Zai Hints at Retirement After Team Liquid's Exit from The International 2023
In a shocking revelation, Team Liquid's star offlaner Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg has suggested the possibility of retirement. The news came after Team Liquid's exit from The International 2023 (TI12) Dota 2 championships. Team Liquid secured a Top 6 finish, walking away with a consolation prize of $101,815 after yet another devastating loss to Gaimin Gladiators.
But it was Zai's candid comments during a post-game interview with Neal "Tsunami" Khandheria that truly captivated the Dota 2 world.
Zai Hints at Retirement
After the game against Gaimin Gladiators, Zai stated, "Blitz came up to me after the match with Gaimin Gladiators and said it's time for me to go after such a game on Centaur Warrunner."
Tsunami shared a moment of laughter during the interview. Zai continued, "I'll listen to him. It was probably my last World Championship. I plan to take a break and see how it goes. Not quite sure where it will lead me." Notably, Zai's performance on Centaur Warrunner in the elimination match resulted in a KDA (Kill/Death/Assist) of 2/11/3.
Zai took a moment to reflect on the past year, praising Team Liquid's consistent performances despite not clinching any tournament wins. He noted, "Performance-wise it's been pretty good. Obviously not winning anything per se, but we've been constantly performing and doing well. And I think looking back, a Top 6 finish at this TI is not the worst performance. Of course, we would have liked to achieve more in this one." He further stated, "I've definitely had better and worse moments in my career, so this is somewhere in the middle. The most disappointing part is perhaps the third game, where we underperformed. I believe we could have done much better in the second game. But, you know, life goes on."
Following this, Team Liquid coach William "Blitz" Lee expressed that he was grateful that he got to work with Zai and Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen at the end of their careers.
The Dota 2 community is now left in suspense about the future of Zai. He's been a beacon in the competitive Dota 2 scene, leaving an indelible mark with teams like Evil Geniuses, Team Secret, and most recently, Team Liquid. Yet, the elusive Aegis of Champions remains just out of his grasp, a dream he's chased but never attained.
As The International 2023 continues to captivate audiences with its intense matches and compelling storylines the tournament is now in its conclusive Day, a new champion will be crowned tonight.