The rumors have finally been confirmed as Abed returned to the SEA region and reunited with DJ in Fnatic, but something else is missing if Fnatic were to become a championship team.
Fnatic has been in a rough patch recently. To their merit, it’s been clear that the organization behind the team is intent to make things right for every time the team falls short in a major tournament. The first time this happened was during the Post-TI7 shuffle, when their early exit in the tournament prompted an overhaul of their lineup. Ahjit, QO and Febby were released in favor of EternalEnvy, Xcalibur and pieliedie.
This lineup could be argued as an upgrade, at least on paper. But the team really hasn’t achieved so much since the change. They didn’t qualify directly to either AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT and ESL One Hamburg, but became the substitutes for Mineski and HappyFeet, respectively, when the two teams backed out of these tournaments. Despite the golden opportunity, Fnatic wasn’t able to cash in, instead losing in the very first rounds of both events.
Probably fueled by these missed opportunities, the management of Fnatic made a move again in hopes of improving the team’s chances. This time, they brought in Abed to fill in for Xcalibur, who has been relegated as a substitute player from here on out. They also welcomed the return of Adam, formerly known as 343, as the team’s new coach.
These two additions to the team will bring undeniable benefit for Fnatic. Abed has been popular all over the world as a skilled mid-laner. At a young age of 17, he could even be considered as one of the most mechanically-gifted players today. His hero pool leaves a lot to be desired still, but his mastery of heroes like Meepo, Puck and Tinker usually forces their opponents to draft around against his pocket picks. His technical skill alone makes him highly desirable for any team, and his experience playing with DJ during their stay in Execration would surely produce incredible results in the upcoming days.
Adam, on the other hand, had his own fair share of experience playing with Fnatic. He was part of Fnatic’s TI6 squad, where he, along with Ohaiyo and DJ, reached 4th place, which was the farthest the team has ever reached at The International. That incarnation of Fnatic, which also had MidOne and Mushi, were considered one of the best versions of the team. Adam’s familiarity with the playstyles of Ohaiyo and DJ, along with his experience working with the organization of Fnatic, makes him an ideal coach for the team.
However, what the team really needs right now is a seasoned captain that can call the shots effectively all the time. EternalEnvy is, without a doubt, a great player, and he has shown his skill with his stints in Team NP and Team Secret, but he hasn’t exactly been known to be a great leader. His star-studded Team NP did win a podium finish in The Manila Masters, ZOTAC Cup Masters and the DOTA Summit 7, and their accomplishments landed them a tenure with Cloud 9. However, the talent they had in Team NP could have easily won all of those tournaments if only the team had more direction in-game, more cohesiveness and better decision-making in general.
Envy had been a spectacular player, usually winning games on his own with his eccentric and balls-of-steel plays. It’s been more than a year but I still remember his play as Ember Spirit in the final match between Team Secret and Evil Geniuses in the Shanghai Major. He went all in with a Divine Rapier, selling his boots and throwing all caution in the wind and sending a squishy Ember Spirit in the middle of intense clashes. It feels as if Envy’s at his best when his crazy tactics are unleashed by his captain upon an unsuspecting enemy like a secret weapon let out the first time, letting him run loose and wild with whatever ballsy strategy he comes up with.
But such tactics don’t really work all the time. They aren’t employed so much because they come with great risks. Those strategies should only be allowed when the stakes are really high and the payoff is really good. But every team that has been under Envy worked in that kind of strategy almost all the time: taking great risks and wacky plays, regardless of how comfortable his teammates are with the idea. When you force someone to make a risky play and they hesitate for even a split-second, it will all fail – and you can’t blame his teammates not to think twice about these tactics, especially when they are usually playing as the underdogs.
Fnatic has a lot of talent in their hands right now. They have the potential to win a lot of championships under their belts. But to truly be capable of taking on the best teams in the world, they need someone to rein them all in; someone who would get the team to strategize and to regroup when they’re at a disadvantage. Someone who can effectively call the shots and know when it is the right time to unleash Envy’s balls of fury, who could fully utilize the young Abed’s potential, and work well with DJ for some well-executed ganks. Someone who could fully utilize pieliedie’s strategic feeding to the max. Someone who glue well with Ohaiyo like the same way Mushi did before. But who will step up from the current roster? Or will they need to kick yet another member in favor of the captain that they sorely need?
Neutral has been playing video games since he was a little kid. He started being competitive when he and his brother would bet favors for each other depending on who wins at the PS2 game Naruto Shippuuden. Recently he has been playing Dota2 and Animal Crossing on his revived 3DS. It is his dream to be part of the formation of the eSports version of UAAP through UP Gaming Guild’s Impetus Intercollegiate Dota2 League.
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