Adam “343” Shah will be playing in place of pieliedie for StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5.
This late into the season, Fnatic is not afraid to try new things out if it means improving their gameplay. For the upcoming StarLadderÂ Minor, the team will be relegating pieliedie to the sub role while their coach 343 comes in to play as the game’s hard support. This comes as an effort for the team to have better shotcalling discipline and cohesion.
According to Fnatic’s Facebook post, the move is only temporary. Although it is still unclear what the long term plan of Fnatic is for their roster, we might still see pieliedie moving in back with the team as soon as the Minor is over. It’s highly unlikely for Fnatic, who currently stands 11th in the leaderboards with 884 Qualifying Points, to add or remove players in their roster. Doing so would disqualify them from a Direct Invite. Winning the Minor might give Fnatic the confidence they need to stick together until the end. However, if the team still don’t produce any results soon, the organization might decide to try their chances in the Qualifiers instead with a rebuilt lineup that has a stronger chance of winning.
Whatever happens, however, pieliedie will have to return to his role in Fnatic and replace 343 for the team to be eligible to be directly invited to TI. The whole matter of using subs can also be raised in contention, as subs are only allowed during the tournaments themselves, when emergency arises, not in between events. There are no recognized registered subs in the Dota Pro Circuit ruleset. It is therefore unclear how this move by Fnatic will affect their chances in TI.
With Mineski nearly securing a slot in The International 8, the SEA Qualifiers will have one less gatekeeper in it. Throughout the season, Fnatic, Mineski and TNC Pro Team have been trading places in winning the regional qualifiers of different Majors and Minors. Consequently, the three teams are the only teams in the region to have any Qualifying Points.
This won’t be the first time 343 will be playing for Fnatic, having previously played with the team for almost half a year as their support in 2016. 343’s latest tenure as a player was as an offlaner for the SEA team Fire Dragoon E-sports, where he played until November last year.