Following our Heroes of Storm team's victory at Gamescom, Team Dignitas player Alexander Grumstrup a.k.a. AlexTheProG informed the management and his team of his desire to retire from competitive gaming. After several days to think it over, he remains confident in his decision. In his own words:
"The thought of retiring from the game has been on my mind for quite some time, and I think now is the right time for me to leave. I slowly started to have doubts about pro gaming before I joined Team Dignitas, because I didn't enjoy playing as much as I once did, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity to play with some of the best players in Europe. I thought that I would easily be able to love the game and get my passion back if I was winning - especially if we would qualify for BlizzCon - but nothing really changed with the victories, only me getting more burnt out from the game and the huge amount of stress from the pressure to perform.
I feel sad leaving before a tourney like BlizzCon, but I don't even think I would have the mindset to practice hard and lead the team in-game to be the best in the world. Thanks to my team mates for understanding my decision, it has been awesome playing with you guys! Also a big thanks to Team Dignitas (especially MepH and ODEE) who have supported us with everything we needed to get results."
- AlexTheProG "Alex did not have an easy start to his time in Team Dignitas. He came to the team when we were the best team in Europe, having just won the first Summer Regional without dropping a game, but our first tournament with him was nothing short of a disaster. There was a huge amount of negativity from the community as a result of this, focussed not only on the team but also on Alex. Not once did he falter in his 100% commitment to improving himself and the team.
We brought in Alex for his determination and his shotcalling, and he did not let us down at Valencia or Gamescom, despite his own personal struggles. We as a team, and myself as a captain have nothing but respect for what Alex gave to the team, and we will carry the momentum that he gave us forward into the Global Championship at Blizzcon."
- DIG Bakery
We respect Alex's decision and value his well-being above all other considerations. We have released Alex from his pro player contract with us, and wish him all the best. He also has our gratitude for his efforts within the team, including helping our Heroes team win two European championships.
Alex's final trophy at Gamescom 2016
An Old Friend
As we prepare for BlizzCon, we were now tasked with finding a world class tank player to replace Alex in his position. Immediately our first candidate was Lawrence 'Athero' Harper, who played with Bakery and Snitch in an earlier iteration of our roster and is a close friend of the team.
We have come to an agreement with Team Liquid and Athero is transferring to Team Dignitas for an undisclosed fee. Please welcome him back to Team Dignitas!
"I'm really excited to be back under the Team Dignitas banner. Firstly I'd like to give a shoutout to Team Liquid for having me and being such a friendly and helpful organisation. However, when given an opportunity like this, I would be silly to refuse stepping in and helping out my old friends. For me now it's time to knuckle down and get a lot of practice in to make sure that DIG has the best possible showing for BlizzCon."
- DIG Athero "The void that Alex left had to be filled with not only a strong mechanical tank, but also a main rotational shotcaller. This isn’t an easy position to fill by any means, but we are confident that we have found the player for it. Athero has played with Team Dignitas before, back when we were world finalists at Blizzcon, and I am sure that he is the only player that can fulfill the role we need.
As for how this will affect our chances at BlizzCon, it's very hard to say, but I can assure our fans that this has not damaged our desire to win, and every single one of us will give everything for a chance to win it all."
- DIG Bakery
Athero at BlizzCon 2015