Fnatic have formally announced their Dota 2 roster for the upcoming competitive season, bringing in three American and European players into the SEA region. Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao and Johan "pieliedie" Åström have been brought in from Team NP/Cloud9, and Steve “Xcalibur” Ye has been brought back in from Europe to rejoin the organization.
Jacky Mao, hailing from Canada, brings in the most attention out of any of these players as a North American pub star, famous for his streaming and team-switching as much as any other core in the scene. He garnered fame after jumping ship from European powerhouse Team Secret and forming his own NA squad, Team NP.
Brought into Fnatic as well from that team is Åström, who joined NP briefly before the TI7 Qualifiers. Soon after his move onto NP, the org was picked up by Cloud9 for The International 7, where they fell in the first round of the lower bracket.
Meanwhile, Steve “Xcalibur” Ye is a European core who’s found mixed success but great potential on a variety of teams. A professional player since 2014, he’s been active in the tier-two circuit for such teams as Team Tinker and PPD’s recent pickup squad Crescendo, plus listed as a sub for OG both during their Monkey Business and TI6 days. This iteration of Fnatic could be his first formal venture into what may become a tier-one team.
These experienced players join two of Fnatic’s veteran players that led Fnatic through their recent TI7 run. Choing Xin “Ohaiyo” Khoo, a Malaysian offlaner, played for the likes of EHOME in 2015, MUFC in late 2012, and Orange Esports during their TI3 run.
Filipino support Djardel Jicko B. "DJ" Mampusti is formerly of Execration earlier this year and the TI6 Fnatic squad, which took fourth place at the massive event.
The full roster is as follows:
- EternaLEnVy (Jacky Mao, NA)
- DJ (Djardel Jicko B. Mampusti, SEA)
- pieliedie (Johan Åström, EU)
- Ohaiyo (Chong Xin Khoo, SEA)
- Xcalibur (Steve Ye, EU)
Their first appearance as a team is not known at the time of publication.
Rebuilding after the crash
The majority overhaul comes after disappointing results at The International 7, where they failed to get past the group stages to attend the main event.
“It’s no secret that results didn’t go the way we had hoped in Seattle,” they explained to fans in the announcement. “Yes, it was a big achievement to even make it to the event, but to crash out in the group stage was not the standard that Fnatic fans have come to expect.”
“At our core, the pairing of Ohaiyo and DJ was always incredibly important to lock down. They forge a solid foundation for the roster, both in their world class ability and in significance to the Fnatic legacy.”
In the write-up, Fnatic officially announced the release of the rest of their roster: Lai Jay “Ahjit” Son, Kim “Febby” Yong-min and Kim “QO” Seon-yeop.