Iceiceice confirms: Black is out
While several sides in competitive Dota struggle to field a consistent lineup, one Eastern squad is making a major change after earning silver in the second-highest paying tournament in esports history.
Daryl Koh "Iceiceice" Pei Xiang confirmed in a Reddit AMA this morning that Dominik "Black" Reitmeier will no longer wear the black and green of Vici Gaming just days after the squad surrendered the Dota 2 Asia Championships title to Evil Geniuses.
The decision marks the end of a grand experiment for the Eastern Dota house. By combining a prolific Western talent with strong support in the form of Xu "FY" Linsen and Lu "Fenrir" Chao, Vici Gaming became an immediate favorite, winning the ESL One New York tournament in October of 2014. The team repeatedly challenged Newbee for the top spot in China and capped off 2014 with a win at The Summit 2 in December.
However, the Dota 2 Asia Championships grand final became a portrait of the team's underlying flaw: language. While Reitmeier could speak English with relative proficiency, his inability to speak Chinese often became a barrier between the carry and his teammates. When asked during his AMA how important it is for all members of a team to speak the same language, Xiang said, "Enough for us to justify Black having to leave when there is nothing wrong with his skills."
Xiang didn't say who would replace Reitmeier, nor did Reitmeier confirm his destination. But with the East's top team losing a key component and Reitmeier likely headed back to English-speaking territory, the West's chances at an International victory grow greater yet.