Dota 2: Fnatic's captain Jabz 'shocked but pleasantly surprised' at TI11 invite

Like many others in the Dota 2 world, Fnatic's Dota 2 team were surprised to find out they had qualified for The International 11, which is taking place in Singapore this October.

The squad had lost to Beastcoast at the PGL Arlington Major, and based on calculations made by Liquidpedia, were behind by 0.5 points to make it into the top 12.

However, Valve released news of their own calculations on the Dota 2 Twitter account, which put Fnatic ahead of Outsiders.

Team captain, Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong was sleeping when the news first broke.

"I was shocked but pleasantly surprised," said Jabz. "I thought that it was just a bug on the Dota 2 website and it would be fixed later."

But Valve confirmed that Fnatic was in the final 12, and added in another tweet that the Dota 2 DPC site would "reflect the official standings for the 2021-2022 season".

Fnatic initially feeling 'devastated' before Valve's announcement

Meanwhile, Fnatic were already preparing for the regional qualifiers, since they thought they were out of the invite list.

"We were all kind of devastated. Speaking for myself, I felt a little powerless since we were in the Philippines watching the games. The moment we lost we immediately set out to plan for the qualifiers. We'd basically moved all our plans and flights around and were mentally readying ourselves for a hectic September," said Paolo Bago, the Team Director of Fnatic Dota 2.

Bago also added that Valve could have done more to communicate so as to prevent misunderstandings.

"We could all use this information, actually just all the information, up front and at the beginning of everything. While I understand that this is what they’ve been doing for years and it’s only been relevant now, it's still nice to just have it be up somewhere."

"I think laying out that 'this has always been how they’ve done things' can only be positive. I’m sure everyone would have appreciated that being communicated to in advance, however. More transparency allows for better decision-making."

(Photo: Fnatic)
(Photo: Fnatic)

Fnatic's arduous journey to TI11

Fnatic's run to qualify for The International 11 was not an easy one.

Needing to win big at the PGL Arlington Major (based on Liquipedia's calculations), the team had issues getting visas to play in the US.

Three of its players, Marc "Raven" Polo Luis Fausto, Armel "Armel" Paul Tabios, and Jaunuel "Jaunuel" Arcilla had their applications rejected. The squad ended up playing with three substitutes.

Bago managed to get a visa, but was too late to fly to the US to support the team.

He ended up watching and supporting from afar together with Raven, Armel and Januel in the Philippines. When Fnatic fell 2-1 against Beastcoast, Bago admitted that he "felt powerless".

However, with the invite now official, instead of having to participate in an incredibly stacked TI SEA qualifiers with the likes of former TI champions ana and Topson, Fnatic only need to worry about playing at ESL One Malaysia before taking a well-earned rest before TI11 starts.

Bago also had predictions to share for the qualifiers now that Fnatic don't need to play.

"It’s definitely interesting with such high profile moves for T1, and SMG. It’s doubly interesting once we factor in a patch to coincide with teams figuring out their synergies."

"In a vacuum I’d say Talon is the front-runner, but it’s definitely exciting to see how it all plays out," he said.

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