After winning a spot at the upcoming ESL One Katowice, Fnatic offlaner Khoo Chong Xin or “Ohaiyo,” was immediately kicked out of the team in the post-qualifier pizza party celebration.
ESL One Katowice is a DOTA 2 major tournament with a prize pool of $1 million (approx RM4 million). Despite winning a qualifying spot along with the team, Ohaiyo was left devastated and feeling manipulated.
Ohaiyo took on Facebook to expressed his lament. In the public post, he said that he’s “not upset about being replaced,” but rather the way Fanatic chose to do it. He felt like he was “being used by my teammates for their own benefit.”
He claimed that his teammates knew about the move prior to the qualifying match against TnC and his replacement, former Evil Genius offlaner Saahil “Universe” Arora, actually arrived in Malaysia a day before the match.
Instead of going with Universe in as the new roster immediately, Fnatic decided to use Ohaiyo.
“This is how cruel they are, no matter the tournament win or lose, I will be replaced,” said Ohaiyo.
“They could just replace me once Universe is here, but not after we got the slot to ESL One Katowice,” adding that the team shouldn’t be qualified after pulling out such gimmick.
Upon hearing the news, Fnatic fans and other professionals were not pleased—especially when the team’s captain Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao has frequently been in the center of controversy at team changes.
Ohaiyo’s former teammate Chai Yee Fung or “Mushi” said that “I believe people don’t hate Fnatic because they change its players [but] because of the way that how they changed player. Ohaiyo is an understanding and mature guy; if the team told him before the qualifiers about the roster change and asked for Ohaiyo’s help, I’m sure Ohaiyo will agree to help.”
Mushi also said that avid DOTA players would know that Universe fits EterneaLEnVy’s playstyle better and after much thought, he understood the decision as the new roster lock rule by Valve is something irreversible upon phase one deadline (Jan 22).
Kenchi Yap, co-founder of Mushi’s current team, Mineski, also came out to defend Ohaiyo.
“[In my opinion] 8pm win qualifier and 10pm say you are kicked/fired without doing anything wrong was so [unfair] for Ohaiyo,” posted Kenchi on Facebook along with a series of conversation screenshots with Ohaiyo and Fnatic’s manager, Eric Khor.
As a good friend, Kenchi rebuked Eric at length saying that he is blinded by the job and money.
When announcing Universe’s as part of the new roster, Fnatic’s Chief Gaming Officer Patrik “cArn” Sättermon commented on the issue, saying that Ohaiyo will be getting a share of the prize money at the end of the tournament despite not entirely involved in the run.
- Fnatic had been thinking about replacing Xcalibur and Ohaiyo since October. Apparently, this was discussed as a team then including with Ohaiyo.
- Fnatic was considering kicking Pie for someone else at one point too, but Envy told them not to because they hadn’t given Pie any warning that he wasn’t performing well enough and needed to improve unlike the situation with Xcalibur and Ohaiyo.
- Envy, DJ, and Abed all wanted to replace Ohaiyo after the Summit. They first asked Zai and Moo if they wanted to join Fnatic before Universe became available, but neither wanted to leave their teams.
- The team didn’t tell Ohaiyo that he was going to be kicked ahead of time because they couldn’t be certain Universe was for sure joining the team until he was there and because they wanted to ensure it didn’t hurt Ohaiyo’s performance in his remaining games with the team. Envy says it is morally wrong, but as a captain, he feels he owes it to his team to not potentially jeopardize their performance by telling him ahead time.
- Universe only arrived at Envy’s house “0.75” days before they played the finals of the Katowice qualifier and then kicked Ohaiyo. They didn’t have him play since he had just arrived and was recovering from the travel.
- Particularly, Envy says Mineski’s CEO talked to Ohaiyo and stirred things up a bunch on social media about the issue, even to the point that Mushi apologized to Fnatic about what the CEO was doing.
- Envy says it’s “too hard not to” care about Reddit/people’s opinion on him, but nothing’s going to change in his life because of people’s opinions on him currently.