Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fnatic RaidCall: Did they make the right decision?

So I got my first request email a couple hours after opening the blog and it reads:

"Dear Phil,

Please talk about Fnatic and the struggles that they've encountered in DotA2, whether you think we'll see them back in HoN, what problems they're facing in DotA2, whether you think they'd make the change again if they had to redo it, etc.  

Post Edit: I added a "Bottom Line" if you don't want to read this whole wall of text...
To be quite honest, after Fnatic left HoN I really stopped keeping track of their performance. My knowledge of the subject was basically relegated to hate posts on the forums talking about how bad they were doing. After DreamHoN Online Summer Championships where they were unable to place Top 2 in Group D, they made it clear that they were not going to be focusing on HoN at all. H4nn1 himself had stated in an interview that no one on the team wanted to play two games, and from what I'd heard from the other players they pretty much had all agreed that they did not want to play HoN in any capacity. Even Era had moved past his fame in HoN and decided that DOTA was where the greener pastures lie. 

Since I knew they weren't going to be in The International 2, I basically put them any non TI2 team on the back burner during the month of September. Now that we're in October and gearing up for Dreamhack Winter 2012 however, I've started to watch a bit more of them and other teams, but frankly I don't have the knowledge to criticize what they're doing right and wrong in DOTA, it's not my game of choice. I will say that I don't feel like it's the same team playing when I watch them. I notice that Fly seems to get outdrafted at least 50% of the time, which never happened in HoN. Fly was never one of the strongest players individually in my opinion, not compared to the rest of the team at least; but he was a mastermind of Heroes of Newerth strategies. Granted it's still only been what.. 6 months since they started playing DOTA and there are always updates happening. It must be rough trying to compete with all these expectations on you in a game that you're only half comfortable with.

What I will talk about is whether or not we'll see them back in HoN and whether I think they'd make the same choice to move to DOTA if they had to do it all over again.

Well?! Will we see them back in HoN? I want to say "I don't know" but how anti-climactic would that be? Truth be told, I don't think we will. Part of the reason is definitely due to the Fnatic organization still sponsoring and believing in this group of 5 guys while they continue to provide less than stellar results. The other part is probably that they just don't want to play HoN competitively if they actually have to work at it to be #1 again, which they would. I can't really speak to how they feel personally about Heroes of Newerth, aside from Fly who on Swindlemelonzz stream prior to Dreamhack Summer 2012 had plenty of negative things to say about S2 Games and Heroes of Newerth. The entire team views the S2 design and balance team as "complete frauds." But I do believe that a couple of the players might still be interested in playing a game of HoN every now and then, maybe even competitively. So my answer to this question is No. No I do not think we will see the current Fnatic RaidCall roster playing in HoN Tour or other Heroes of Newerth tournaments. As long as Fnatic let's them play DOTA at a sub-par level, I don't think they have a reason to swtich.

Second, I 100% think they would make the same choice if it were to happen again. Fnatic was probably more in the know about HoN Tour and upcoming HoN events than any other team out there. I had meetings with Anne Matthews and Danijel (StreeTT) and traded emails with Carn pretty regularly and still the team chose to make their way out of Heroes of Newerth to DOTA 2. I don't think it's a bad thing by the way. I think they are true competitors in the fact that they don't necessarily just care about which game is going to make them the most money. If that was the case they would have stuck it out with HoN until there were no more tournaments for them to win. 
I want to break it down for everyone:

In DOTA Fnatic has made a little bit over $6,000 of which a large majority of it was from Dreamhack Valencia. 
Heroes of Newerth:
The Fnatic organization has made an estimated $93,425 from Heroes of Newerth since Dreamhack Summer 2010 and of that amount, $75,135 of it was from Dreamhack Events, $10,000 was from the GosuGamers World Cup and $4,400 was from Assembly LAN. They placed in a cash winning position in 29 cash prize tournaments, and those 7 events I just listed (5 Dreamhack events, 1 Assembly LAN and 1 GGWC) accounted for $89,535 of their winnings. That's fucking crazy.

Going back to what I was just talking about, if it were just about the money Fnatic would still be here pumping away and helping to kill off the competitive HoN scene one team at a time. In the last 4 months Heroes of Newerth has had nearly $125,000 in events (of which Fnatic snagged $32,000 on basically 3 days practice prior to Dreamhack Summer 2012) and we haven't even touched the HoN Tour money yet!

So here's my bottom line on Fnatic RaidCall:
As long as the Fnatic organization continues to sponsor these guys as a team, they have no reason to switch back to HoN. Even if Fnatic dropped them TODAY, I don't know if any of the current roster would even return, but I also do not think any other sponsor on the same level of Fnatic would pick them up considering their unreliable performance. I could possibly see Fnatic picking up a new Heroes of Newerth squad with HoN Tour about to take place, but only if there is a team out there who can consistently compete to be the #1 team in HoN which, as I posted a couple days ago, isn't the case as long as Complexity keeps playing the way they are. Fnatic has a reputation as being the best in Heroes of Newerth and it would be a terrible idea to tarnish it with a team that can't win. 


  1. nice posts, thanks for investing the effort. keep them coming

  2. Nice read, keep them coming

  3. Very nice read Phil, keep it up!

  4. Nice reed indeed, thanks!

  5. Loving the blog Phil. Its nice to see a no fluff approach to the fnatic topic!

  6. nice read phil keep it up... can u make a post why u got fired by S2 and what really went down ?

    1. Hey Anon,

      Eventually I will make a post about that subject but it won't be until after I make a final decision on whether or not I want to stay in gaming.

    2. okay just take your time..

  7. Yeah I think you posted this blog a bit premature, seeing that they are doing very well now. The reason for poor performance has more to do with the quality of dota 2 players in the dota scene compared to that of HoN. they just needed more practice and improve thier skill level to match the rest of the dota scene they have the dedication and will to win. But you are right they will not return to HoN and I dont see Fnatic dropping them anytime soon nor do they have reason to do so.

  8. Considering this blog was written 5 months ago, I would say you're a little late on the response. It's easy to be correct when in hindsight.