It’s been almost a year since a Chinese Dota 2 team finished top three in a Valve event. With veterans retiring at the beginning of the 2023 season, Dota 2 fans from the East were ready to write this year off—until Syed “SumaiL” Hassan arrived on the scene.
SumaiL joined Team Aster officially in early May, his presence immediately boosting the morale of the Chinese squad and fans from the region. The team built upon this and with SumaiL contributing heavily, Team Aster went on to secure a seat at the Bali Major with a near-perfect run in the DPC.
While Aster has been a part of every major this year, their recent run was more about how they did it. As a team, Aster gelled together better than ever, steamrolling through the DPC while having fun and providing plenty of highlights.
On May 23 versus Team Bright, SumaiL and Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao even swapped roles in an official match. Not only was this a show of strength, but the switch also highlighted the camaraderie within Team Aster.
BoBoKa, who primarily plays the support role for Team Aster, ended up taking the Earth Spirit pick into SumaiL’s mid lane, with SumaiL instead playing Keeper of the Light in BoBoKa’s support role in a hilarious switch-up. Team Aster went on to win the match in 26 minutes, setting up for the 2-0 series victory.
Despite being further away from the spotlight, PSG.LGD also had a spectacular season after a recent roster change. After the Berlin Major concluded, the organization parted ways with Nicholas “zeal” Lim and added Li “niu” Kongbo from Vici Gaming to its roster.
The switch has been working out so far and PSG.LGD shares Aster’s 5-0 record in the DPC. Though the two Chinese titans guaranteed their flights to the Bali Major, they’ll face each other on June 4 to determine the number one seed in the region.
With these two teams soaring on home turf, Dota 2 fans are now curious whether the Chinese scene can return to form for the Bali Major, and beyond to the return of The International in Seattle later this October.