One of Dota 2’s most beloved and talented players is finally returning to action after a debilitating wrist injury. Clinton “Fear” Loomis will rejoin the Evil Geniuses squad after missing almost three months, including the game’s most prestigious and lucrative tournament.
Loomis joined Evil Geniuses—one of the largest and most successful esports organizations in the world—shortly after the first ever International, the annual mega tournament for Dota 2 run by Valve, the game’s developer. Throughout their early history, the team found mixed results. But Loomis remained a staple of the squad. In 2012 and 2013, various versions of Evil Geniuses found occasional success, but never broke into the top echelons of play.
During this time, Loomis’s storied career saw pairings with other International participants, including Per Anders “Pajkatt” Olsson Lille of Mousesports, Sam “Bulba” Sosale of Team Liquid, and and Jimmy “Demon” Ho, formerly of Team Liquid.
In 2014, Loomis briefly left Evil Geniuses to form a team of superstars and overlooked players. With strong carry play from Babaev, veteran leadership in Saahil “Universe” Arora, and game-changing support play from former Heroes of Newerth players Ludwig “Zai” Wahlberg and Peter “PPD” Dager, the squad, then called “SADBOYS”, won their first title without surrendering a single game to their opponents.
Shortly thereafter, Loomis rejoined the Evil Geniuses fold when the organization signed SADBOYS. The team then won the MLG TKO America tournament, only dropping three games total across four phases of play. It was during this time that Evil Geniuses developed their signature style of play, involving diverse and unconventional hero selection, patient and calculated moves, and sensational supporting play from Dager and Wahlberg.
After some time, the team began to use stand-in player Mason “Mason” Venne on a more frequent basis. During that time, Loomis revealed that carpal tunnel was making it difficult for him to maintain a rigorous practice and competition schedule.
On May 28, Evil Geniuses made the shocking announcement that Loomis would be sidelined until after the year’s most important competition: The International 4. Venne took his place in the interim as Loomis’s health was evaluated. The news was a tragic blow to a player that had given several years to the game he loved: The prize pool for the tournament was a record-breaking $11 million. Even without Loomis, the squad finished in third place, taking home over $1 million.
However, rumors continued to circulate regarding Loomis return, as the organization had officially placed him on “injured reserve” instead of releasing him outright.
A recent interview with Babev on news site JoinDota, and comments made by Wahlberg, have helped put those rumors to rest. When pressed on the matter, Babaev confirmed that Loomis is playing for the team. Wahlberg expanded on this comment while chatting with viewers on Twitch, stating that he and Loomis would switch roles depending on what was strategically advantageous. These comments suggest not only that Loomis is returning, but that the team squad is very much looking to use his extensive experience and talent.
There are treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, but no medically agreed-upon cure. So Loomis’s longevity remains in question. Regardless, his return is an auspicious event for a fan base that is hungry for a championship—even if that might still be a year away.