In the aftermath of the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season, high profile esports organisation Evil Geniuses (EG) has officially announced that they will be entering the 2019-2020 season with a new roster that foregoes two well known stars – Gustav “s4” Magnusson and even more significantly, Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan.
According to the official announcement made by EG, S4 has been released as a free agent, while Sumail has been removed from the active roster of the Dota 2 team but remains under contract while the organisation presumably will be engaging in negotiations with other organisations so that Sumail may be transferred to a new team.
While S4 has long been one of the top stars in the international Dota scene, Sumail’s departure marks a much more significant moment for the organisation due to the ties that Sumail and team EG have had since the start of 2015, with both Sumail and the organisation oweing a great deal of their success over nearly the past 5 years to each other.
For those who are unaware of Sumail’s background, he was actually born in Pakistan and started his professional Dota career at the age of 15 when he was scouted by Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora in January 2015, who pushed for EG to recruit the young talent despite his youth and lack of professional experience.
Although Sumail’s professional debut for the team was unremarkable, he had an incredible breakout performance just 1 month into his professional career when his play led team EG to a first place finish at the Dota Asia Championships, securing $1,284,158 USD for the team and making himself known as one of the best players in the world despite only being 16 years old and having played professionally for just over a month.
As if that wasn’t already impressive enough, Sumail and his EG squad would then go on to be the champions of The International 2015, making Sumail the youngest player in history to win The International and the youngest esports player ever to surpass USD $1 Million in esports winnings.
Since then, EG has had a very solid 4 year run with Sumail as a seemingly irreplaceable core member of their squad, as he has continued playing a key role in their numerous successful tournament performances through several roster changes.
With EG finally removing such an iconic player from their roster, it would appear that we are seeing the end of an era for the organisation. Given that Sumail has spent his entire professional career playing for EG while being treated very much as a fan favourite, it’s always been very hard to imagine a Dota 2 tournament where Sumail isn’t suited up in EG’s colours.
EG themselves have also gone the extra mile to acknowledge his departure with this tribute to his accomplishments with the team, which says a lot about how much his contributions are appreciated, especially in an industry where professional players constantly go from one organisation to the next without any fanfare.
One could argue that given the nature of professional esports where teams appear to always be more than ready to release any given player in pursuit of tournament results regardless of their player’s history of contributions to the team, Sumail’s departure from EG has been a long time coming. But having said that, one cannot ignore the fact that Sumail’s tenure at EG has marked a truly iconic era for both the organisation as well as the Dota 2 scene as a whole, especially when considering Sumail’s remarkable origin story, record breaking achievements and explosive rise to fame.
When we first met Sumail, he was symbolic of the newest generation of esports players. He represented the young, talented prodigies that came from the unlikeliest of places, and he was a shining example of the transformative power of esports – an industry that transcended national boundaries and allowed anyone to become a superstar regardless of their background.
Now that the “Sumail Era” is over for team EG, it will be business as usual for both Sumail and EG. Team EG will continue in pursuit of championships with their newest roster while Sumail will no doubt find himself on some other top tier team as he continues his career as a top Dota 2 player. Neither EG or Sumail will be disappearing from the limelight, but as they go their separate ways, we can’t help but feel that this marks the end of the esports fairytale that was the story of “EG Sumail”. Four years ago, Sumail was once the youngest, most successful Dota 2 player of all time on an iconic EG squad. Now, Sumail is 20 years old and moving on from the team that has defined his entire adult life so far – he is an adult professional who will be just one player among the many other top players finding their way in the extremely competitive world of the Dota Pro Circuit.
EG Sumail will always be remembered as the “boy wonder” who showed us that anything is possible, but as we look forward to the rest of the career that the man known as Sumail will go on to lead, we also look forward to the next generation of stars that will astound us once again.
Featured Image Credit: EPICENTER