Steven R. March 25, 2019
Forward Gaming has shaken up its Dota 2 lineup in a big way.
After months of struggles, the organization unveiled a new Dota 2 roster that includes changes at almost every position. The new lineup was revealed on Twitter just a few days after the team was eliminated from the DreamLeague Major.
Three members of the 2018-2019 lineup have departed with Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok going inactive, Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora becoming a free agent, and Avery "SVG" Silverman retiring from competition. Arif "MSS" Anwar remains with the team, but is moved from the offlaner position to a supporting role. Yawar "YawaR" Hassan is the sole player to maintain his position, sticking around as the team’s carry.
Plugging the gaps are a number of interesting talents.
Replacing Resolut1on in the mid lane is Quinn "CCNC" Callahan. The standout player has long been a premiere mid laner, but only jumped to the top pro level last season with OpTic Gaming. When the team dissolved following The International 2018, he landed with South American squad PaiN X, which broke up after being disqualified from the Chongqing Major. Though he does not have an extensive resume, he likely marks an upgrade at the position given Resolut1on's recent form.
Filling MSS’s spot in the offlane is a returning Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu. The North American journeyman has an extensive history with the team and was a key component in its rise last season under the VGJ.Storm banner. He has struggled to find a home in recent months, bouncing from organization to organization alongside Jacky “EternalEnVy” Mao. He joins Forward Gaming on a trial basis but is likely to become the team’s full-time offlaner unless he struggles out of the gate.
Rounding out the lineup and also joining on a trial basis is Kartik "Kitrak" Rathi. The American popped onto the scene at the start of last season as a coach for VGJ.Storm and later moved to a playing role with the short-lived Animal Planet stack. He last played alongside CCNC in South America with the former PaiN X team and is hoping to find a long-term home with Forward Gaming.
The new roster has a great deal of talent but will need to gel immediately. There’s a big void near the top of the North American scene, with Evil Geniuses and J.Storm being the only serious contenders. With only two majors left before The International 2019, Forward Gaming won’t have many chances to prove itself.
The team is likely to make its debut in qualifiers to the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.