photo by: ESL One
Formed by Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei in the post TI8 shuffle, Team Aster was the one to look out for in the new season. Chinese Dota 2 legends were happy to start a new project with BurNIng and help their scene grow. Liu “Sylar” Jiajun and Lu “Fenrir” Chao were the veterans on the team where three youngsters were given a life changing opportunity.
Aster started the season well, with two Major qualifiers won and an attendance at ESL One Hamburg 2018 as well. However, the LAN performance was below expectations. Their best result was a top six in Hamburg, while at the first two Majors they’ve been kicked out of the contention in the first round of the lower bracket. Their performance got worse with every tournament, up to the point where Aster couldn’t even pass the open qualifiers.
“We got eliminated by a team of nobodies. I didn’t even know how to pronounce that team’s name. I’m totally baffled,” said BurNIng on his stream after Aster got eliminated in the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major open qualifiers. The Chinese community, and to some extent the western fans too, gave BurNIng a lot of flak recently. Unfortunately, it’s not only the fans who expressed their disappointment in various ways. BurNIng revealed on his stream that the team has also lost one of its sponsors and that the Team Aster owner “got really angry and let it all go out in one of the team’s group chats.”
YiDingBo, a betting platform, pulled out their support. Bohan Han, CEO at Cherry, which sponsored BurNIng since Team DK days, from possible occasions, found a wedding as the best time to tell him that what’s happening with Aster these days “it’s the biggest disgrace he has ever had in his sponsoring history.”
“At the wedding I had an emotional conversation with Han. He said that wherever I go, no matter how bad the team performance is, he will keep sponsoring us. He sponsored me from DK to VG, to iG and now at Aster. Then, he said that the “power rank unit” meme is an absolute disgrace”, BurNIng recounted to his viewers.
However, the many years of friendship with the Chinese legend player and his legacy in the Dota 2 world are bigger and more important than a meme born during a rough time for a team and apparently Cherry will continue to support Aster.
BurNIng initiated a direct dialogue with his followers and exchanged ideas about what should be done in order for the team to get better. Obviously, the Chinese streaming platforms chats are not less virulent or less mean
“I think that a player has only a few years of peak time, and if he happens to be on the wrong team during his peak, then he’s done. That’s how Chinese Dota scene works. Luckily, VG won the DL Major, so we can still have some hope on Chinese teams for TI,“ were BurNIng’s general thoughts. Towards the end of his streaming session, he summarized Aster’s past few months as “bad performance, destroyed morale and tons of other issues.”
He concluded the stream on an optimistic, but at the same time ironic note saying: “Let’s just get our stuff together moving forward, what else can we do? It can’t get any worse, right?”
For now, Aster are moving forward with the former Wings Gaming support Li “iceice” Peng on a trial period, while they are still looking for a carry to fill in Sylar’s position.
Team Aster current roster:
- Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
- Lin “Xxs” Jing
- Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao
coach: Fu “Q” Bin