Chinese teams shuffle ahead of China Dota 2 Pro Cup
By Peter AndersSeptember 16, 2020
China Dota 2 Pro Cup (CDPC) will be the first top-tier Chinese tournament since DPL CDA Season 2 in July. That was a tournament full of surprises and upsets, as the bottom two teams out of the group stage met each other in the grand finals. The teams set to play in China Dota 2 Pro Cup are PSG.LGD, EHOME, Vici Gaming, Royal Never Give Up, Invictus Gaming, Team Aster, Sparking Arrow Gaming, Team MagMa, LBZS, and WINGS UP. In the past two weeks, however, there have been an enormous number of roster changes to many of these teams. In addition, three of the teams are yet to announce their rosters for this tournament despite it being only two days away. In this article, we will walk you through what changes have occurred, as well as what to expect from each team.
Beginning with Vici Gaming, who just released their roster this morning with a surprising change. For CDPC, Vici has replaced Zhang "Eurus" Chengjun, known better as Paparazzi, with Yang "Erica" Shaohan, a new player from Keen Gaming looking to prove himself against the greats in CDPC. This change won’t be permanent, however, as Erica is just a standin.
After CDPC, Vici Gaming’s new carry player will be Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon. 23savage was previously Fnatics carry, and gained recognition and respect as one of the best new carry players, particularly with his impressive morphling plays. A change has also been made to Vici Gaming’s offlaner, as Zhou "Yang" Haiyang has been replaced by Ren "eLeVeN" Yangwei. Both players are well respected veterans with wide hero pools and strong game knowledge. With an impressive 59% winrate on the patch before their roster changes, Vici Gaming had been looking like the strongest tier one team in China. We are looking forward to seeing this new iteration of Vici Gaming, both at CDPC and onwards, and how it will affect their performance.
EHOME, having not yet announced their roster for CDPC, is a bit of a mystery. They won DPL CDA, and must certainly be happy with their results. With that said, they are yet to announce their roster for CDPC. There are rumors that Sylar may be replaced by Ame, and Faith_bian had a wrist injury that was more or less ignored, however, we know nothing concrete about their roster. Regardless of which players they bring to CDPC, any team captained by Zhang "y`" Yiping, previously the captain of the TI-winning Wings Gaming team, will have a good chance at first place.
LGD is likely the most surprising and complicated of all the registered teams. With less than two days until their first match of CDPC against Team Aster, LGD has only two players registered on their roster; Yang "Chalice"' Shenyi and Jian Wei "xNova" Yap. While both these players are extremely talented and accomplished, suddenly adding three new players to any roster risks instability.
Lu "Somnus丶M" Yao, eLeVeN, and Xu "fy" Linsen all have left LGD. Somnus and fy are the two most accomplished Chinese Dota 2 players, both earning close to 3 million USD in prize money alone. eLeVeN has been considered one of the best offlaners in China, placing highly in Majors and TI since 2015. To lose all three of these players at the same time will be a huge hit to the team. While we hope to see this team flourish, it cannot be denied that they have moved from one of the strongest teams in China to an underdog in this tournament.
Invictus Gaming is likely one of the most stable rosters in this tournament, with no changes in over a year and having achieved second place in the two most recent Chinese tournaments. They have a diverse lineup of heroes and strategies they feel comfortable playing, and have no obvious weaknesses. While they haven’t won a tier one or two tournament since Summit 11 in November 2019, they have consistently been a top four team. CDPC will be the perfect opportunity for IG to prove that they are not just one of the best, but the best team in China.
There is a chance that Gao "@dogf1ghts" Tianpeng, the coach for iG Vitality, will be standing in for Chan "Oli~" Chon Kien. They are both strong and accomplished players, and this will likely not be a huge hindrance on the team, especially in comparison to the changes the rest of their competition has recently gone through.
Royal Never Give Up, Team Aster, and Sparking Arrow Gaming have all gone through a number of changes. Each team has had some difficulty adjusting to the new patch, with 46%, 45%, and 43% win rates respectively during 7.27. Seeing that each team has been struggling to find success, they are all entering CDPC with drastically different rosters.
Beginning with Royal Never Give Up, their previous carry player Du "Monet" Peng, has been replaced with Zhong "圣子华炼" Liushuai, better known as God-King, the former carry player of Sparking Arrow Gaming. RNG’s previous offlaner Su "Flywin" Lei, has been replaced with Sun "Srf" Runfa, who was on trial with CDEC Gaming, but previously was bouncing back and forth between Royal Never Give Up and Team Royal, RNG’s secondary team. Finally, Xue "September" Zhichuan, RNG’s previous position 4, has been replaced by Chong “FelixCiaoBa” Wei Lun.
Team Aster has recently lost three of their players. Song "Sccc" Chun, the previous carry, has chosen to not renew his contract in favor of being a free agent. Kee Chyuan "ChYuan" Ng, the previous midlaner, has chosen to return to Malaysia rather than continue competing in China, and has been moved to an inactive part of Team Aster’s roster as he searches for a new team in Malaysia.
Lastly, the previous captain of Team Aster and position 4 player Pan "Fade" Yi has left Aster in a similar fashion to Sccc, in favor of being a free agent. Their new roster consists of Monet on carry, Liu "DD" Yuhao as their mid, Ye "BoBoKa" Zhibiao moving from position 5 to 4, and Jiang "Yftx" An as their new position 5. Losing Sccc, ChYuan, and Fade is certainly costly for the team, as each player has proved themselves many times, however bringing fresh players into top tier teams can bring phenomenal results, as OG has proved countless times.
Sparking Arrow Gaming, despite being a new team, has several impressive placements, winning both Beyond Epic: China and CDA League Season 1. This however has not stopped their roster from changing as God-king, DD, and FelixCiaoBa (positions 1, 2, and 4, respectively) have all left to join either Royal Never Give Up or Team Aster. They’ve made up for these changes by adding Flywin, Ou "Op" Peng, and September to their roster. This creates a new issue for Sparking Arrow Gaming as both Flywin and Op are traditionally offlaners. CDPC will be an excellent opportunity for Sparking Arrow to prove themselves. However, the odds are against them with three new players, one of which will be forced to play a different role than normal.
The last three teams are by far the least predictable. Team MagMa is a new team consisting of players from Team Ocean and Team Blaze, two teams of new players, coached and guided by OldBoys, a group of well established Chinese players that no longer compete and work to develop new talent in China. LBAZ and WINGS UP are both open qualifier teams consisting of new players looking to prove themselves and make their names known within Chinese Dota.
In conclusion, CDPC will be an exciting tournament, with almost every participating team having undergone roster changes. There is a tremendous amount of skill among players in this tournament, playing in a meta that is still largely unsolved. The strategies and team that will emerge on top are anyone’s guess, but it is certain that CDPC will be a fantastic tournament to watch, and will influence how teams around the world view Dota.