Vici Gaming came to TI9 as one of the stronger contenders for the most wanted trophy in the Dota 2 world.
Their performance through the second half of the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit Season made them the only team to have claimed a Minor and a Major title back to back, as well as the only team to have won two consecutive Majors, DreamLeague Season 11 and EPICENTER. The explosive run happened after a crisis in the team house, back in February, when Pan “Fade” Yi, captain of the squad back then, decided to take a break. He was benched and VG failed to qualify for the DreamLeague, Stockholm Major. They took the Minor qualifiers road and were in danger to lose those as well, when fade had a change of heart and returned to the VG active roster when they were in the lower bracket rounds, one series away from being eliminated. With Fade back, VG went on a winning spree and became the best Chinese team heading into The International 2019.
At the end of the TI9 group stage, VG were second in the Group B and the playoffs bracket forced them to fight in the upper bracket semifinals against PSG.LGD Gaming, who won the series and then VG lost their first lower bracket battle for survival to get eliminated top 6.
Two days after The International 2019 concluded, Fade announced on his Weibo account his decision to retire from the competitive scene.
Fade’s post translates as follows:
“I will retire and hope that marks that end of the drama. I’m tired of being at the center of the storm. Playing competitively for all these years, I’ve made many mistakes but also had many happy memories. I think I’ve disappointed you guys too many times. Let’s end it right here, I will go back to being a normal guy who can enjoy Dota in a simpler way.”
According to multiple sources from the Chinese scene, Fade’s decision is triggered by a few other things happening in the post TI9 shuffle. VPEsports is working to put all the pieces together and bring you a full report of what is becoming a “Fade drama“. Stay tuned!