Steven R. September 9, 2019
Esports retirements are often short, but Pan "Fade" Yi’s was even shorter than one would expect.
Two weeks after stating that he was done with competitive Dota 2, the support player announced that he is back in action. Not only is he back in action, but he is leaving Vici Gaming to join Team Aster.
The reveal was made by Team Aster on Weibo, which was confirmed by the player after.
Fade established himself as one of China’s top players in the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season, helping Vici Gaming grab two major titles during the season. Despite that success during the year, the team posted a somewhat disappointing top-six finish at The International 2019 after getting eliminated by Team Secret.
Immediately after the tournament, Fade found himself at the center of a poaching controversy involving Royal Never Give Up. The CEO of Vici Gaming claimed that he was approached by the organization during The International 2019. These allegations were later withdrawn, but during the fallout Fade announced his retirement from Dota 2 citing the drama and his disappointment with Vici Gaming’s TI9 performance.
During the announcement of his return, he clarified what led to the allegations of poaching. He stated that he had talked with Royal Never Give Up’s manager, but they only talked within the context of Fade attempting to console Du "Monet" Peng following his elimination from TI9.
Now back in action, Fade can set his sights on helping Team Aster become a serious contender in Chinese Dota 2.
Is Team Aster set for a breakout DPC season?
Team Aster had a solid 2018-2019 season. A newcomer to the Chinese Dota 2 scene, the organization earned spots in the first two majors of the Dota Pro Circuit season ahead of established teams like EHOME, Invictus Gaming, and Newbee. The team did not perform especially well at either major and was hampered by multiple roster changes, but was still competitive in the loaded Chinese qualifiers to The International 2019.
The organization is looking for big things in the 2019-2020 DPC season. Newbee star Song "Sccc" Chun joined up last week, with the roster being rounded out by former Invictus Gaming players Lin "Xxs" Jing and Ye "BoBoKa" Zhibiao, as well as up-and-coming mid laner Kee "ChYuan" Ng.
Fade and Aster will face some serious competition with China once again likely to boast a list of formidable teams. The combination of experience, talent, and star power establishes them as one of the teams to watch.