More controversy has hit the Dota 2 scene earlier this Tuesday when Gambit Esports unveiled they are removing Danil "gpk" Skutin from their active Dota 2 roster due to his refusal to boot camp with his teammates.
The announcement of gpk's benching surfaced on Tuesday, February 4, on Gambit Esports' Official Twitter page. In the same post, the CIS esports organisation also unveiled gpk will be replaced by Rostislav "fn" Lozovoi who will play under Gambit banner at the ESL One Los Angeles 2020 CIS Qualifier, slated to begin on Saturday, February 8.
Fn already wore Gambit jersey at StarLadder ImbaTv Minor in March 2019 where he played as a stand-in. He previously represented Vega Squadron, Team Empire and Virtus.pro and just recently helped HellRaisers at Maincast Winter Brawl in January as a stand-in for Alexander "Nix" Levin.
Gpk has joined Gambit on August 22, 2019, as a replacement for Andrey "Afoninje" Afonin, who left the team 10 days prior, when Gambit also saw their coach Anatoly "boo1k" Ivanov leave for Virtus.pro. In the weeks that followed, Gambit made several roster changes, which included the departure of Alexander "Immersion" Hmelevskoy at the start of September, the arrival of Kiyalbek "dream'" Tayirov, and in November, the departure of Nikita "Daxak" Kuzmin and Vasily "AfterLife" Shishkin who joined Winstrike Team.
Despite all the roster shuffles, Gambit had bumpy, yet successful start of 2019/20 Dota Pro Circuit. The CIS squad narrowly missed out on winning ESL One Hamburg in October, where they lost to TNC Predator (2-3) in the grand finals. Three weeks later, Gambit entered MDL Chengdu Major, where they failed to relive their success, as they finished the group stage with 0-2 record, thus ended their venture into the first Dota 2 Major at the last spot.
Although gpk and his squad failed to impress in Chengdu, the CIS squad put up an impressive performance at DreamLeague Season 13 CIS Closed Qualifiers, where they went toe-to-toe with some of the best CIS Dota 2 teams, but eventually fell flat against Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere, finishing the qualifiers at fourth place.
After weeks of iffy results, Gambit entered One Esports Dota 2 Pro Invitational Singapore, where they put up a show. Gpk and company ended the group stage without a loss, defeating the likes of Natus Vincere and Team Liquid, while grabbing stalemates against ViCi Gaming, Evil Genuises and PSG.LGD. Gambit went on to defeat Alliance in playoffs but hit the wall in the upper bracket finals, where they lost to Evil Genuises and later against the eventual champions ViCi in the lower bracket finals. Nonetheless, they still finished third which is gpk's best career-achievement to date.
Earlier in January, Gambit also made an appearance at WePlay! Bukovel Minor, where they finished fourth after a 1-2 defeat against ex-Team Liquid roster - Nemiga, in the round one of the lower bracket.
Despite Gambit's solid results this season, there were rumours suggesting something was wrong with the Dota 2 team internally, and it seems like those issues finally surfaced. This Tuesday Gambit unveiled gpk has refused to join his teammates at boot camp in preparation for ESL One Los Angeles Major qualifier, which earned him a spot on the bench due to this unwillingness to oblige to his contractual obligations.
"Gambit Dota 2 roster continues preparing for ESL One Los Angeles Major qualifier. At this qualifier, fng, Schachlo, dream' and XSvamp1Re will join forces with Rotislaw "fn" Lozvoi, who represented Gambit at StarLadder ImbaTv Minor in March 2019. Danil "gpk" Skutin was benched due to refusing to take part in our boot camp," read the team's announcement.
There are also rumours in the Dota 2 community, which claim gpk wants to leave Gambit and join Virtus.pro, however, is currently still tied with Gambit until 2021, when his contract expires. Whether that justifies his actions is up to debate, however, considering Virtus.pro just recently signed Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov to their Dota 2 roster and already have a solo mid player in a long-standing member Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko, gpk's actions just might have cost him his playtime in 2019/20 DPC.
Gambit Dota 2 roster for 2019/20 DPC:
Rostislav "fn" Lozovoi
Maxim "Shachlo" Abramovskikh
Danial "XSvamp1Re" Alibaev
Artiom "fng" Barshack
Nikolay "distilled" Prokhorenko - coach