Saksa to Tundra, Sneyking to five position… Tundra are shaking things up before their next big events.

After almost a week of speculation, Tundra Esports has officially signed Martin "Saksa" Sazdov. The four position player was widely expected to be the replacement for the recently removed Adrian "Fata" Trinks. Tundra today confirmed the signing in an official release and across social media.

The move sees Saksa join a roster for the first time since stepping down from OG in November, 2021. As OG looked to focus on a younger developmental roster, Saksa remained without a team for the first season of the DPC.

Now the Macedonian support player joins a Tundra team with its eyes on success in the DPC. And a target on the International. The squad finished third in the DPC WEU 2021/2022 Tour 1: Division I, but fell to fourth place in the Regional Finals. This meant the squad missed out on crucial DPC points.

Tundra’s New Start

Saksa's signing signals new life for Tundra (Image via Valve)
Saksa's signing signals new life for Tundra (Image via Valve)

With the signing of a new four position, existing soft support Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu has moved to five position and taken the role of Team Captain. This is a new role, and one Sneyking has less experience playing. How he transitions to the role will be crucial to Tundra’s success. 

However, Saksa’s signing represents a fresh start for Tundra. The team may have felt that an average performance in the DPC was not up to their standards. That’s certainly the opinion of the higher ups in the organisation.

Anthony Graham, Co-Founder and Esports and Operations Director of Tundra commented on the signing “We are very excited to welcome Saksa. He has already made a strong connection with the team which we believe is vital for performance. Ultimately our goal is to make it to The International and that will only happen with team synergy. Saksa brings a wealth of experience to the team and we’re hoping he can take us to the next level.”

Saksa himself was eager to share his thoughts on the future: “All of my teammates are really amazing and I think we can achieve great things together. In the short term I will be trying to understand how everything works in the team and getting used to how everyone communicates. I’m hoping to see all the practice we put in achieve good results and hopefully maybe one day win TI.”

A Bitter Taste for Tundra Fans

But the signing of Saksa comes on the back of the controversial removal of Fata. In Fata’s own explanation of his kicking, he stated that “there’s been previous attempts from players to kick [a] different player for the same player replacing me.” 

This statement sparked rumours that it was four position joining the team. Saksa was one of the main candidates in these rumours. 

What’s more, the surprise kicking of Fata came on the back of Tundra signing the roster team until 2024 in November, 2021. Some in the community felt that the kicking of Fata was in direct opposition to a move that was supposed to offer stability to their roster. 

In response to this criticism, Anthony Graham commented “We are very aware of the community’s response, especially in regards to the long-term contracts we have in place. We still believe that this offers more consistency and stability for our players that isn’t the norm in esports.“

“And as we grow as an organisation, we will continue to refine how we work with our players to try and ensure they feel supported while also looking at how we can achieve better results.”

Tundr, Saksa, and Sneyking will next be in action at GAMERS GALAXY: Invitational Series Dubai 2022. There they’ll face nine other teams from around the globe in the first international Dota 2 Lan of 2022.

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