Gambit have announced the return of Danil "gpk" Skutin to their Dota 2 squad earlier this Thursday, February 27, after benching the talented youngster at the start of the month, due to his refusal to boot camp with his team.
The return of gpk has been announced via Gambit Esports' official Twitter page, where the CIS esports organisation took the chance to explain the situation with gpk, his benching and the eventual return to their main roster.
The announcement read:
"We are pleased to announce that Danil "gpk" Skutin returns to starting line-up. This Decision has been made together with the players, who pridefully went through this challenging period both for club and the team. At the moment we are acquiring US visas and on Saturday we'll begin boot camping in Kyiv to prepare for the upcoming Minor [StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3]"
"We would like to thank Rostislav "fn" Lozovoi, who once again on short notice agreed to act as a stand-in and proved to be a skilled player and an excellent teammate."
Gpk initially left the active team at the start of February, when he reportedly refused to partake in the bootcamp prior to the ESL One Major Los Angeles qualifiers, which ushered the organisation to call in fn as a stand-in. With fn on the team, Gambit took a swing at CIS qualifiers, although failed to make any noise.
Gambit got seeded into Group A, where they defeated Modus Unity and Unique Nova, however, failed to deliver against Cyber Legacy and Virtus.pro. Unfortunately, the 2-0-2 record was not enough for Gambit to enter the playoffs, however, more than enough for them to secure a ticket for StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 qualifiers. There they took down Cyber Legacy (1-2) and forZe (2-1), thus booked a spot at the upcoming Minor.
What exactly was the cause for gpk's refusal to train with his team is anyone's guess, but according to player's leaks, gpk was at the time in talks with Virtus.pro who allegedly were in the process of signing the young CIS star. The leak was provided by Oliver "Skiter" Lepko, who talked about the issue on his stream shortly after the announcement of gpk's benching surfaced.
In his stream, where he talked with Tommy "Taiga" Le, Skiter went on to say that Virtus.pro kicked both Egor "epileptick1d" Grigorenko and Vitalie "Save-" Melnic and were supposedly already agreed to terms with Gambit's mid laner gpk and Natus Vincere's captain Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov.
"So basically, VP kicked epileptick1d and Save-, and are trying to get Zayac from NaVi and gpk from Gambit," said Skiter.
"And they have both agreed. So that is why Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko is playing all the carries."
Whether the speculations were true or not remains to be seen, however, there could be some truth in it, considering Zayac eventually left Navi to team up with Virtus.pro, who still have an open spot at No.1, where Virtus.pro currently field Zaur "Cooman" Shakhmurzaev.
With the whole team back together, Gambit are now preparing themselves for the third Minor tournament of the 2019/20 Dota Pro Circuit season, which is set to kick off on Thursday, March 5, in Kyiv, Ukraine and conclude three days later with the grand finals.
Present at the Minor will be Gambit, forZe, business associates, Fighting PandsS, Alliance, Team Aster, BOOM Esports and NoPing e-sports., who will compete for the largest slice of US $300,000 in the prize pool, and a ticket leading to ESL One Los Angeles Major.
Although there will be a handful of strong Dota 2 teams present at the Minor, Gambit will fancy their chances to impress, as they have shown before they can be a very solid team. Back in December, they finished third at ONE Esports World Pro Invitational Singapore, where they bested the likes of Natus Vincere, Team Liquid, Alliance and grabbed stalemates against ViCi Gaming and PSG.LGD.
Since then, however, Gambit failed to see much success. They finished fourth at WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020, fifth-sicth at LA Major CIS qualifiers and fourth at WePlay! Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon. Ahead of the Minor, Gambit hold onto 192 DPC points, which sits them at 19th place in the DPC standings.
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.