Legendary Dota 2 player Clinton “Fear” Loomis will sit out Valve’s $8 million dollar super tournament due to an injury that has been plaguing his elbow, and limiting his play, for the last two months. The International, which will be held at Seattle’s Key Arena in August, is not just the biggest esports event of all time, but one of the biggest sporting events of all time period.
Loomis’ Dota career was one of three highlighted in Valve’s critically acclaimed documentary Free to Play, which was released earlier this year. The film, which was viewed over 5.5 million times in its opening weekend alone, chronicled the difficulties Loomis faced forging a career in an untested, virgining field.
What makes this news particularly heart wrenching for fans is that the Evil Geniuses squad has been in great form this year, after an underwhelming 2013. The organization failed to qualify for last year’s International. But with strong showings at recent events like Starladder IX, the ESL One qualifiers, The Summit qualifiers, and a direct invitation to the International 4’s main event, the fivesome looked like real contenders to go far.
Loomis is a Dota pioneer. He’s often been described as the poster boy for North America’s competitive Dota community, which has often been often typified as weaker and less talented than its counterparts in Europe and Asia. Evil Geniuses’ Dota player manager, and Loomis’ friend, Charlie Yang, explained:
“He’s played competitive Dota at the highest level since salaried players were a pipe dream … It takes an incredibly focused person to have put the years into Dota that Clinton has.”
As a deserved tip of the hat to Loomis, below is a one of the most iconic moments in Dota 2. Loomis, at DreamHack: Winter 2012 manages to kill all five members of the team Natus Vincere in a single swing.
Mason “Mason” Venne, who has stood in for Loomis team for last few months, will take his place at the tournament.