

Aside from their third place finish in TI10, MATUMBAMAN also helped Secret win DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major and many other tournaments — including an incredible streak of eight-straight online tournament wins from May to September 2020.

Joining MATUMBAMAN in his return to Liquid will be his former Secret teammate Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg, who announced his departure from Secret and subsequent move to Liquid earlier this month.

Liquid have yet to reveal who else will be on their roster for the upcoming DPC season aside from MATUMBAMAN and zai. At the time of writing, only zai and carry player Michael "miCKe" Vu have been registered as members of Liquid on the official DPC registration site.

As of 17 November, Team Liquid's roster is comprised of Lasse
As of 17 November, Team Liquid's roster is comprised of Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen and Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg. Michael "miCKe" Vu is also still registered with the team on the official Dota Pro Circuit registration. (Screenshot courtesy of Dota2.com)

Liquid have been on the hunt for stars during the offseason after failing to qualify for TI10 despite a solid showing in the 2021 DPC's Western European regional leagues.

The post-TI10 roster shuffle

The competitive Dota 2 scene revolves around TI, Dota 2's yearly world championship tournament that has regularly broken the record for the biggest prize pool for a single esports event year after year. TI10 featured a US$40 million prize pool, with the lion's share of US$18.2 million as well as the coveted Aegis of Champions going to champions Team Spirit.

The yearly post-TI roster shuffles came as a result of the importance of TI to the game's competitive scene, with teams that either failed to qualify or placed poorly in the tournament often revamping their rosters in preparation for another run at the Aegis of Champions.

TI's importance in the scene has even manifested itself in how contracts between players and their organisations are structured, with most contracts ending with the conclusion of TI.

This arrangement has allowed both teams and players to explore their options and better prepare for the next iteration of the DPC and TI.

The 2021-2022 DPC season will be starting at the end of November and has been split into three Tours for the Fall, Winter, and Spring, with the regional leagues taking place from 29 November 2021 to 17 July 2022.

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