All Stars that are stepping back indefinitely from competitive Dota 2


We’ve had several high profile players announce they are stepping away from competitive Dota 2 or are unable to land a spot on any team currently. Let’s go over who will likely miss out the early portion of the 2024 season.

Ludwig “Zai” Wåhlberg announced an indefinite hiatus on his competitive Dota 2 career.

Zai takes a break from Dota 2 and Team Liquid

Zai announcing his retirement was the biggest news to kickstart the off-season. Since his debut in 2014, he has participated in every iteration of The International, securing a third-place finish in four of these tournaments. However, a grand final appearance eluded him throughout his career. The candid discussion post-match revealed a humorous exchange between Zai and BlitZ regarding his performance on Centaur, which seemingly nudged the decision for his departure.

Liquid’s coach, William “BlitZ” Lee, clarified the team’s position regarding player replacements after their exit from the tournament. BlitZ emphasized that there were no immediate plans to replace any player except for Zai, who decided to leave the team on his own accord.

We quickly found out Neta “33” Shapira is the replacement in one of the first announcements in the Dota 2 Roster Shuffle.

Aui_2000 decided he’s had enough for now

aui 2000 coach

Tundra Esports coach Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling decided to step back from Dota 2 and left during the Tundra Esports off-season plight. As a storied veteran and one of the best coaches to grace the scene, his decision came as a suprise to everyone in the industry. Aui is currently the only Canadian player/coach that was crowned champion at TI and lifted the Aegis.

While hes future career moves are uncertain, we speculate we will see him in a caster or analyst role in official broadcast soon.

MieRo takes a strangely unspecified break from competitive play

Matvey “MieRo” Vasyunin is by no means ready to retire from competitive play. However, soon after TI, the organization (9Pandas) placed him on the transfer list and seemingly released him from the roster. At this point he joins a long list of talented players that are seeking teams for the upcoming season.

Miero 9pandas ex

Credit: Dota 2 | The International

Meanwhile, he is going to focus on streaming and creating content right after he gets his new PC.

Mikoto entertains retirement idea, but will be back later in the 2024 season

Rafli “Mikoto” Fathur Rahman has spoken twice already about retirement and taking a break from competitive play.

mikoto nisha ti

Earlier in August, he spoke that winning TI or Riyadh Masters would likely make him consider retiring and investing the hard earned cash in more long term prospects. More recently, Talon released  their entire roster and Mikoto stated on stream that he may take a break for a few big events in the upcoming season, but does intend to return at some point.

The main reason for his break is the stressful schedule and travel pressure that competitive Dota 2 puts on one’s personal life.

Plenty of unconfirmed roster moves and stars seeking teams

We have a whole plethora of star players still taking a break or seeking new opportunities in the Dota 2 ecosystem. Heck, we don’t even know where the ex Azure Ray players (Chalice, Somnus, fy) are heading, while Planet and Ame are also seeking. Saksa is still taking a break, and almost the entire European and NA scenes are partially confirmed.

We will update our list as things become clearer after ESL One Kuala Lumpur. We expect a second mini offseason coming after this event.


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