BurNIng returns to pro Dota 2, to compete in China DPC

By Kenneth Williams


Mar 12, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

After five years of retirement, legendary Dota 2 player Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei will attempt to rejoin the DPC.

Dota 2 fans often use the phrase “Chinese retirement” to refer to pros who quit the game only to hop back in the competitive scene just a year or two later. It was expected that BurNIng would inevitably return to Dota 2 after he announced his retirement in 2017, but for five long years, he stayed strong.

However, it appears that the carry legend will finally make a comeback in 2023. He has officially registered for the Chinese Dota Pro Circuit with a new stack and will attempt to claw his way into the lower division.

On March 11, 2023, a new team was registered for the DPC with BurNIng and other Chinese Dota 2 legends. The team lists the following five players on the yet-unnamed squad:

  • Liu “yoona” Xiangkun
  • Chen “Cty” Tianyu
  • Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei
  • Ren “old eLeVeN” Yangwei
  • Deng “Dstones” Lei

The positions of the players is also under wraps, but its hard to imagine BurNIng anywhere other than carry and Cty in any lane other than mid. Yoona is most famous for playing on Keen Gaming during the team’s 2018 hot streak while Dstones has been a frequent face in the national scene. old eLeVeN also needs no introduction, with the veteran offlaner attending every The International from 2016 to 2021.

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It’s hard to say how strong this team will be, and it’s likely that its meant to be a casual qualifier stack rather than a dedicated team. BurNIng is still the owner of Team Aster, so there could be a conflict of interest if the squad actually does qualify for the Chinese DPC. Whether they win or not, longtime Dota 2 fans will likely get a big hit of nostalgia if B-God ever gets his Anti-Mage.

What is BurNIng famous for in Dota 2?

BurNIng is still one of the most recognized names in Chinese Dota 2 due to his distinguished pro career and association with Anti-Mage.

BurNIng is known as one of the gods of Chinese Dota 2, winning a total of $869,884 in his career and attending five years of The International. He started playing in the original Warcraft 3 mod and became a pro just over a year after starting. The player is known for codifying the carry role as a late-game powerhouse, and he often favors strong scaling picks and illusion carries.

He is also strongly associated with the hero Anti-Mage, and he was widely considered the greatest AM player for the majority of Dota 2. His performances at The International greatly contributed to that reputation, with one particular comeback against Team Secret at TI5 still held as one of the greatest carry performances in history. Other claims his raid boss match against Alliance at TI3 is the pinnacle of the player’s storied career.

However, there are also many Dota 2 fans who despise BurNIng for his constant controversies. In 2018, he was caught selling skins gifted to him by fans and ex-teammates, which was widely criticized in the community. He also has a history of flaming his teammates in pub matches, burning bridges with other established pros. His decorated career and constant controversies have kept B-God’s name in Dota 2 long after his 2017 retirement.


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