Azure Ray, a prominent name in the Dota 2 scene, has concluded their stint at the International 2023 (TI12) with a mix of achievements and lessons learned. The team were the second seed from China and finished in an impressive 4th place. This period marks a significant chapter in the team’s history, characterized by both exhilaration and challenges.
Central to Azure Ray’s narrative is the decision of their star player, Lu “Somnus` M” Yao, to step back from professional gaming for the time being. His decision, as reported by CN Dota In A Nutshell via a Twitter translation, stems from a reluctance to engage in the exhaustive preparation that professional tournaments demand.
Behind the Scenes with Azure Ray’s Dota 2 roster
Despite efforts by the team’s management to persuade him to continue, Somnus` M has chosen a different path, underscoring the demanding nature of professional Esports.
Somnus: AR’s owner persuades me to keep playing as a pro but I found that too tiring so I refused that option. The exciting part of being a pro is to compete in lan events, but the tiring part is about long period bootcamping and practicing before every actual tournaments start.
— CN Dota In A Nutshell (@Tr1H4rd3rDota2) November 30, 2023
Somnus` M’s decision sheds light on the rigorous and often taxing lifestyle of professional Dota 2 players. He noted the contrast between the thrill of competing at LAN events and the grueling routine of boot camping and training that precedes each tournament.
fy: why did u said that I will keep playing in pro scene?
Somnus: that’s just what I thought u will do, also becuz AR’s owner only asked me to persuade Chalice to keep playing for them so I thought they have already got u agreed on that.
— CN Dota In A Nutshell (@Tr1H4rd3rDota2) December 2, 2023
This insight was further revealed during a conversation with fellow player Xu “fy” Linsen, where Somnus` M disclosed that Azure Ray’s management had sought his help to convince Yang “Chalice” Shenyi to remain on the team.
The Demanding Life of Professional Dota 2 Players
A career in professional gaming, particularly in Dota 2, involves more than just skill and talent. It demands a high level of discipline, often involving long hours of practice and adherence to strict routines. This is especially true in regions like China, where esports is highly competitive and regimented.
Such a demanding schedule can lead to burnout, as Somnus` M himself experienced after his successful stint at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, where he won gold medals alongside Ame and the national squad.
Azure Ray 2.0: Ready for Dota 2 in Kuala Lumpur
In the wake of these developments, Azure Ray underwent significant roster changes. The departure of fy, Chalice, and Somnus` M necessitated a reformation of the team. The new lineup, poised to compete at ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, has sparked discussions in the Esports community, with some questioning their eligibility due to the recent reshuffle.
Team Spirit’s manager Korb3n, for instance, has expressed skepticism about the team’s readiness for the upcoming tournament. But really, the real dilemma we have is whether Team BetBoom still wants to settle their beef with Azure Ray, now that it’s a completely different line-up.
The merger with Xtreme Gaming has also led to notable changes within the team structure. As XinQ and Xm joined Azure Ray, only Ding “Dy” Cong remains from the original Xtreme Gaming roster. This marks a significant transition for the team, reflecting the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of professional esports teams.
In conclusion, Azure Ray’s journey towards ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 is a testament to the fluidity and unpredictability of professional Chinese Dota 2. The team’s ability to adapt and restructure in the face of player departures will be crucial as they aim to make their mark at the upcoming tournament.