By Clement Murphy
16 September, 2020

An update on Fnatic Dota 2

Today, we announce that Daryl “iceiceice” Koh’s contract with Fnatic has expired and he has opted not to renew it for the following year. The choice to not renew his contract with Fnatic was made by Daryl as he gained an interest in playing for another region while extending his break.

Daryl has been the heart of the Fnatic Dota 2 roster since joining in September 2018. Since then he has been an exceptional leader and example to the team, helping us become SEA’s best Dota 2 roster. Daryl drove us to achieve TI9 qualification, a 3rd place finish at the Stockholm Major, and our 5-tournament winning streak at the start of 2020. We will miss the classic iceiceice antics

We will also immediately be releasing Nico ‘eyyou’ Barcelon from our roster. After trialing Nico for one week as captain, we have mutually agreed that it’s best for us to part ways.

With that in mind, we will once again have Sangdon ‘Forev’ Lee stand-in for us for the remainder of BTS Pro Series 3 and we will move Kenny ‘Xepher’ Deo to helm the position 5.

When we entered Dota 2 with our SEA roster we had only one ambition: to become a truly competitive force on the international stage, winning tournaments and making a deep run at TI. At the start of 2020 we were on track to fulfil that ambition, winning the Dota Summit in LA and gearing up for a great DPC season and TI qualification.

Unfortunately, while the team was in LA for Dota Summit, COVID-19 forced us to return early after ESL One LA was cancelled. As the pandemic evolved, it became clear that it would change everything for the DPC calendar and beyond. TI 2020 was postponed indefinitely, and international events were cancelled, moving to online and regional events. For our roster, built to take on the world at TI, this caused lots of issues. We had a good run of form at the start of 2020, but after that motivation and a difference in personal long term goals started to cause issues.

To tackle these issues we tried to keep the same chemistry that led us to success, giving breaks to some players, and trying to patch our issues with short term fixes or trying to put players in roles they didn’t feel comfortable in. How quick our roster changes have become recently shows that chasing that same chemistry that we had at the start of 2020 hasn’t worked. Our results at BTS Pro Series and ESL One Thailand haven’t been good enough.

We know the future of Fnatic Dota is bright. Our mission to be a successful force on the international stage hasn’t changed. We have a core of dedicated players in MooN, DJ and Raven that we are confident we can build a competitive roster around. That’s why we will be trialing new players for the offlane and hard support roles until we find the right mix of competitive profile and team chemistry.

We understand that this is a long-term rebuilding process, and we are prepared to sacrifice our short term results to create the best possible Fnatic Dota 2 roster for the future. We believe this is the right move for Fnatic Dota’s long term success, and our best possible way to become competitive at international tournaments and at TI when they return.

Thank you to all our fans for your patience and understanding. The team appreciates your support now more than ever, and we know we will return to the top of SEA very soon.

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