The conditions for teams at TI10 may not be great, but at least Aster is getting room service.
Team Aster will compete online at The International 10. The squad will connect to the group stage over the internet The announcement was revealed through the team’s Chinese-language social media. Fans expressed doubts about Aster’s participation after several of its players had fallen ill and required quarantining.
In late September, Team Aster announced that Du “Monet” Peng, Lin “Xxs” Jing and Ye “Borax” Zhibiao had all failed mandatory health checks ahead of The International. On October 5, Team Aster announced that the team had been in talks with Valve about competing in the tournament from their hotel rooms. Valve has formally approved of that plan of action.
Team Aster’s players will connect to the group stage over the internet. The individual players will most likely be separated from each other, which could harm the team’s internal communication. Aster coach Cheng “Mad” Han will most likely communicate with the team digitally between matches. Valve will have to make several last-minute accommodations, but it’s all in the name of player safety and maintaining the competitive integrity of the event.
Around the same time as Aster’s first announcement, Thiay “JT-” Jun Wen of Invictus Gaming also failed a mandatory health screening. Since then, three more members of the iG staff have failed nucleic acid testing. Valve’s announcement extends to other players and teams at The International 10, so any more last-minute surprises will now have some precedent. After issuing refunds to its planned live audience, it’s understandable that Valve would want to err on the side of caution from here out.
While not quite considered to be in the top tier of teams at The International 10, Team Aster is a very real threat in China with three domestic championships won in 2021. The squad didn’t perform very well at either DPC major it competed in this year. It has faced several setbacks ranging from legal scandals to poorly planned tournament formats.
Team Aster packs a ton of talent in carry Monet and soft support Ye “Borax” Zhibiao. Multiple Aster players have previous experience at TI. Many fans expected Aster to reach the playoffs, but that might not be the case after its latest unfortunate turn of events that will see the team forced to play the TI10 group stage online.
The announcement certainly doesn’t bode well for Aster’s chances. Multiple Aster players will compete for $40 million while potentially in poor health. The team has officially stated that the players are not suffering any severe symptoms, but even small disadvantages can add up at The International 10. Team Aster was a dark horse before, but under current conditions, its chances have almost certainly worsened.