Given our recent decision to replace Ohaiyo with Universe in our starting Dota 2 roster, we want to clarify that we are regretful for the distress it has caused to Ohaiyo and our fans.
First and foremost, we are grateful to Ohaiyo for his loyalty, dedication and service to the team over the past years, ever since we entered the Southeast Asian Dota scene. He has been a part of some of the most memorable moments during our time in the game, through some big highs and periods of lows, and we will always remember them fondly.
We had carefully assessed all options and impact prior to making this big decision, but we have taken time since this weekend to reflect, learn and fully empathise with Ohaiyo for how things arose and the surprise he felt once the news was broken.
Taking our respect for Ohaiyo into account, our ultimate goal for Fnatic DOTA is to be an internationally competitive team in the long run. However, we understand that the timing of this move was regrettable and we apologise to both Ohaiyo and the fans for that. Given the events that transpired in the lead up to the change in starting lineup, we want to be fully transparent.
Which is as follows:
• Based on the information we received from Valve in late December, we expected an announcement about the next and final Dota Pro Circuit registration period after the holiday break.
• Prior to every roster transfer period, we review our team and evaluate possible changes, in order to maximise our chance of success for the remainder of the season and thereafter. This is standard across all our games, and furthermore important when the roster lock is the final one of the season.
• In our team’s evaluation occurring early January, we concluded that Universe would be a viable long term addition to our Dota 2 roster. Universe was, at this point, announced as a departed member but still formally contracted to Evil Geniuses.
• When the qualifiers started on 8th January, we remain in the dark on when the roster shuffle is beginning and, therefore, started playing in them.
• The information regarding the roster shuffle was released on 10th January and we immediately reached out to EG to make an inquiry concerning Universe’s status to explore whether he would be free to transfer, and if he had interest to represent us.
• Our team management received a positive indication from EG as well as Universe that made us confident that this addition could happen. We did, however, learn that Universe still must be formally released from EG, and, as such, may require a few days for completion. According to company policy and industry ethics, we do not confirm nor start any player that are still contracted to another organisation.
• Given the information we received from EG, we allowed Universe to begin his travel to Southeast Asia to accommodate to the timezone, and to await his formal release.
• On the evening of 12th January, we spoke to Ohaiyo concerning the matter which, we agree, was not good timing considering the recent great result. However, this is when we were most confident that we could confirm Universe as a starting replacement in compliance with Valve’s regulation.
• Universe’s formal release from EG was finalised on the morning of 13th January. Universe has since then eligible to play for us.
Given that Ohaiyo is still under contract and salaried at Fnatic and, due to his professionalism and success during the Katowice qualifier, he will win a portion of the prize money gained from ESL One Katowice. We have since and will continue to have an open conversation with Ohaiyo to help him in the next steps of his career.
Patrik ‘cArn’ Sättermon, Fnatic Chief Gaming Officer
• We are regretful for the distress the recent move has caused to Ohaiyo and our fans.
• The timing for the player change became increasingly difficult given the season’s last Dota Pro Circuit registration period and major qualifiers clashing.
• Universe was formally released from EG on 13th January and thus only eligible to play for Fnatic from that point onwards.
• Ohaiyo will receive salary while he remains contracted to Fnatic and will be rewarded with a portion of prize winnings from ESL One Katowice.
• Ohaiyo can freely explore other team opportunities, and we will do our best to help him with that.