Chinese organizations Royal Never Give Up and Sparking Arrow Gaming have agreed to a trade, swapping mid lakers and supports.
Joining RNG will be Malaysian support Chong “FelixCiaoBa” Wei Lun and Chinese mid-laner Liu “白学家” Yuhao, the latter a relative newcomer to the competitive Dota 2 scene. Sparking Arrow Gaming have acquired the talents of mid laner Gao “Setsu” Zhenxiong and support Xue “September” Zhichuan in return.
Alongside the player acquisitions, RNG is adding Chinese veteran and The International 2014 winner Wang “Banana” Jiao as its new head coach. Banana has earned himself a reputation as one of China’s best Dota 2 coaches, working with teams including LGD Gaming, LGD.Forever Young, and Newbee prior to joining RNG.
After an inconsistent start, RNG cemented itself as a top-three team in the Chinese region thanks to regular success in online leagues. The team placed in the top four of almost every event it has competed in throughout 2020, most notably winning ESL One Los Angeles’ Chinese league. Despite their consistent form, RNG hit a ceiling below that of top Chinese teams PSG.LGD and Invictus Gaming.
RNG is hoping that these two will get them over that threshold with this trade.
Sparking Arrow Gaming looks to break out in China
Sparking Arrow Gaming originally started off by signing three players out of RNG’s former academy team, Royal. While successes were scarce with Royal, the additions of FelixCiaBa and DD helped turn SAG into one of the breakout Dota 2 teams of 2020.
Both FelixCiaoBa and DD were huge parts of SAG’s rise, but the injection of fresh talent and veteran experience could help the team hit the next level. Both Setsu and September have qualified for The International in the past. Setsu managed to snag a respectable top-eight finish at The International 2019 with RNG, while September managed to qualify for The International 2016 with LGD, but was unable to attend the event due to visa issues.
On paper, this trade looks like a win-win for both teams, but time will tell how it pans out.