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Nine leaves Tundra Esports to take ‘extended break’ from competitive Dota

One The International champion is leaving the stage.

Leon “Nine” Kirilin, formerly Tundra Esports midlaner and support, is leaving Tundra Esports following The International 2023, pointing to a need to take a break “from all the traveling and stress of playing.”

The Western European organization confirmed Nine’s departure this morning, calling the 25-year-old’s time at Tundra “nothing short of legendary.”

Tundra Esports entered TI12 as its defending champions and kicked off the tournament with a stellar 8-0 group stage performance. The team was unable to continue its momentum in its seeding decider, however, and lost to nouns, which sent them to the lower bracket in a matchup with Entity. Another 2-0 loss sealed their fates, with Tundra ending their title defense in the bottom half of the competition.

nouns disbands following top eight finish at The International 2023

Dota 2’s newest hero is bringing the circus to town

Nine leaves, Tundra Esports Dota 2 roster without a support once more

Credit: Valve

Oliver “skiter” Lepko

Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen

Neta “33” Shapira

Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu

Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling (coach)

Nine, who won TI11 with Tundra as the team’s midlaner and established himself as a formidable player with an off-meta hero pool, recently deputized at position four at recently-concluded TI12 following Martin “Saksa” Sazdov’s extended break for health reasons.

Nine confirmed on his personal social media that he would be taking a break from competitive Dota, calling the past two years “the most stressful” period of his life.

“It’s time to chill a bit and live life just the way I want to,” the player wrote. “I will come back eventually when I feel ready, if that is what I want.”

Tundra — now two down from its TI11-winning roster — enters the new season without a position four support once again and will be looking to complete its roster before ESL One Kuala Lumpur in December next year.