ESL One Hamburg 2018 marks the LAN debut for the newly formed Team Aster, who came to Europe to take everyone by surprise. They were the only team that finished the group stage with a 9-1 record. However, once the playoffs started, they got knocked down in the lower bracket by Vici Gaming.
Aster was founded just in the post TI8 shuffle and it’s an interesting mix of veterans and youngsters. In fact, Lu “Fenrir” Chao, is the oldest player attending the event and we couldn’t miss the chance to chat with him in Hamburg and ask, among other things, what made him jump ships so late in his career, given that after six years spent at VG he is now playing for a newly formed organization.
Hello Fenrir, congrats on the amazing group stage run, but I have to ask, what do you think happened in your playoffs series against Vici Gaming, are they the ones who perhaps know Aster better from scrims?
Vici Gaming are a very strong opponent, they play extremely well right now, and although people might think that we actually practiced a lot before this event, it’s not like that. I actually believe that right now, after all the shuffles, and because we are just at the beginning of the new season, all the teams are more or less at the same level. There is no big difference between any of the teams here, between Chinese, NA or European ones. We are all at the start. Regarding our series versus Vici, I think we gave all our best, but it wasn’t enough, as I said, they are a very tough opponent.
I must admit, it’s a bit weird to talk to you about VG now when you’re actually not playing for them anymore. You’ve played under the VG banner for six years, from 2012 until this past shuffle. So, can you tell us what pushed you to take this decision, why did you join a brand new organization like Aster?
Yeah six years… that’s so, so many years… I really wanted a change. I felt like I need that in my career. I wanted a change of the environment and starting a completely new project is very exciting to me. I wanted to play with new players because I want to see new tactics, I want to try new things and Aster seemed the best place for all these things. I also wanted so badly to play with Boboka, and when I heard he is joining Aster, I had no doubt that this is the team where I want to be.
You just said that you want to play next to new guys, and you have one in Aster, Dstones, your mid laner, who is a Chinese pub star found by BurNIng. Coming to Hamburg, I realized you are actually the oldest player in this event, how are you getting along with the youngsters from the Chinese scene, how is the synergy with Dstones for example?
The Chinese scene is so big, but we still have a lot of active players from the so-called old guard and I think we have to start to realize that we need to accommodate youngsters to the professional scene. I don’t know how much time I’ll be playing, so that’s why I think it’s very important to have youngsters like Boboka or Dstones pushed to the front. I personally have no communication and no synergy problems with Dstones, we get along pretty well, although he sometimes looks at me as I’m this elder person [he laughs].
I guess you consider Boboka as one of the best Chinese supports since you really wished to play with him, but who are the other players in the Chinese scene that you think are the best at their roles?
I actually think Fy is the best support in China, no question about it. And besides him, I think Maybe is the best mid laner right now, not only in China but worldwide.
Now that you mentioned Fy, should I ask you if you miss playing alongside him? You two have been after all one of the most iconic support duos in Dota 2 for such a long time.
Me and Fy are very, very good friends. We hang out together when we have the time, we talk to each other a lot. It doesn’t matter if we are not playing on the same team anymore, splitting us in the game it doesn’t break our friendship and back home, in China, all the organizations, know that I and Fy are in fact inseparable.
I’m happy to hear that. After this event, you will reunite with your friend then, at the Kuala Lumpur Major. What target did Team Aster set for the first Major of the DPC Season?
We will fight for the title. After ESL One we will practice and aim for the Championship title.
Ok, then, I wish you the best of luck in Malaysia next month as well as here, tomorrow. Any shoutouts you might want to make at the end of our interview?
Shoutout our western fans, to our Manager and I promise you guys we will try our best!