Well, that ship sank before it even set sail. Talon Esports’ announced that Tal “Fly” Aizik and Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte are parting ways with the team after a single DPC Tour. Now there have been many speculations as to what caused this, but one thing’s for certain. It’s probably because Talon Esports is a massive letdown.
We are heading into a mini-offseason in Dota 2, and we wonder where both players could land before Tour 2, and which replacements can Talon look to going forward.
Why did Fly and Gabbi leave Talon Esports?
Talon Esports debut in the Dota Pro Circuit 2022 season with high hopes and expectations. Yet, they concluded the DPC2021-22 with only a fifth-place to show. Bravo for not getting eliminated from Division 2.
Anyways, digging deeper into this, it’s evident that Talon Esports didn’t perform as well as they hoped. Many pointed out that Fly and Gabbi played exceptionally for the most part, but the rest of the team just couldn’t deliver the same level of gameplay. Unfortunately, the blame seemingly fell onto Damien “kpii” Chok, Talon’s offlane player. To kpii’s justice, the offlane role is plausibly the toughest to play in, considering the opposing team will drive you out.
The other carry player, Rafli Fathur “Mikoto” Rahman also takes the brunt of the blame for his underwhelming performance. What’s contradicting is that Mikoto has been phenomenal last season, but this significant dip in not just his performance but playstyle raised quite the debate among fans.
Yet, Fly and Gabbi were the ones to leave, as they couldn’t really relocate fully and synergize with the team in the long run.
A draft not fit for the Talons
Let’s be frank here, Fly is a seasoned veteran player in his own right. After all, he captained notable teams in his career but even Fly would agree that he wasn’t much of a leader himself. As for drafting expertise, it goes without saying that Fly wasn’t able to make his mastermind plans work as intended. We see unorthodox offlane and mid hero picks that may look good on paper, but didn’t work as intended. Worse yet, the drafts were easily halted by opponents, who merely prolong the match until Talon’s drafts were obsolete.
In hindsight, many fans assumed that Fly had a culture shock when he first play in the Southeast Asia region. A new region at that, where he had little to no experience in SEA’s unique playstyle, besides the occasional Major or The International tournament.
There were two options for Talon, either something magical happens or something horrible happens. Sadly, it was the latter.
What’s next for Fly and Gabbi?
There’s no point in crying over split milk now that the verdict has been decided. Talon Esports will likely be checking out new candidates to fill their team. It’s also good timing since the DPC2021-22 Tour 1 comes to an end this week. With no Winter Major, many teams and players should already be parting ways and reshuffling their roster.
On the other hand, it raises the question of whether Fly goes to another region or return to the NA scene. He did fly all the way to SEA, out of his comfort zone for the opportunity, so it’s not a strech to think he might opt out to join a CIS squad or a Chinese team. Another potential outcome is Fly returning to North America, but that poses a concern. There aren’t exactly many polished teams in NA that could recruit Fly on a whim. Either EG simply takes him back, or he joins the likes of 4Z or Quincy just to beat EG.
The most likely scenario is he is going to join a European/CIS team as there are plenty looking to booster their rosters moving forward. No matter where Fly’s heading, he can count on his lucky stars because Tour 1 essentially didn’t matter.
Gabbi, the Incredible Puck
Gabbi likely won’t have a rough time finding a SEA team that can fit his needs. Gabbi is a good hard carry player, but the better mid-player. Hence, Gabbi going back to middle lane might just be something worth checking out. Most crippling teams would be more than glad to have Gabbi onboard as their wunderkind. However, Gabbi might prioritize Division 1 teams due to how much stake there is to gain DPC points from the second major.
He can also duo once again with Fly in a EU/CIS team if they feel good playing together. It was fun while it lasted. Hopefully, Fly enjoyed his time in the SEA and learned new perspectives in Dota 2.
Where they go from now is anyone’s guess.