Esports powerhouse Fnatic announced on Friday (10 February) that it would be dropping its Southeast Asian Dota 2 roster and temporarily withdrawing from the game's competitive scene.
Fnatic's decision to exit the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) came after the team finished at the bottom of Southeast Asia's Winter Tour regional league with a 1-6 record, which relegated them to Division II for the Spring Tour.
The organisation said in a statement that their withdrawal from Dota 2 was a "difficult but necessary decision".
"Recently we have been forced to reflect on the sustainability and future of the title for Fnatic, and ultimately, to make a difficult but necessary decision to temporarily withdraw from the Dota 2 Pro Circuit," said Fnatic.
After reflecting on the sustainability of our DOTA 2 roster, we've made the difficult decision to temporarily withdraw from the title.
Above all, we want to thank the ever-passionate SEA audience and all players and staff that have supported us with the title. Read more:
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) February 10, 2023
Team Director Paolo Bago revealed in a Twitlonger that another factor for the organisation's withdrawal was the worsening economic situation in the West.
While Fnatic fielded a Southeast Asian team for Dota 2, the organisation is based in the United Kingdom.
"By now news of Fnatic's exit would have been announced. It has been exactly one week since I was informed that due to the economic downturn in the western market and the looming recession placing pressures on not only Fnatic, but many other companies inside the space and outside it, that the company would be dropping Dota 2 to focus on other ventures and to reduce losses," said Bago.
"It's no secret that esports is still inherently unstable, with Dota 2 being even more mercurial compared to other titles. The road to [The International] is brutal on players and hostile towards orgs."
With its withdrawal from the scene, Fnatic added that they are working on securing a new home for its players and staff before it formally exits the DPC.
The team's last tournament will be the Southeast Asian edition of BTS Pro Series Season 14, which will conclude on 16 February.
"We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the players, staff, and members who have been a part of this incredible journey, alongside our incredible fanbase who have made our journey in the SEA region so special," said Fnatic.
Djardel "DJ" Mampusti, Fnatic's star support player and longest-tenured member, also said that his time with Fnatic "will always be an important part of my life."
"I will always be thankful for the opportunity and support given to me by Fnatic for the past 8 years. It’s my pride and joy to be part of one of the best esports organisations in the world. For me, Fnatic will always be an important part of my life and I wish them nothing but good luck for their future endeavours," said DJ.
Fnatic first entered the Dota 2 scene back in 2011 with a little-known Serbian team.
It then became one of the top organisations in Europe, fielding legendary players such as Johan "N0tail" Sundstein and Tal "Fly" Aizik, among others, before a brief hiatus in 2014.
Fnatic returned to Dota 2 in 2015 when it moved to Southeast Asia and acquired Team Malaysia, with DJ joining the roster in August of that year.
Since its move to Southeast Asia, Fnatic has competed in every iteration of TI, Dota 2's annual world championship tournament, as well as in 17 Majors. The organisation also boasts a fourth place finish at TI6, Southeast Asia's highest placement in any TI since Orange Esports' third place finish at TI3.
With its withdrawal from Dota 2, Fnatic's remaining active esports teams include its League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, VALORANT, Halo, Rainbow Six: Siege, FIFA, and Apex Legends rosters.
Outgoing Fnatic Dota 2 roster:
Kim "Gabbi" Villafuerte
Armel "Armel" Tabios
Damien "kpii" Chok
Djardel "DJ" Mampusti
Jaunuel "Jaunuel" Arcilla
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