Gambit Esports might be looking to the future with a new roster in mind. The organization is bringing in a stand-in Dota 2 player rather than recalling its current captain from another team.
For the last three tournaments, Gambit’s position five player and captain fng has been playing as a stand-in for Alliance. But instead of rejoining his original team, he has now been officially loaned out to the Swedish organization.
The difference between playing as a stand-in and being loaned out by an organization is minuscule but means a lot in the context of how Gambit is now handling its roster. In most cases, a stand-in player is a temporary substitution that’s usually only used for a single event, while a player being loaned out is viewed more as a trial player that a team is testing out for a potential spot on the roster long-term.
Gambit has not played in a tournament since April, having pulled out of WePlay! Pushka League, citing poor performances and a need to improve. Following that decision, fng was allowed to stand-in for Alliance and several other Gambit players helped out other teams throughout that event.
That didn’t really look like much considering the circumstances, but now it looks like the team might be looking to shake things up.
After officially loaning out fng to Alliance for the next two months, Gambit also benched Maxim “Shachlo” Abramovskikh to make room for two stand-ins. Shachlo has been playing with Cyber Legacy since the start of May, so it looks like this move was also going to happen regardless of fng’s situation.
Former Wind and Rain captain Vladimir “yol” Basov will fill in for fng, while Evgeniy “Blizzy” Ree is coming over from Natus Vincere’s inactive roster to play for a CIS rival.
Alliance has experienced some success after bringing fng in as the hard support to pair with S4 and the pre-existing roster. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear about Alliance looking to acquire fng on a full-time basis if the team’s success continues and Gambit is willing to make the transfer.
Overall, this entire situation seems like Gambit trying out different players in a period of uncertainty in both its own roster and the competitive Dota scene. Fng could very well be back with Gambit at the end of ESL One Birmingham Online, captaining the same roster that he left back in April.