Team Aster has the former favorites packing their bags faster than any of the previous five TIs.
PSG.LGD entered The International 2022 as the favorite to win it all on the back of both their recent and historical results. But the dominant Chinese force was challenged early and never truly made it back to their top form, eventually falling to Team Aster in a heartbreaking 2-0 loss and fifth-place exit.
Not only did they lose to Aster, a Chinese team that has slowly improved over the last year, but this was LGDs worst placement at any iteration of The International since TI6 when the teams current coach xiao8 was still playing competitively. Over the last four seasons, LGD has recorded fourth, second, third, and second-place finishes at TI7, TI8, TI9, and TI10 respectively with different rosters.
Aster stole game one out from under a surprising Ame Riki pick, flipping the script and crushing LGD in the final five minutes. That momentum carried over into game two, where Aster just played better from start to finish to send LGD packing.
It wasn’t just a battle for the players either, as both teams’ coaches have a deep competitive history with xiao8 winning 57 percent of his games against Aster’s LaNm during their time as players.
This LGD roster had its beginnings as part of EHOME during the TI9 Chinese qualifiers before forming completely when they moved over to LGD in November 2020 and were joined by Ame. With that move, the roster quickly became the strongest team in China and among the best in the world.
Since that move, LGD has only ever finished outside of the top four in one event prior to this exit and barely missed out on lifting the Aegis of Champions at TI10. However, this era is now likely at an end as Faith_bian plans to retire from competitive Dota 2 following this season.
This is something that the offlane player has talked about over the last several months, as he wants to open a new chapter in his life beyond competing. And, while he knows that leaving the game behind will hold some regrets, it is something he has thought about a lot since TI10 and thinks it is the right call.
With this decision, barring a change of heart, Faith_bian will leave behind Dota at the age of 24-years old with close to $4 million in career earnings across 10 years in the competitive scene. During that decade, he has played at the highest level of the game and won dozens of tournaments, including TI6 with a Wings Gaming roster that is still considered one of the strongest to ever play the game.
As for Aster, they lock in a top-four finish at TI11 and have now cemented themselves as the current best team in China heading into the final phase of the event.