Vici Gaming’s captain, Pan “Fade” Yi is at the centre of the Chinese post TI9 shuffle drama. Earlier today he announced that he wants to retire from competitive play, but his decision seems to be prompted not only by the top 6 finish at TI9, but also by the complicated post-event shuffle and all its negative aspects that the players have to deal with.
Morning time in China on Tuesday, August 27, Vici Gaming’s owner, mister Qing “Qc” Chen revealed on Weibo that an organization present at The International 2019 has actually poached one of his players while Vici Gaming was still fighting in the tournament.
“A certain team was trying to poach one of our players during TI before our run was over. Don’t they have basic professional ethics?”
Qc commented later on his own post to confirm that he was referring to Royal Never Give Up (RNG).
Vici Gaming’s owner kept the details coming on Weibo today and continued to talk about the unethical behaviour from RNG saying: “I’d like to emphasize that at that point, we still had upcoming series to be played. Other players inside the team also found out that news. Wouldn’t that affect our players’ state of mind? Why couldn’t you just wait for a couple of more days?
Although RNG have joined the Dota 2 high ranks of the professional scene only last year, in the post TI8 shuffle, it is not the first time they are accused of the same unethical practices. Besides the long dispute between them, LFY and Monet from last year, it was also revealed today that in the post TI8 shuffle they initiated a conversation with a player of Team Secret, who was under contract with the European team.
原因奇遇记 , a Dota2 personality in China, posted today on Weibo a chat log of a conversation between him and John Yao, Team Secret’s CEO, in which mister Yao said that he isn’t surprised by what RNG are doing as himself had to deal with the Chinese organization trying to take a player from Secret last year.
Last year RNG did the same thing to our player.
Our player told me about that and ignored them.
This is the truth, I was not happy too, but I didn’t have a place to tell the story, we have a contract here and I’m not worried about that. I just feel it’s very unethical from them.”
Later this afternoon RNG made an official comment stating that they didn’t approach anyone during TI9. However, they admitted that they tried to talk after TI8 with a player under contract with Team Secret, but didn’t push further when he refused their initial offer.
RNG’s post translates:
“We didn’t approach VG’s players for transferring matters during TI9. At present, we have communicated with @VG_MCDJ, @VG_Qc and all misunderstandings have been cleared up.
After TI8 concluded, we did contact a Team Secret player to ask if he was interested in developing his career in China. But we did not carry out any other improper action after our offer was rejected.
The wise will not listen to rumors. RNG, as a newcomer to the competitive Dota2 scene, hope to grow together with the industry predecessors in the future. At the end, thanks for all your concern and trust on RNG Dota2 Division”
Later on, Vici Gaming owner tagged Fade on Weibo and asked him to “come out and tell the truth to everyone.” Fade has never replied to that post, but has posted on his Weibo account that he decided to retire from the competitive scene.
“I will retire and hope that marks that end of the drama. I’m tired of being at the center of the storm. Playing competitively for all these years, I’ve made many mistakes but also had many happy memories. I think I’ve disappointed you guys too many times. Let’s end it right here, I will go back to being a normal guy who can enjoy Dota in a simpler way.”
Following Fade’s announcement, Qc posted an apology to RNG stating that after he reconfirmed all the events with Fade, the truth is actually that RNG have never approached him during TI9.
“After re-confirming with the player and RNG, the unexpected and surprising truth is: RNG have never approached our player. I’d like to extend my apology to RNG here, I made a false assumption, sorry.”
On the western Social Media channels, none of the people involved in this drama made any comments. The only reaction on Twitter to give a bit of insight in Fade’s decision came from Jack “KBBQ” Chen who said the following:
“Before leaving the hotel, fade’s spirits were obviously really low. He kept talking about how hard it was to keep doing this, how that joy and hope he started with as a player seemed so distant, asked if it’s like this for foreign players too, why everything seems so complicated.”