Adam Erwann Shah ‘343‘ bin Akhtar Hussein has stepped down as the Fnatic Dota 2 team coach and will be replaced by Kurtis ‘Aui_2000‘ Ling for ESL One Birmingham 2018.
Fnatic announced the change to their Dota 2 roster via Facebook earlier today.
Aui_2000 As Fnatic Dota 2 Team Coach
Although part of the roster and allowed to join their teams inside the booth during the drafting stage in LAN tournaments, swapping out coaches is allowed this season. As such, Fnatic will have no penalty for the departure of 343.
343 has served as the coach of the Fnatic Dota 2 team since November of 2017. He has put his analytical mind to good use to help guide Fnatic to multiple deep runs in Dota Pro Circuit LANs. This includes second-place finishes at Dota Summit 8 and DreamLeague Season 9. He also subbed in for Johan ‘pieliedie‘ Åström at the Starladder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 Minor where Fnatic finished in the Top 4.
It is currently unknown what team 343 plans to play for after announcing that he plans on going back to becoming an active player.
His replacement, Aui_2000, is a former teammate of Fnatic’s team captain, Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy‘ Mao, and position five support player pieliedie with Cloud9 and Team NP. He also won TI5 with Evil Geniuses as their position 4 support player where he gained infamy for his play on Techies and Naga Siren. He most recently played for Digital Chaos alongside David ‘Moonmeander‘ Tan.
What’s Next for Fnatic?
Considering the depth of the competition at ESL One Birmingham 2018, the odds are against Fnatic securing at least a second-place finish. However, we can’t exactly count them out just yet. After all, up until two months ago, nobody really thought that Mineski would go on to win a Major.
In case Fnatic do miss out on a direct invite to TI8, they’ll have to go through the Regional Qualifiers. This is a scenario that could actually play to Fnatic’s advantage. Last season, Southeast Asia receive three slots for TI7, with TNC Pro Team, Execration, and Fnatic, taking them. Even if Southeast Asia gets only two slots this season, Fnatic will not have too much trouble. Their closest competition, Mineski, will likely receive a direct invite to TI8 anyway, and they have won more often than not against TNC Pro Team.
Then again, Fnatic will want to secure that TI8 invite if possible. It’ll do them a lot better if they spent the next few months preparing for Dota 2’s marquee tournament in August instead of worrying if they’ll even make there.
How well do you think Aui_2000 will do as the Fnatic Dota 2 team coach? Do you think he’ll be a huge game changer for the Southeast Asian powerhouse? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.