South Korean organisation T1 announced on Wednesday (3 March) that they released Laotian carry player Souliya "JaCkky" Khoomphetsavong from their Dota 2 roster, even after he helped the team qualify for the upcoming ONE Esports Singapore Major last month.
JaCkky joined T1 in November last year, having been one of the rising stars of the Southeast Asian Dota 2 scene in 2020 as the carry player of Thai team Motivate.Trust Gaming.
He helped T1 finish in third place of the Dota Pro Circuit's (DPC) Southeast Asian regional league, becoming one of the region's three representatives in the Singapore Major. T1 will start in the Major's wildcard stage alongside five other teams from the European, Chinese, and CIS regional leagues.
With T1 still fresh from qualifying for the Singapore Major over regional rivals such as TNC Predator and BOOM Esports, JaCkky's sudden departure from the team undoubtedly comes as a big surprise.
While DPC rules allow for teams to switch out a player even after qualifying for the Major, they will be penalized by having the amount of DPC points that they can earn in the Major reduced by 20%. DPC points determine whether a team will receive a direct invite to The International (TI) at the end of the circuit.
In addition, another DPC rule states that teams who make roster changes in the middle of the circuit will have the amount of DPC points they earned prior to the roster change reduced, with the reduction depending on the number of players removed from the team.
In the case of T1, they have received a 15% reduction on the 200 DPC points they received for finishing third in the Southeast Asian regional league. They now have 170 DPC points, good for 15th in the entire circuit thus far.
There have been no public statements from JaCkky himself nor the rest of T1's Dota 2 roster regarding the carry player's surprising release.
T1 will have to find a replacement for JaCkky quickly, as the Singapore Major is set to begin on 27 March. They are also expected to participate in quarantine protocols before being allowed to stay in Singapore for the tournament, thus making their window for finding a new carry player that much tighter.
T1 could be aiming to get Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon, the biggest free agent carry player in Southeast Asia at the moment, to replace JaCkky.
23savage sat out much of the first season of this year's DPC after he parted ways with Chinese team Vici Gaming in early January.
He returned to competitive play in mid-February as a stand-in for BOOM Esports in the DPC's Southeast Asian regional league, helping the team finish in fifth place.
The Singapore Major is scheduled to be held from 27 March to 4 April as an in-person LAN event. The tournament features 18 of the best teams from the DPC's six regional leagues battling for the lion's share of a US$500,000 prize pool as well as a 2,700 DPC point pool to go towards securing a direct invite to The International 10 (TI10) in August.
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