Dota 2 Arlington Major: DJ believes Fnatic 'can make it', even with 3 stand-ins

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Fnatic player DJ in front of a monitor.
Fnatic are off to a solid start at the Dota 2 Arlington Major despite having three stand-ins and DJ believes they can do even better. (Photo: DreamHack)

The Dota 2 PGL Arlington Major is here, and one of the most anticipated teams to watch is Fnatic.

Ahead of the tournament, the Southeast Asian team were ravaged by visa issues and are currently attending the Major with three stand-ins from NA team TSM FTX.

Despite the unfortunate situation for Fnatic, they pulled off an impressive performance in the first day of the tournament.

Fnatic managed to go 1-1 in both their series against Stockholm Major champions OG and Eastern European powerhouse Outsiders.

In a post-game interview, Fnatic's star Position 4 support player, Djardel "DJ" Mampusti, described what it felt like to play with TSM, their revenge against OG, and what they can improve on in the future.

DJ: 'We just want to win against OG'

A big part of Fnatic's success on the first day was due to the members of TSM showing up and giving their all to help them.

Enzo "Timado" O'Connor, Jonathan "Bryle" Guia, and Kim "DuBu" Doo-young swooped in at the last second to stand-in for the team and the results so far have been promising.

It's not the first time that the members of TSM (then playing as Undying) saved a team from Southeast Asia. During The International 10, TSM's victory against Evil Genuises was crucial to keep T1 in the upper bracket of the playoffs.

TSM's last-minute arrival saved Fnatic as well, DJ stated in the post-game interview that so far the roster hasn't had a chance to play together and there is plenty of room to grow for the team.

"Right now it's kind of awkward because we haven't even scrimmed. We literally played only one game [together]. But I think we can make it, I think we can do better, we just need to coordinate how we want to play the game," said DJ.

In all the games they played on the first day, Fnatic had a relatively even laning stage, something DJ believes they should work on.

The team were in full control of their first game against OG but couldn't get the same foothold in the other matches.

When asked what they need to work on, DJ believes that the focus of the team should be to improve their laning stage and pull ahead early to win the game.

"How we play the lane, how we want to move around the map. Right now we are just not as comfortable as we should be. Just generally how we move as a team," said DJ.

During the Stockholm Major, Fnatic almost took out OG from the tournament. The two teams faced off in the second round of the lower bracket and the SEA team had a commanding lead during the decisive third game of the series.

Unfortunately for Fnatic, OG were relentless and kept forcing teamfights until they regained control of the game at the 44-minute mark.

The loss against OG still haunts DJ, as he wants to get payback against the Stockholm Major champions.

"I guess we just want to win against OG because we almost won against them in the [Stockholm] Major before. We're really looking forward to our revenge but it's one-one and we're ok with that. We made some good plays but second game we were all around the map dying, we just need to play together and be more consistent," said DJ.

Fnatic are currently in a four-way tie for second place in the Arlington Major's Group A and still have a long road ahead of them to qualify for the playoffs.

The hardest day for the team is arguably their second day of the tournament, when they take on the Chinese powerhouses PSG.LGD and Royal Never Give Up.

The PGL Arlington Major will take place from 4 to 14 August and features 17 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world fighting for their slice of the US$500,000 prize pool and 4,570 DPC point pool.

For everything you need to know about the Arlington Major, check here.

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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