Team Aster may end the unluckiest season in Dota 2 history by missing The International.
According to an official public release, several members of Team Aster’s Dota 2 division have shown potentially significant health issues by way of positive tests just days before TI10. The squad would enter the $40 million event coming off of a championship victory at i-League Season 2. Aster has not yet formally resigned, but it could become forced to depending on how Valve handles the situation moving forward.
The diagnosis applies to Ye “Borax” Zhibiao, Lin “Xxs” Jing, Du “Monet” Peng, and coach Cheng “Mad” Han. The health issue reportedly affects one other staff member as well. Team Aster personnel have made minimal trips outside of its hotel for the entirety of the squad’s time in Bucharest, Romania, where TI10 is set to be held in October.
The team broke the unfortunate news through its official Chinese social media pages. All other Chinese teams staying the same hotel have also been tested. Every player from Elephant, Vici Gaming, and Invictus Gaming passed their health inspections.
Aster could still theoretically compete at TI10. The group stage will probably take place remotely in a format similar to the Dota 2 majors that have been held this year. The Arena Națională would serve as a live watch party hub for Dota 2 fans. If Aster is unable to compete, the Chinese team will most likely be forced to forfeit its matches and accept an 18th-place finish.
Team Aster might have had the unluckiest season in Dota 2 history thus far. Star support Ye “Borax” Zhibiao had to miss the Singapore Major after allegedly being arrested for soliciting a prostitute. Despite qualifying for both DPC majors and generally performing well against tough competition in the Chinese region, Aster bombed out at 12th place in Singapore and Kiev.
Valve plans to host The International 10 with a live audience at Arena Națională in Bucharest, Romania. Ticket sales for The International 10 went smoothly, but most fans only plan to attend the final bracket.
Valve will most likely run the TI10 group stage remotely, with teams competing from private rooms. Valve used this system at both the Singapore Major and Kiev AniMajor with no ensuing problems. The TI10 finals will take place in front of a live audience in Bucharest.