Steven R. September 16, 2020
The massive roster shuffle that’s sweeping China's Dota 2 secene has seemingly reached the shores of the Southeast Asia region.
Fnatic has announced a major change to its Dota 2 roster, splitting from Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang after two years due to the expiration of his contract. With that change, Fnatic is also dropping newly added captain Nico "eyyou" Barcelon after just one week.
“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...We will miss the classic iceiceice antics,” Fnatic said in a statement.
The statement also noted that the reason behind the breakdown came when iceiceice “gained an interest in playing for another region while extending his break.” This suggests that the Singaporean player could be looking to return to China. iceiceice competed in China from 2013 to 2016, playing with Team DK, Vici Gaming, and EHOME before returning to the SEA region with Team Faceless and later Fnatic.
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There’s no shortage of possible landing spots for iceiceice as Chinese teams has been shifting in a big way over recent weeks. Though former homes Vici Gaming and EHOME have recently finalized new rosters, there are plenty of other teams hunting for new players. Even if iceiceice can’t come to terms with a Chinese team, there’s also plenty of possible landing spots in Southeast Asia and elsewhere abroad.
Fnatic also suggested that iceiceice is still looking to take a break into 2021, though this won’t be confirmed until iceiceice speaks further on his next move.
Fnatic splitting with iceiceice impacts newly signed eyyou
Alongside the news of iceiceice’s departure is a change in the math when it comes to Fnatic’s newly added support player eyyou. eyyou was added just a week ago at the expense of Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong to fill the leadership void left by iceiceice going on hiatus.
Fnatic suggested that it was dissatisfied with eyyou’s abilities in this regard, saying “after trialing Nico for one week as captain, we have mutually agreed that it’s best for us to part ways.”
For the time being, Lee "Forev" Sang-don will continue standing in for the team as its offlaner while former Geek Fam support Kenny "Xepher" Deo will fill eyyou’s spot. It’s possible that this is functionally a trial run for the duo, but Fnatic will have no shortage of options when it comes to filling the holes in its lineup.
Geek Fam recently dropped its entire roster while T1 is also starting to lose players. There are also a number of veteran free agents up for grabs as well as younger talent that could have the makings of a star. The size and spending power of the Fnatic organization should guarantee that the team fields a team that remains a serious contender in Southeast Asia.