North America’s top Dota 2 team, Evil Geniuses, has said goodbye to one of its key players. Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, the support player, will not be continuing with the team for the upcoming tournament season. Despite the team’s success in 2017, a disappointing 9-12th place finish at The International 7 seems to have driven Zai to leave the North American roster.
Zai expressed his thoughts in a statement posted on Evil Geniuses’ Facebook page, saying, “This past year has been the most entertaining year of Dota I’ve had.” However, the team’s underwhelming performance at TI7, where they were eliminated by Team Empire, made him reevaluate his future with the team. “After reflecting on the year and this recent TI I can no longer see myself continuing with the team, and hope that this departure will benefit both sides going forward.”
This is not Zai’s first time with Evil Geniuses as he competed with them in 2014, achieving multiple tournament victories and a third-place finish at The International 4. He then spent most of 2015 with Team Secret before taking a break in 2016 to focus on his studies in Sweden.
In addition to Zai’s departure, Evil Geniuses will also see a change in leadership. CEO Peter “ppd” Dager will be stepping down from his position, and Dota 2 manager Phillip Aram will take on most of his responsibilities. There has been speculation about whether or not ppd, who won The International 5 with Evil Geniuses, will return to compete in the upcoming tournament season.
The new Evil Geniuses roster will be announced in the coming weeks.