The ESL One Stockholm Dota 2 major is getting closer and closer, and while this is really exciting for Dota fans, some teams are actually experiencing stressful times. One of those teams is Western Europe representative OG, which might end up playing the tournament missing the team captain.
The 24-year-old Russian player Mikhail “Misha” Agatov is currently facing tough times as he is most likely going to miss the first major of the year. But OG is already well-prepared for this, as Sébastien “Ceb” Debs is quite ready to stand in for Misha during the tournament.
There is also a high possibility that OG’s coach Evgenii “Chuvash” Makarov misses the event too. While we still don’t know the exact reason why Misha is having problems with his visa, knowing that Chuvash is also having troubles most likely means that their problems are related to Sweden’s policy regarding Russian citizens.
Now, while this might be the end of the world for some teams, this isn’t actually that bad for OG. Ceb is a two-time TI champion and it hasn’t been that long since he last played in a tournament. The last time we saw him was at TI10, where he finished 7th-8th place with OG. While this might be a really unfortunate situation for OG, some fans will be excited to watch Ceb back on the stage.
One of the other teams experiencing visa issues is Eastern Europe’s Mind Game. The Russian esports organization won’t be able to play with two of its players, Danil “Bignum” Shekhovtsov and Semion “CemaTheSlayer” Krivulya.
As mentioned before, we don’t know why these two organizations are facing visa issues, but it isn’t too crazy to think that these issues are related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a policy that bans male citizens between the age of 18 and 60 years of age from traveling out of the country.
On the bright side, Mind Games will be using PuckChamp support players Genadiy “Astral” Motuz and Andrey “Dukalis” Kuropatkin as their replacements in the upcoming major. Mind Games played against PuckChamp in the DPC EEU Tour 2 Playoffs quarter-finals. PuckChamp came really close to winning the series, which means that Mind Games won’t be in the worst position after all.
We are still expecting more announcements regarding stand-ins, as the teams are just making their way to Sweden. Make sure to stay tuned as the first major of the year is right around the corner.