Somnus set to make Dota 2 comeback with new Chinese superteam

A 2018 PSG.LGD reunion is on the cards.

An ancient and legendary Dota 2 player thought lost to time has resurfaced on May 8 as YBB Gaming looks to reform one of the greatest Chinese Dota cores in history.

Lu “Somnus” Yao, one of Chinas all-star Dota carries, announced his supposed retirement from the esport following Royal Never Give Ups 13th-16th finish at The International 2022. However, according to a report from CN Dota In A Nutshell, it appears the 27-year-old will make a return to competitive Dota ahead of this years TI12.

Per Valves Dota 2 roster registration page, which was updated on Monday morning, Somnus will take to the server with YBB alongside former teammates and Chinese legends Yang “Chalice” Shenyi and Xu “fy” Linsen.

Screenshot by Dot Esports

Somnus, formerly known as Maybe, had been a mainstay of Chinese Dota from as early as 2014, with his TI debut coming in 2015 with LGD Gaming. He would stick with the org for the next five years, ultimately building a dynasty that saw the squad dominate their home region and land multiple top finishes at TI in 2018 and 2019.

After their contracts expired in 2020, Somnus and fy departed PSG.LGD, forming Elephant with fellow Chinese veteran Super. Despite a solid 2021 season regionally, the squad eventually fell short of expectations at TI10.

Somnus parted with team captain fy to join RNG, reuniting with Chalice, but once again the team failed to build momentum overseas. RNG crashed out of The International 2022 in Singapore in unfortunate circumstances, falling in the first round of playoffs to Entity.

The three stalwarts will return with YBB alongside carry Lou Zhen and support Jiang An for at least the remainder of the 2023 DPC season. Many were hoping for a full 2018 reunion with popular Chinese position one Ame, but he remains locked into his existing contract with PSG.LGD, where he is currently benched and is a content streamer.

Related: Somnus is reconsidering Dota 2 retirement after Messi fairytale

Somnus return is one of a number of roster changes that are rocking the Chinese pro Dota 2 scene after a disappointing start to 2023 for the region.

Team Aster, Chinas highest-ranked squad in the DPC, was underwhelming at DreamLeague in April and the Berlin Major in May. Aster has already made a huge move for the season, bringing in Sumail Hassan on loan from Nigma Galaxy.

Vici Gaming, meanwhile, dropped their entire roster following fys transfer to YBB. The org failed to qualify for the Berlin Major and was relegated to Chinas second division after a poor DPC Tour Two performance.

With the roster lock approaching, well likely see Somnus and YBB in action later in May as DPC Tour Three begins ahead of the Bali Major and then The International.

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