Evil Geniuses are one of the oldest names in DotA 2, and for many they burst into our consciousness as part of Free To Play, Valve’s groundbreaking 2014 documentary on the game. In that, they followed three players on their road to The International, the biggest esports event of the year and the jewel in the Valve crown, one of which was Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis, already an old man of the scene four years ago.
Yesterday, in the wake of a disappointing ESL One in Birmingham, Fear left the team, alongside captain Rasmus ‘MISERY’ Flipsen, the Dane who had led them into the tournament. Obvious jokes aside, the statement from MISERY in the wake of his departure was extremely telling of a toxic, unworkable atmosphere in the group, with the man who was supposed to inspire this team saying how happy and relieved he was to no longer have to work with them.
To outsiders, MISERY is not as much of a name, but the end of Fear’s time as an Evil Genius is the end of an era. Once one of the biggest orgs in eports, today EG are still a sizeable group, but have been somewhat surpassed by other North American orgs, as well as those from further afield. Likewise Fear was once one of the gods of his game, but more than a decade at the top has taken a toll on him.
Glory in 2015
To give you an idea of the length of his tenure in DotA, Fear played alongside Merlini in 2006, who has retired from playing, become an analyst, achieved success and then retired in that field too since they shared a server. All the while, Fear has continued to grind, and in 2015 was rewarded with a title at The International, and the $6m+ prize that came with it. Third the following year further boosted his personal coffers, but his time as a player was over, and he moved into a coaching role to better recover the health he had sacrificed for his career.
To put some detail onto the tapestry of his play, this quote from Peter ‘PPD’ Dager, a team-mate of Fear’s as well as one-time CEO of EG, tells you all you need to know about a player that was never under any illusions about their mechanical ability, and also sums up what a loss to the scene Fear’s retirement could be. Maybe that loss won’t be felt as a player, but the next generation could have benefitted from working with a man PPD holds in such high regard.
“Fear is hands down the best Dota player I've ever had the privilege to play with. 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.”
Image credit: ESL