Despite making history at The International 2022 by becoming the first South American team to finish in the top six at the Dota 2 tournament, Thunder Awaken have lost Herrera “Darkmago” Gonzalo – one of their core players.
The solo mid made the announcement on his Facebook page as the tournament draws to a close much later, with Tundra Esports going up against Team Secret in the grand final.
“Well first of all I want to tell you that I take the time to read all the posts and whether good or bad help me grow as a professional and person, the truth is I always dreamed of this lifestyle which is gaming, and getting so far is something wonderful, I went through many happy moments as well as sad from which I knew how to get up with the support of my loved ones, friends, fans, haters etc,” Darkmago wrote.
“The performance we gave was not bad but it was not the expected for us we thought to go further and win, but in part it was a good experience and will help us a lot in the future, I am very pleased to have met all my teammates or what in the little time they became great friends for me, especially my baby girls: Sacred and Pakazs it’s time to take separate paths, I hope everything goes well for you all and successes in everything you do aya thank you for so much support and sorry for so little.
“I’ll come back strong “And you don’t die who leaves, only you die who forgets. Have a nice day.”
Darkmago played a crucial role in the Thunder Awaken’s run in the TI11, helping them in securing an upper-bracket spot in the playoffs and a high-profile victory over the Evil Geniuses. Having swept EG, TA were guaranteed a top-six position in the standings, becoming the first South American Dota 2 team to attain this feat.
During the TA run, Darkmago stood out amongst his teammates and had the spotlight in most of the games he made appearances in. A demonstration of his dominance was seen in the team’s outing against Team Liquid, where he recorded the sixth-ever Rampage using his Ember Spirit. However, Thunder Awaken lost the game, which led to their eventual exit from the tournament.
The TA roster has only been a team since October 2021, although some had previously played together at Incubus Gaming. In his exit post, Darkmago referenced some of the teammates he denoted as his friends, Crhistian “Pakazs” Casanova and Rafael “Sacred” Yonatan. While he wished them the best, he stated that it was time for them to go their separate ways.
Darkmago’s post did not contain the reasons behind his decision to leave the franchise, nor did he share his next destination. It could, however, be linked to ongoing contract negotiations, with him possibly getting a better offer from another franchise.