With only a few short weeks left until The International 2019 kicks off, we continue to take a closer look at the players who will be attending this prestigous event for the first time. As the event is being held in China, there are only a handful of the local players which feature on this list – from two of the teams; Keen Gaming and Royal Never Give Up.
Royal Never Give Up
Having only created their Dota 2 roster last year, RNG have not had the best of results in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit or out of it. Luckily, the squad of both well-known and young Dota 2 players were able to fight through a blisteringly tough China regional qualifier and secure their spot at TI9 – a first time event for some on their squad, while another chance to finally lift the Aegis of Champions for others.
- Du ‘Monet’ Peng
- Gao ‘Setsu’ Zhenxiong
- Su ‘Flyby’ Lei
- Zhang ‘LaNm’ Zhicheng
- Tue Soon ‘ah fu’ Chuan
Gao “Setsu” Zhenxiong
Being a part of the team since their beginnings in late 2018, Setsu has shown some amazing skills as a mid-lane player. While the team have not shown too much promise when it came to major events, Setsu’s young age amongst a team full of talent has definitely stood out. The player hopes now that with a home-town advantage, The International 2019 will bring a better time, much like the qualifiers did.
Su “Flyby” Lei
Flyby is the newest member of the RNG lineup, having only joined the squad again in 2019 – however, having played for them back-and-forth constantly since inception. Prior to this, Flyby made a full name for himself alongside the likes of CDEC Gaming and Invictus Gaming, but even so, the 22-year old has never attended a TI event. Nor has he ever attended a Valve sanctioned event up until EPICENTER just recently.
While Royal Never Give Up have not made an amazing showing this season, having three players on their squad who have had TI ambitions continuously over the years. With only a few weeks until the event kicks off, they’re surely looking to have some brand new strategies available that can maybe carry them through to a high placement in Shanghai, China.
Much like RNG, Keen were only formed in more recent years – with late 2017 being their creation. Unfortunately the squad went through a lot of roster changes last year as they tried to find their grounding – but once they were able to do so, they started to make their name known in both DPC and non-DPC events. 2019 was a huge step up for the squad and with their 5th/6th place finish in Stockholm at DreamLeague Season 11, KG secured their TI9 spot.
- Wang ‘old chicken’ Zhiyong
- Zhai ‘一’Jingkai
- Ren ‘eLeVeN’ Yangwei
- Hu ‘Kaka’ Liangzhi
- Song ‘dark’ Runxi
Having only ever played Dota 2 for either EHOME and Keen Gaming, Zhai has spent his full career with KG. During his first stint with the team, he would only really feature at the likes of ESL One Hamburg before returning to EHOME for a short period. When he returned again to KG, they begun to come up once again in a very slow and steady manner – starting events in China before the DPC and ESL One Mumbai.
With only a handful of Valve events under his belt, The International 2019 is going to be a huge step for Zhai and he will be hoping that the team can rally well on their home turf and push forward in an epic battleground of Dota 2 teams.
Song ‘dark’ Runxi
Dark has been on the squad since their inception into the Dota 2 world and much like Zhai, he has only ever played with EHOME or Keen. As the longest standing member and the position 5 support, dark has quickly adapted to being a stalwart captain to his team. Being on the squad for the longest time, dark has seen the best and worst times of KG and we’re all hoping to see them put their best foot forward at The International 2019 in just a few weeks.
This will all be helped by the rest of the squad, veterans of the Dota 2 world who have been to TI-events before, and coming close to winning. Keen Gaming have a lot of experience behind them, and with TI being on Shanghai soil, they will be looking to throw everything that they can at giving China another TI-title.
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