After a lackluster performance at the Bali Major, Team Aster has been forced into making a roster change, farewelling Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao after nearly five years at the organization. In the process, the decision breaks apart BoBoKa and teammate Lin “Xxs” Jing—the longest-standing duo in Dota history.
Team Aster made the announcement via the Chinese social media site Weibo on July 7, with the team mentioning discussions between the club and the players occurred before the decision was made. Replacing BoBoKa will be veteran Hu “Kaka” Liangzhi, who will celebrate 10 years in Dota 2 this December.
The veteran had been away from competition for the beginning of 2023, returning with Xtreme Gaming for the Dota Pro Circuit Tour Two in April. The change ultimately comes as Team Aster’s early exit from the Bali Major this week means they have failed to qualify for The International in Oct. 2023.
BoBoKa and Xxs were both members of the original Team Aster lineup, formed in Sep. 2018, and have both played every single Aster game to this date—all 1,037 of them according to DatDota.
But their history together pre-dates Team Aster by a further three years, with the two rising to prominence in the final days of Team DK. DatDota lists the pair have played a remarkable 1,755 matches of Dota together, spanning eight years.
The two have played almost 300 more games than the pairing of Y` and Faith bian, with N0tail and Fly trailing just behind. Even more impressive, BoBoKa and Xxs achieved an astonishing 56 percent win rate across all 1,755 matches.
After Team DK in late 2015, the two moved to Invictus Gaming, debuting for the main squad together in Apr. 2016. One year later, the pair notched their first tier-one title over OG at the Dota 2 Asia Championships—and from there they didn’t look back.
BoBoKa and Xxs have taken part in four versions of The International, with 2022’s fourth place with Team Aster their best finish at the pinnacle event. Now, Xxs will need to adapt to life without his partner in crime, with BoBoKa currently teamless ahead of TI 2023’s regional qualifiers.
Kaka won’t have long to adjust to his new squad with Team Aster more than likely to receive an EPT invitation for the Riyadh Masters beginning July 17. From there, the squad will return home to prepare for August’s TI regional qualifier.