Syed “SumaiL” Hassan’s Team Liquid candle burned brightly, but not for very long.
Team Liquid coach William "Blitz" Lee has announced that SumaiL’s run as a stand-in for the team is officially over. Offlaner Samuel "Boxi" Svahn is set to return to the team’s starting lineup for the qualifiers to The International 10. This puts SumaiL back on the free agent list at a time where teams are scrambling to cobble together strong rosters in hopes of qualifying for the $40 million event.
Blitz also pushed back against fan speculation and complaints that the team was violating Dota Pro Circuit substitution rules by adding SumaiL. Blitz stated that Team Liquid’s plan was always to give Boxi back his spot on the roster once he was ready to return. Boxi was deactivated from Liquid in April due to unspecified personal reasons.
SumaiL’s run with Team Liquid concludes after a disappointing run in the WePlay AniMajor. The team qualified directly to the group stage after a second-place finish in DreamLeague Season 15 but underwhelmed in the AniMajor group stage. The team went 5-9 and was eliminated after losing a best-of-one tiebreaker match to Team Spirit.
SumaiL remains a top talent, which was illustrated with his strong performance in DreamLeague Season 15 with TL. That will likely make him a hot commodity for the TI10 qualifiers. Despite the fact that the Dota Pro Circuit has leagues and teams with defined roster parameters, teams have seemingly been free to shuffle players around ahead of the qualifiers. SumaiL has himself been a victim of such shuffles, now having notably departed, Evil Geniuses, OG, and Team Liquid.
This has made for a great deal of drama as some players are booted from teams, others leave their squads high and dry, and disputes arise over “ownership” of teams for qualification purposes. But it does open a door for big-name players who have been stuck in free agency in recent months such as SumaiL.
SumaiL has spent most of his time over the last 18 months competing in Europe and the CIS regions. He famously joined OG several months after being removed from Evil Geniuses, but was kicked after just a few months. He took a prolonged break from there, but reemerged in late 2020 alongside a number of former Virtus.pro players in a new CIS squad named Just Error. Just Error dissolved after competing in just one event.
SumaiL’s run with Team Liquid was apparently set to end in short order regardless of the team’s performance, but he now finds himself needing a home if he wants to return to The International in 2021. Assuming he plans to remain in Europe, SumaiL would likely represent a decisive upgrade in the mid lane for most of the contending teams and could slide into a carry or off lane position as well.
Answers should come in the aftermath of the WePlay AniMajor.