Fnatic’s top star is set to take a break, but the team has brought in a more than capable substitute.
Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang is going to be taking a short break from professional Dota 2 competition. In his place, Lee “Forev” Sang-don will be standing in for the team. The news was revealed by Fnatic on Twitter:
We have been invited to the @ESLDota2 #ESLOne Thailand ????????
However, we will be playing without @iceiceicedota as takes a break until the restart of the DPC. Filling our offlane role for this tournament will be @DotaFoREv.
???? Let’s play some Dota! pic.twitter.com/Arnm1K1BJy
— FNeyTIC (@FNATIC) August 12, 2020
Forev is a familiar name to Dota 2 players around the world. The South Korean star has played on a number of top teams from various regions, finding his greatest success with MVP Phoenix before having short stints with the likes of Team Secret and Digital Chaos.
His most recent gig was a return to Korea with T1. The organization known for its renowned League of Legends team entered into Dota 2 at the start of the season, bringing in a revolving door of players around Forev. This netted poor results for much of the season until its roster began to gel in May.
Though T1 looked promising, Forev abruptly split off from the organization in July. This will be his first time playing for a different organization since leaving T1 and may serve as something of a tryout as the scene enters into its next roster shuffle.
금일부로 T1 DOTA2에서 활동한 Forev 이상돈 선수와 상호협의하에 계약을 종료하게 되었습니다. 이상돈 선수의 새로운 도전을 응원합니다.
Today we part ways with Forev. We highly appreciate his contribution to the team and wish him all the best.#T1WIN #T1Fighting pic.twitter.com/heiTyjDYvK
— T1 (@T1) July 30, 2020
Fnatic surging in SEA, but iceiceice stepping back
Iceiceice has been Fnatic’s starting off laner since the start of the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season. While he has been a member of the team for a long while now, Fnatic only hit its peak in recent months. The online league era has seen Fnatic take over as the clear best team in Southeast Asia, winning a slew of regional leagues including ESL One Los Angeles, ESL One Birmingham, and the first BTS Pro Series.
Though the team hasn’t been forced to travel, Fnatic has still been very active during the summer. This has seen the team juggling multiple leagues at a time on some occasions. That volume of action has worn on many players over the last few months, and iceiceice could well be among that lot.
Fnatic is set to compete without iceiceice at ESL One Thailand and at any other tournament between now and the return of the Dota Pro Circuit. No specific date has been given for when the new DPC season will arrive, but it will likely be in either late September or October.