Offlaner Maxim “yoky-” Kim will rejoin Team Empire while Ivan “VANSKOR” Skorohod heads out amidst their Dota 2 Pro Circuit campaign to qualify to TI8.
Yoky- replaces VANSKOR after just three months of play, after the latter VANSKOR joined in as the team’s hard support player on Sept. 12 this year — one week after Andrey “Ghostik” Kadyk came in to sit in the offlane position.
Despite VANSKOR’s subsequent contribution to achieve a long awaited LAN-tournament victory at the ASUS ROG Masters, Empire has determined the team chemistry wasn’t there to bring out his best.
“In my opinion Ivan was not able to perform at his top level,” said Dmitriy “Korb3n” Belov, manager of the squad. “He taught me a lot and I am grateful for that. I wish he finds a team in which he can show his full potential. I hope that in 2018 his great perfomance will make us speak about him.”
On the other hand, with his entry to the roster, Yoky would therefore be out of his comfort zone for his run with Empire.
“[Yoky-] has a very big responsibility playing the fourth position,” said Empire’s director of esports Alexander “StrangeR” Solomonov. “I am sure that Maxim will not only pass the test, but that he will become the best in his new role.”
Yoky- last played for Empire in 2015. However, despite being part of the Empire roster that got off to a hot start in the group stage at TI5 the team they were sent to the lower bracket by LGD Gaming, and then eliminated by MVP Phoenix.
Empire’s last best result was first place at ROG Masters two weeks ago, where they took down OpTic Gaming and bagged $117,500 in prize money, as well as qualifying for the fourth StarLadder i-League Invitational just five days ago.