Rattlesnake announced in a press release this morning that the organization had acquired the Kaipi Dota team. The squad, now playing as Rattlesnake International, is reportedly being supported throughout the year with what their organization calls "a $200,000.00 investment." The press release indicated that the funds are to go to salaries, a North American training facility, equipment, and travel support. The roster at the time of publication consists of:
Jacky "EternalEnvy" Mao
Weh Sing "SingSing" Yuen
Kurtis "aui_2000" Ling
Johan "pieliedie" Astrom
Pittner "bone7" Armand
Initial reactions to the acquisition were largely positive. The former Kaipi team have seen their fan base grow in the wake of the International 3 as they have continued to play tournaments, and perform well consistently, while most major teams took breaks to reevaluate their rosters. The squad took first place in their WePlay Dota 2 League group and are currently the leaders in the Star Ladder Star Series Season 7 round robin stage.
When GameSpot asked team captain Jacky Mao to elaborate on why they would choose to house their training facility in North America, a region typified as having a weaker competitive scene than both Europe and Asia, he clarified, "A training facility outside of China has not been finalized. We still want to play from home until we arrive in China. Regardless of our recent results, the truth is our team is still new and everyone is still getting used to our roles and play style. In short, we suck right now and we don't want to make things more chaotic by moving to a new training facility with three or four LANs coming our way. However, if we were to move back from China after staying there for six plus months, we will have a training facility before TI4." He continued to insist that playing and practicing in China was a priority for the team. He reiterated, "We will be staying there for at least 6 months. We may come back to attend big tournaments if it doesn't conflict with major Chinese tournaments."
The team will play their first match under the Rattlesnake banner tomorrow at 2 p.m. EDT in the Star Ladder Star Series Season 7 round robin stage. The game can be watched on joinDOTA Red's Twitch.tv channel.