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On April 23, Team Liquid’s Twitter announced that Samuel “Boxi” Svahn will be taking an extended leave from the team and will be replaced by TI champion Syed “sumaiL” Hassan.

“Please send your support to [Boxi] and his family, and to [suma1L] as well for stepping in while Boxi is on leave,” the tweet said.

The statement also said that Boxi is “taking time off of Dota to be with his family.” There is currently no timeline for his return. The Team Liquid Dota 2 roster has not changed in over 2 years, since they were signed with Alliance. 

What does this change for Team Liquid? 

The addition of SumaiL brings up the question of whether this was a planned change by Team Liquid, or an emergency situation that forced their hand to find another player on short notice. SumaiL has typically been a Carry or Mid player throughout his career, so it is unlikely that he will take Boxi’s spot as Team Liquid’s offlaner. It would not be out of the realm of possibility to see players role-swap in order to accommodate SumaiL into the fabric of the team. As of right now, Liquipedia has SumaiL listed as a mid/offlane player. It will be interesting to see what position he actually takes on for the team. 

The change in player will bring with it a completely different playstyle for Team Liquid, as they will no longer have access to Boxi’s large range of bulky initiators such as Centaur Warrunner, Slardar and to an extent Timbersaw. What they are trading in solid initiation, they hopefully gain in the experienced carry play of SumaiL. What Team Liquid do have going for them is their strength of schedule for the next two weeks. They play Hellbear Smashers and Brame in week 3 and Tundra esports in Week 4. Two out of the three teams on the list are at the bottom of the standings and Brame has some veterans, but is still an unproven team coming out of the Lower division. There is a good chance that Team Liquid come out of this shake-up relatively unscathed.