Somnus bolsters new heavyweight Dota 2 squad with legendary coach

The champion coach returns to save Chinese Dota.

With his new Chinese superteam now locked and loaded, position one Lu Somnus Yao had just two pieces of the puzzle left to fitwhat will they call themselves, and who could coach such an esteemed and accomplished Dota 2 squad?

Both answers became a lot clearer on May 9, with CN Dota In A Nutshell confirming the legendary Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng would join the PSG.LGD core at Azure Ray, which is the new name for the project slated to bring Chinese Dota back into the light after what has been a disappointing year for the titanic region.

May 8s squad announcement shocked the Dota world, given Somnus was thought to have retired after RNGs run in Singapore at The International 2022 last October.

As if Azure Ray couldnt be any more experienced with the likes of Somnus, Chalice, and fy on the server, LanMs addition as team coach adds a further decade and a half of Dota 2 talent to the glittering squad. Xtreme Gaming released LanM as coach following the squads top 10 exit at ESL One Berlin Major on May 2.

Related: SumaiL joins Team Aster after ‘eye-opening experience’ in Berlin

The famous support player has been a constant figure at the helm of Chinese Dota since the esport’s beginning. He was present at the first iteration of TI with EHOME in 2011, before going on to play nine times at The International across numerous organizations, including Team DK, Vici Gaming, and Royal Never Give Up.

Hanging up the mouse after an early exit at TI 2021 with Team Aster, LanM moved to coaching, seeing Aster through a top-four finish in Singapore, before joining Xtreme Gaming for Berlin in 2023.

CN Dota In A Nutshells May 9 report also suggested Azure Rays star-studded core would go without a salary in the interim. This may be an indication the teams future is not set in stone past this years TI in Seattle and is dependent on Azure Rays qualification for and performance at the pinnacle tournament in October.

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