Fear retires from competitive Dota 2

by theScore Staff Sep 14 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of Robert Paul / ESL One

Clinton "Fear" Loomis has retired from competitive Dota 2 and joined Evil Geniuses as a coach, the organization announced Wednesday.

"Today, I'm announcing my retirement from competitive Dota," Fear said in a statement.

"I have been living my dream of being a professional gamer for over a decade now, and in that time I've accomplished each of the goals I placed for myself and for EG Dota. Now, I have to pursue a new goal — getting healthy. I still have a passion for Dota and for competing, but the long term health of my arm has to come first. Thank you all for your support."

Fear has struggled on and off with a play-related arm injury for the past two years. In the past he has missed tournaments as a result of his recurring health issues, including The International 2014, though he has played with EG continuously for the past year.

According to the release, EG plans to announce Fear’s replacement tomorrow, as well as the two other players joining its roster. The statement made clear that although team captain Peter “ppd” Dager and offlaner Saahil “Universe” Arora were removed from the team on Valve’s Dota Majors registration page earlier this month, they have not left, and will return to EG’s active lineup for the next season.

In a statement, ppd thanked Fear for the more than four years he spent with EG.

“Fear is hands down the best Dota player I've ever had the privilege to play with,” ppd said. “Whenever people would ask about our team's dynamic, I always described him as the co-captain. I could always count on Clinton to make a collected, yet decisive decision. He always had my back and I knew I could count on him when I was lost. Fear helped me reach my potential, and I believe he will continue to do that for players in years to come. Best of luck Fear, and thank you for everything you have done for me and this team.”

Widely regarded as one of the best North American Dota players, Fear began his Dota 2 career as a member of Online Kingdom, competing with them in the first International — an experience later chronicled in Valve’s documentary Free to Play. After finishing seventh at the inaugural tournament, Fear would join EG as a carry to begin what would become one of the longest partnerships in Dota history.

Through numerous roster changes, Fear remained a stable point which EG could build around. His skill with numerous heroes and roles allowed the team to place him in any position and see strong results.

Fear briefly left the team to play with independent roster S A D B O Y S in early 2014, along with Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, Peter “ppd” Dager, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and fellow ex-EG teammate Saahil “Universe” Arora. Shortly afterward EG acquired the team, and Fear returned to their lineup. With that iteration of EG, Fear went on to win his first offline event, the Monster Energy Invitational.

It was at this point he first showed signs of a long-term arm injury, which forced him to step down from the roster between April and August 2014. He was unable to play at The International 2014, and was replaced on the lineup by Mason "mason" Venne.

However, feeling he had recovered sufficiently, Fear returned to active status immediately after the event, and in the second half of 2014 EG went on to establish a reputation as one of the best teams in the world. They won the World E-sport Championships 2014, StarLadder StarSeries Season 10 and DreamLeague Season 2.

The start of 2015 saw EG win the Dota 2 Asia Championship, where Fear returned to playing conventional farming heroes thanks to the addition of rookie mid laner Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan. After winning Dota 2 Pit League Season 3 and placing highly at other LANs, EG would be directly invited to TI5. In the Group Stage, EG placed first in their group to qualify for the upper bracket, where they would defeat EHOME and compLexity Gaming before losing to CDEC Gaming in the upper bracket finals.

Fear and EG did not go out quietly however, defeating LGD-Gaming 2-0 in the lower bracket before securing their revenge against CDEC in the Grand Finals in a 3-1 win, winning what was then the largest tournament in Dota 2 history. Fear’s skill with Gyrocopter was a major factor, as CDEC was unable to effectively counter it throughout the entire series.

In the aftermath of TI5, Arteezy returned to the team’s starting roster and Fear was moved to position 4 support. The team faltered, winning only only one LAN in the 2015-2016 season, The Summit 4, which would prove to be Fear’s last LAN win. After successive third-place finishes at The Frankfurt and Shanghai Majors, EG disastrously finished The Manila Major in last place, the lowest point for the team since 2013.

Though EG struggled at The Manila Major, Fear would soon return to position 1 and help the team qualify for TI6 after being forced to play through the open qualifiers. At Fear’s last TI, EG would place third, falling to Digital Chaos 2-1 in the Lower Bracket Finals. A few weeks later, Fear was released from EG’s roster, tweeting out one word in response.

Fear ends his career as a player with approximately $2,372,159 in earnings and the Aegis of Champions.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.