In an interview published on the Russian social media platform vk.com a few days ahead of the StarLadder Imba TV Minor, Natus Vincere’s coach Mag picked Alliance and Gambit Esports as main favorites to claim the trophy, and more importantly, the last slot at the ESL Los Angeles Major.
While Gambit finished top three, Alliance made it to the grand finals, but lost the big battle to Team Aster, who were the absolute dominant team through the entire tournament. The Chinese team reached the grand finals undefeated and it was only in the game three vs Alliance when their winning streak was brought to an end. However, Aster didn’t flinch in front of their first game dropped and returned to game four to seal the deal, thus becoming the fourth Chinese team, to head to the Los Angeles Major.
Team Aster’s stand-in coach Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng took no time to retaliate at Na’Vi’s coach words spoken before the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor. In fact, LaNm was not the only one hurt by Andrey “Mag” Chipenko’s statement, as a couple few other personalities of the Chinese scene had a few salty comments to make.
Immediately after Team Aster raised the trophy above their heads in the Kyiv Cybersport Arena LaNm posted the following on Weibo:
“Why no Ukrainian media interviewed me asking about my expectation for the upcoming Major? I have to say that I am not sure about what we will be able to achieve, but Na’Vi is going to finish No.15/16 for sure.”
EHOME’s coach Zhang “xiao8” Ning and former Royal coach He “Inflame” Yongzheng have both replied to LaNm’s post, the latter with more of a sarcastic tone saying to LaNm “good for you”, while xiao8 encouraged the Aster coach to go crush Na’Vi at the LA Major.
Although he and his team will not be involved in the ESL One Los Angeles Major as Vici Gaming decided to skip this tournament entirely, Bai “rOtK” Fan made a pretty salty post right after Mag’s interview. rOtk was also upset by the fact that in his interview Mag mentioned Royal Never Give Up, stating that he doesn’t think that Aster can make at the SL ImbaTV Minor a similar tournament run as RNG did at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor.
“You are going to pay for your outrageous words, you little punk. Who gives you permission to taste the tea? And you also dragged RNG into this blasphemy? Weak? What? I will see what you bring to the show at the Major, since all you rely on is a guy called s1mple. Now you think pretty highly of yourself, huh?”
“Tasting the tea”
Team Aster are dubbed by the Chinese community as Tea Master. Every time Aster underperforms in a tournament, the Chinese community and sometimes even the casters say about the team that dominated Team Aster that “they tasted the tea.” The usual memes about Aster are: when Aster is losing a match the community says that “the tea was too cold.” When Aster is winning a match the meme is “tea too hot, my mouth got burned.”