Fnatic’s Dota 2 roster takes yet another roster shuffle
Fnatic announced yet another roster shuffle just a month after they removed Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon from their active line-up. This time, it’s Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong, who took his leave from the team after 2 years of service as the captain. Fans were devastated by the unsettling changes that Fnatic has foregone, despite looking unstoppable prior to all the online leagues and ESL One Thailand 2020.
Eyyou in, Jabz out
Early today, Fnatic tweeted that their long-serving captain, Jabz, will no longer be in their active roster. He is instead replaced by Nico “eyyou” Barcelon, who’s certainly no stranger in the Dota 2 community.
Knowing well of eyyou’s prowess as a reliable player, he seems like an adequate replacement to Jabz. However, there are definitely fans who would miss the former captain, Jabz. Additionally, the leadership vacuum left by Jabz will have to be filled. Looking back at his time in Fnatic, he has managed to make his squad participate in most majors and Internationals regularly.
Things were starting to look bright for Fnatic in 2020. Especially, after picking up the prodigious young lad, 23savage, as their carry player. Their most notable achievement of the year would be their four-time win streak during the first half of 2020, namely: The Summit 12, ESL One Los Angeles 2020, BTS Pro Series Season 1: SEA and the ESL One Birmingham 2020.
A Young Blood and an Old Veteran
A month ago, Fnatic announced that they are removing Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon in exchange for Raven from GeekFam. This came shortly after GeekFam brutally defeated them during the ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League, ending their 4-time tournament win for the 2020 season. Meanwhile, seasoned Fnatic veteran, Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang, shared that he will be taking an extended break from the pro scene. At least until the next Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season begins, which is rumored to start in early 2021.
With Lee “Forev” Sang-don standing in for iceiceice and the two recent roster changes, Fnatic has completely shifted their looks over the past few months. All of the changes have also shown in their performance and play style.
Fnatic’s Downhill Performance
There’s no denying that Fnatic is among the most recognized teams in Dota 2 and esports in general. Their recent performance has been concerning, to say the least. Jabz’s kick from the squad came after their second runner-up finish at the ESL One Thailand 2020 hints deeper problems then what we can see on the surface.
Fnatic still went on a winning spree, defeating opponents such as GeekFam, Sparking Arrow Gaming and Neon Esports in the losers bracket of ESL One Thailand. Beating their regular opponents with ease and only dropping the final is not enough to prompt player removal.
Heading into their next tournament (BTS Pro Series), Fnatic are coming in as underdogs. They dropped the ball during Season 2 of the BTS Pro Series semifinals, and to no other then BOOM Esports. The same BOOM that a few days ago eliminated Fnatic from ESL One Thailand.
Fnatic will now definitely look forward to reclaiming their SEA crown. However, they might have both the TNC Predator and BOOM Esports in their way once again.