Gabbi joins Entity ahead of the final leg of the 2022-2023 DPC season, but how well will Gabbi handle the switch to offlane?

Entity has signed Filipino Dota star Kim “Gabbi” Santos to their roster, picking up the former carry player to take over the offlane position. The move was announced on social media on June 10 after several days of teasing. The SEA player joins the roster ahead of the later part of the season as Entity eyes TI12 qualification and a potential run at Riyadh Masters 2023.

Gabbi steps into the three position, replacing the outgoing Tobias “Tobi” Buchner. Observers were somewhat confused by Entity’s decision to part ways with Tobi, citing a shallow offlane talent pool. Instead of trying to replace Tobi from within the available offlaners, Entity has instead opted to pick up Gabbi, switching the carry player to offlane.

Gabbi moves from SEA to WEU to join Entity

(Image via ESL)
(Image via ESL)

Gabbi is one of the most prolific carry players from the SEA region. From 2018 to 2021, he was a cornerstone of the hugely successful TNC Predator roster. However, he parted ways with that team shortly before its departure from the Dota 2 scene. After a brief stint with Talon Esports that saw him bring the team into the DPC, he was picked up by T1, enjoying a brief but relatively successful stint with them.

Gabbi signed with Fnatic in 2022, and played with the organization until it, like TNC Predator before it, took a break from competitive Dota 2 in 2023. 

Can Gabbi make the switch to offlane work for Entity?

But the biggest question about Gabbi isn’t his skill — he has an impressive resume — it’s whether he’ll be able to make a successful transition from carry to offlane. By all accounts, there is currently an offlane talent drought in Dota 2. Although perhaps it would be fairer to suggest that role of offlaner has grown in importance to the point where teams now feel it’s difficult to win without a star player in the position.

With that in mind, many former carries have switched to offlane. And some have had massive success. Gamin Gladiators Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard is the obvious example. Roman “Resolut1on” Fomynok, who was rumored to be taking this Entity spot instead of Gabbi, also originally played carry.

Switching from carry to offlane can work, just ask Resolut1on! (Image via Valve)
Switching from carry to offlane can work, just ask Resolut1on! (Image via Valve)

What these former carry players bring to the offlane is the ability to find farm out of thin air. In many ways, offlane is a backup plan — a fallback if your carry bombs out, and the game drags out to 60 minutes. They share this trait high-performing offlaners who didn’t switch from carry. Ammar “ATF” Al-Assaf is a master of farming hard while still having an impact in lane. While we’ve lost count of the games Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg seemingly disappears for the first half of Team Liquid’s games, only to appear at 45 minutes with six items and crush faces.

Ultimately, for Gabbi to be successful, he’ll have to channel this kind of playstyle, which isn’t something learned overnight. Entity has a limited amount of chances for greatness left this year, and Gabbi can’t squander them.

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