Team Heretics give MiniBoo a break amid health concerns ahead of Masters Shanghai

Team Heretics give MiniBoo a break amid health concerns ahead of Masters Shanghai
Image via Riot Games

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


14th May 2024 14:40

Team Heretics has announced that their player Dominykas "MiniBoo" Lukoševičius will not be attending the upcoming Masters Shanghai event. The decision follows what the team describes as signs of burnout, anxiety, and overall exhaustion in the young player.

Despite their recent success, finishing second in the VCT EMEA, the team states they are prioritising MiniBoo's well-being over immediate competitive goals.

Alleged signs of burnout

A few weeks ago, Team Heretics reportedly identified signs of burnout in MiniBoo. Since then, they claim to have been closely monitoring his condition. According to the team, unfortunately, there hasn't been sufficient improvement.

"Focusing entirely on the players' well-being, no game or event will ever be more important than the health of any member of Team Heretics," the team stated, opting to give MiniBoo a break from competition.

As a result, MiniBoo will not be travelling with the team to Masters Shanghai. The 18-year-old Lithuanian is still finishing his education while pursuing a pro career, requiring the player to balance between both his school work and his pro career.

In a message to fans, MinoBoo appeared to be on board with the decision, thanking Heretics for "this opportunity to take a breath and do things one by one." Reflecting on his recent struggles, he concluded that "esports will never ever be more important than your health" while explaining that he's looking to finish his exams and return to the game afterwards.

Impact on the team's plans

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The decision arrives at an inopportune time for Heretics. Masters Shanghai is set to begin on May 23, and the team recently secured direct qualification by finishing second in the VALORANT Champions Tour in the EMEA region. Their narrow 2-3 loss to Fnatic in the final on May 12 highlighted their potential.

Despite the excitement surrounding their qualification, the team states they are focused on building a sustainable and healthy environment for their players. The team plans to continue working with MiniBoo during his absence to ensure his mental health improves.

Team Heretics requests the community to support MiniBoo by giving him the time and space needed to rest and recover. The absence of MiniBoo means that the team will be competing in Shanghai with a revised roster.

The organization plans to announce the full roster lineup for Masters Shanghai soon. Given the limited talent pool available to Heretics and the visa for the event requiring a quick solution, an announcement for a stand-in for MiniBoo is expected soon.

Team Heretics had already competed at an international event with Masters Madrid this year, finishing the event in 7th/8th place after a loss to Paper Rex. During the VCT EMEA playoffs, the team showed great form, entering the Grand Final from the upper bracket, though losing the rematch against Fnatic. 

Sascha Heinisch
About the author
Sascha Heinisch
Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.
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