Saksa’s illness returns forcing him to leave Riyadh Masters early. Aui_2000 will step in for the rest of the tournament.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Tundra Esports support player, Martin "Saksa" Sazdov, will be leaving Riyadh Masters 2023 mid-groupstage. The reigning TI champions will instead compete with their coach.
Tundra announced on Twitter that Saksa will fly back home a day after [July 23]. Once again, coach Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling will step in for the remainder of the tournament.
This occurred on the fourth day of the group stage on July 22. Previously, Saksa had to pull out from Bali Major for a similar reason. However, there has been no information indicating what illness Saksa is suffering from.
A high-value tournament at stake
Some may argue that Tundra Esports will not be at their full power without their star position four. In a high stakes tournament that offers an exorbitant prize, Tundra wish they still have Saksa for the rest of Riyadh Masters.
That said, they have been down this road before. When Aui_2000 stood in for Saksa at Bali Major, Tundra still made it all the way to the third place which showcased the strength of the team even when not in their prime form. It also highlighted Aui_2000's ability as a player even after retirement from competition.
Unfortunately, Tundra has been struggling in the first two days of the Riyadh Masters group stage. They incurred a loss against BetBoom Team and tied withTalon Esports, which placed them at bottom three of their group. Although they are not in danger of elimination just yet, Tundra need to pick up some wins in order to continue in the tournament.
Immediately after their announcement on Saksa's departure, Tundra Esports will face Shopify Rebellion for their third group stage match on July 22, 5:00 a.m. PST.