Up-and-coming Dota 2 player Nico ‘Gunnar’ Lopez looked set to compete in the game’s Disneyland Paris Major, but a fellow teammate may have squandered his chances - and a possible family trip.
Gunnar was attending ESL One’s Mumbai event when he was asked about his travel plans for the Paris Major, which he had already qualified for.
Despite this fact, Gunnar claimed that he wouldn’t be going - much to the incredulity of the tournament’s hosts.
“I won’t,” Gunnar answered. “My family will. They’re going to the Major without me.”
“Wait - let me get this straight,” one caster replied. “Your family bought tickets to go to Disneyland and watch you play? And now they’re gonna be there and you’re not?”
Why won't Gunnar be going to the Disneyland Paris Major?
As it so happens, Gunnar had been a member of team ‘FlyingPenguins’ before getting reportedly booted from the org by teammate Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao in favor of Eric ‘Ryoya’ Dong.
Gunnar then joined team ‘TEAM TEAM,’ who later saw the addition of EternalEnvy after ‘FlyingPenguins’ disbanded, with the group going on to qualify for the Paris Major.
After qualifying for the Major, EternalEnvy kicked Gunnar from ‘TEAM TEAM’ yet again - alongside player Jason Newsham.
Dota 2's community reacts to Gunnar's dismissal
Analyst and Dota 2 pro Kyle Freedman called the situation “mind-boggling,” as stated in a heated segment during ESL One Mumbai.
“It just feels like if his team isn’t succeeding, it’s anyone’s but his fault,” Kyle said of the debacle. “...I’ve read a lot of fictional books too, but the hero of a story, they demonstrate qualities like loyalty, and honor, and faith in their friends. And I think it’s about time that a lot of you at home stop rooting for the villain.”
Freedman’s statement attracted ample attention within Dota 2’s competitive scene, with commenters across the space vehemently decrying EternalEnvy’s roster decisions and claiming that he’d managed such a scheme before, after swapping Khoo ‘Ohaiyo’ Chong Xin out for Saahil ‘Universe’ Arora on team FNATIC in 2018.
TEAM TEAM’s roster change comes just ten days ahead of the Paris Major, in what Gunnar called a “personal” issue - stating that Envy “doesn’t like” him.