Eastern Time Lapse: Missing Mid-Laners and Tea Peace Treaties

Vignesh Raghuram
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Eastern Time Lapse: Missing Mid-Laners and Tea Peace Treaties</p></div>
Eastern Time Lapse: Missing Mid-Laners and Tea Peace Treaties


AFK Gaming

China and Southeast Asian Dota 2 delivered surprises that left fans both bewildered and bemused this week. From Aurora's sudden mid-laner mystery to Azure Ray's diplomacy via tea leaves, let's unpack the downright peculiar happenings that unfolded.

Aurora's "Where's Armel?" Conundrum

In a move that shocked fans and probably confused at least one team manager into checking if players now come with a "Find My Player" app, Aurora's Dota 2 roster found itself one Armel short of a full set. Armel Paul "Armel" Tabios will not be competing in the DreamLeague Season 22 lineup due to personal reasons. This departure has left a gap in the roster and a series of unanswered questions in its wake. It thrusts Aurora into an urgent quest for a replacement, a challenge compounded by the looming championship, which promises not only a hefty prize pool but also the invaluable EPT points which directly translates to invites for the Riyadh Masters 2024.

The team's statement on Twitter which might as well have read, "Armel has left the chat for personal reasons. BRB finding a new mid-laner", left fans and followers in anticipation of the next chapter. Who would step into the breach? How would this change affect team dynamics? The current lineup, featuring talents such as Nienngnara "23savage" Teeramahanon and Anucha "Jabz" Jirawong, now faces the added pressure of integrating a new member under the tight deadline before the tournament kicks off, in less than a week.

Azure Ray, Tea Leaves, and the Tale of the Canceled Scrim

Team Liquid's Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi, fresh off an electrifying victory over Gaimin Gladiators, spilled the tea in a post-game interview that was less about the clash of titans and more about the clinking of teacups.

iNSaNiA, in a moment of post-match relaxation, shared a tale that could warm the cockles of even the most cold-hearted esports fan. It appears that Azure Ray canceled a scrim match with Team Liquid. But instead of leaving a bitter taste, they sent over a peace offering that was literally steeped in goodwill: tea.“They sent this tea like, ‘We're sorry, we canceled.’ That's a good move. I like that. I feel like BetBoom should learn after canceling 47 scrims on us and sending us nothing,” he said.

iNSaNiA's revelation didn't stop at the tea. He expressed a preference for facing Azure Ray over Team Spirit in the BetBoom Dacha 2024 Dubai, attributing this choice to the former's considerate act. This preference, as fate would have it, materialized when Azure Ray dispatched Team Spirit to set up a clash with Team Liquid in the lower bracket semi-finals. Unfortunately, it did not end well for the tea-brewing Chinese team.

Azure Ray's Rollercoaster Ride at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024

Azure Ray's journey through the BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 a rollercoaster ride. Fresh off their triumph at ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, Azure Ray swaggered into Dubai with a new-look roster, ready to shake up the status quo with its new look roster, unveiled in January, as it decided to play musical chairs with their lineup. Out went Guo "Xm" Hongcheng, Lin "Xxs" Jing, and Zhao "XinQ" Zixing, and in came Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang, Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida, and Xu "fy" Linsen.

The tournament started off with promise for Azure Ray, as they cut through the competition with finesse. Their crowning achievement? Toppling the reigning TI champions, Team Spirit, in a display of strategic brilliance and mechanical mastery that sent shockwaves through the tournament. Fans and foes alike watched in awe as Azure Ray secured a top 4 finish, proving that their roster changes were not just for show.

But as the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end." In the lower bracket semifinals, Azure Ray faced off against Team Liquid in a clash of titans. Despite their valiant efforts and the strategic depth they displayed throughout the tournament, Azure Ray fell 0-2 to Team Liquid

Though they couldn't replicate the unbridled success of their previous roster, Azure Ray's performance in Dubai was a testament to their potential. With eyes now firmly set on Games of the Future 2024 and DreamLeague Season 22, Azure Ray is not just a team to watch; they're a team on a mission. The question on everyone's lips: Can this new roster blend their individual talents into a concoction potent enough to dominate the Dota 2 scene?

As we wrap up this rollercoaster of a week in Asian Dota 2, the leaderboards have thrown us a curveball that’s as intriguing as it is amusing. Rising to the top of the SEA Dota 2 charts is a player going by the name "Wonyoung," flying the South Korean flag.

Wonyoung topping Dota 2 Leaderboards

AFK Gaming

Now, before you start imagining K-pop dance moves disrupting the serious ambiance of Dota 2 matches, let’s clarify: it’s probably not the K-pop idol from IVE. It is likely the smurf account of Team Secret midlaner Teng "Kordan" Tjin Yao. Yet, there’s a part of us that can’t help but chuckle at the thought of Wonyoung juggling her idol duties with a secret life as a Dota 2 prodigy. 

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.