Saksa Steps Down From Tundra Esports Ahead Of TI 2023

07 Sep 2023
Tit Krajnik 07 Sep 2023
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  • Martin "Saksa" Sazdov moves to the inactive roster
  • Roster change comes one month ahead of The International 2023
  • Tundra Esports have yet to announce Saksa's replacement
Saksa Dota 2
Martin "Saksa" Sazdov of Tudra Esports (credit: via Twitter (@TundraEsports))

On Wednesday, September 6, Tundra Esports announced that the team's star player, Martin "Saksa" Sazdov, stepped down from the active Dota 2 roster. The shock announcement comes just one month ahead of The International 2023, where Tundra Esports will defend their title.

The decision to move Saksa to the inactive roster doesn't come as a big shock since the European Dota 2 squad has played with stand-ins who replaced Saksa several times this season. Each time, Saksa was replaced due to health issues, which the 28-year-old is still dealing with.

So even though making a massive roster change just one month ahead of Tundra Esports' title defence run at The International 2023 isn't optimal, it seems like Saksa isn't fit to help his team at the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year. 

It's worth noting that Saksa isn't leaving Tundra Esports and is only stepping down from the active roster.

Saksa has been with Tundra Esports since February 2022, when he joined the European Dota 2 team as a replacement for the team leader and founder Adrian "Fata" Trinks in what was then considered a very controversial move. However, it proved to be the right call.

Despite the team's slow start, Tundra found momentum at the end of the year and went on to win The International 2022 in a very dominant fashion. The European squad has dropped just one game in the playoffs and won its first TI title.

This season, Tundra Esports found way more success during the regular season. They placed third in DPC Tour 1: Division I, claimed silver in Tour 2, and won the last tour of the year. Tundra finished fourth at DreamLeague Season 19 and secured a bronze medal from Bali Major 2023.

In Bali, Tundra played without Saksa and instead fielded coach Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling, which only goes to show that even without Saksa, Tundra can perform.

Tundra has yet to announce who'll replace Saksa, nor has the player revealed how long his break will be. So, while Saksa has been moved to the inactive roster, there's still a chance he'll appear at The International 2023.