Even after rekindling the organization throughout the last season, iG is making a big change to its Dota 2 lineup by replacing its former captain Kaka with Fade.
This is the first roster move iG has made since signing Kaka in September 2019 after he helped lead Keen Gaming to TI9. It comes as a bit of a surprise considering how much success the team had this last year.
IG was one of several teams that stood out early in the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit, coming in through closed qualifiers, dominating the first season of China’s regional league, and then reverse sweeping Evil Geniuses to win the ONE Esports Singapore Major.
The team would go on to struggle a bit in the middle of the season before ultimately rebounding and finishing fourth at The International 10, taking home $2.4 million and ending the year on a relatively high note. That was the first time iG had been to TI since TI8, where the team finished in a tie for last place. It’s also the closest the team has gotten to reaching the Aegis since winning it at TI2.
However, just hours before the roster lock for the 2022 DPC’s Winter Tour, iG announced Kaka’s contract with the organization had expired and, after a “series of friendly discussions,” he would be leaving to explore free agency.
“Over the last two years, Kaka has been a wonderful captain leading the growth of our young iG Dota team,” iG said. “In the moment of saying goodbye, all the stories from our journey together seem like only yesterday. It has been a wild ride together with all the difficulties, challenges, and happiness.”
To replace the outgoing captain, iG acquired another veteran support player with plenty of experience—Fade.
Fade spent the last year playing on an EHOME team that brought together a lot of top-level Chinese Dota talent during the huge roster shuffle that took place near the end of 2020 ahead of the DPC returning in 2021. However, the squad failed to perform to expectations during the regular season and was unable to secure a spot at TI10, losing to Elephant in the finals of the Chinese regional qualifier.
Over the last several months, EHOME has completely dismantled its roster, giving iG a chance to acquire Fade from his former team’s inactive roster once it became clear Kaka would depart.
With this move, iG has solidified its roster with flyfly, Emo, JT, and Oli for the upcoming 2022 DPC season, while Kaka remains a high-profile free agent in the waning hours before rosters lock for the Winter Tour.