Filipino Dota 2 organisation OB Esports x Neon announced on Tuesday (27 July) that they have parted ways with carry player John Anthony "Natsumi-" Vargas weeks after the team's failed to qualify for The International 10 (TI10) earlier this month.
Natsumi joined Neon in November last year for the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) following a breakout season with the now-defunct Adroit Esports. Natsumi immediately made his presence felt in Neon by helping the team finish the first season of the Southeast Asian regional league in second place and earn a spot in the ONE Esports Singapore Major in April.
However, Natsumi was unable to join the team in Singapore as he was declared "unfit to travel" at the time. Despite Natsumi's absence and the subsequent need to play with stand-ins, Neon had an incredible run at the Singapore Major and managed to finish in the Top 6.
Despite their strong showing in the Singapore Major, Neon floundered in Season 2 of the regional league and only finished in fifth place. As a result, the team missed out on the WePlay AniMajor and had to attempt to earn their spot in TI10 through the Southeast Asian regional qualifier.
Neon started the qualifier strong with a 2-0 sweep over Motivate.Trust Gaming but ended up losing their next two matches against Fnatic and Execration, thus missing out on this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament.
"Natsumi- played over 200 games [with us] and was a large reason for our success this season. It is now time for us to part ways, we wish Natsumi- all the best for his Dota career," Neon said in a post on its official Twitter account.
Neon is currently playing in the closed qualifiers of the Southeast Asian leg of BTS Pro Series Season 7 with Andrei "skem" Ong taking over the carry role vacated by Natsumi. The team has not made it publicly clear whether this switch will be permanent or temporary.
Skem was notably Neon's carry before Natsumi joined the team, after which he switched over to the position 4 support role. The team has enlisted stand-in Mark "Shanks" Redira to take over the position 4 spot for BTS Pro Series Season 7.
OB Esports x Neon roster:
Erin "Yopaj" Ferrer
Michael "Enryu" Ladines
Andrei "skem" Ong
Jaunuel "Jaunuel" Arcilla
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