Fighting PandaS may have qualified for the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3, but that didn’t stop the roster from being suddenly blown up.
Carry player Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao and offlaner Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu announced their decision to step away from the team. They revealed the news on Twitter in separate posts with EternaLEnVy simply saying “I have left Fighting Pandas” while Sneyking wished the remaining players luck moving forward.
Fighting PandaS is left with the following three players:
The sudden news is both surprising and, somehow, not surprising at all.
Fighting PandaS formed following The International 2019, with EternaLEnVy bringing together a number of proven North American free agents. The team has been generally successful, qualifying for an event in each major cycle. Though it didn’t post any particularly strong placements at the MDL Chengdu Major or WePlay! Bukovel Minor, the team did look strong enough against stiff competition at both events to suggest that they could become a contender down the stretch.
But EternaLEnVy has a reputation for these sorts of moves. Though he is largely known for kicking players off of teams, he is also quick to leave teams that aren’t wildly successful. This was the case throughout the 2018-2019 season, which saw him compete with five different teams in official games.
While this fits into EternaLEnVy’s career pattern, him leaving Fighting PandaS alongside Sneyking ahead of the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Season 3 does suggest that something big is in store for him. Sneyking suggested an announcement was incoming regarding his future and Aui_200 stated on Twitch that they were leaving to play with another team.
It is unknown where they will land, but many believe that the pair will ultimately pair with Cloud9.
Cloud9 recently returned to Dota 2 with an international roster competing in the Southeast Asia region. The team was unsuccessful in its return, washing out of the open qualifiers to the ESL One Los Angeles Major.
Though the team was unsuccessful, it contains a number of former teammates of EternaLEnVy and the organization itself is large enough to woo players on a sponsorless squad away.
The pair would also comfortably fit into the Cloud9 roster, which currently stands as follows:
EternaLEnVy is more proven as a carry than Skemberlu, while Sneyking would be a definitive upgrade at the offlane position over former support player in MISERY.
EternaLEnVy and Sneyking joining Cloud9 still isn’t guaranteed at this point. Another esports organization could be looking to enter Dota 2 by building a team around the pair, or an established team with higher upside could have caught their fancy.
There’s no word on where they might land, but expect an answer to come in the near future.