The Eastern Time Lapse: Diapers, Departures, and Dollar Signs


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The Eastern Time Lapse: Diapers, Departures, and Dollar Signs

Vignesh Raghuram
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This week in the Asian Dota 2 circuit was a whirlwind of emotions and roster shuffles, painting a vivid picture of life both in and out of the game. From newborns to new beginnings to million dollar transfer fees, here’s everything you need to know.

Armel Levels Up, Becomes a Father

Armel "Armel" Paul Tabios of Aurora has just leveled up in the game of life by becoming a dad. Swapping out the battlegrounds of DreamLeague Season 22 for the real-life boss fight of parenthood, Armel has decided that the only creeps he'll be dealing with for a while are the kind that require diapers.

He announced the new addition to his team on Facebook with a heartwarming "The heir to my PC has arrived" caption. In the photo, the Filipino star is seen in a tender huddle with his wife and newbie son, right out of the spawn room.

Armel becomes a Father


Fans and fellow gamers have flooded the comments with well-wishes. So, here's to Armel, who's showing us that sometimes, the best victories don't come with a trophy, but with tiny fingers wrapped around your own. Welcome to the world, little one—may your APMs be high, and your sleep interruptions low.

Captain Abandons Ship: Team Aster's Roster Shrinks Faster Than Its Win Rate

Team Aster's captain, Yu "皮球" Yajun, has officially ghosted his squad amid swirling rumors of the team's disbandment. Taking to Weibo, Yu thanked everyone for the memories and subtly updated his relationship status to "It's complicated." He's now floating in the free-agent pool, looking for a new Dota 2 squad to call home.

This dramatic exit comes after Team Aster's recent performance, which, let's be honest, has had more ups and downs than Khanda's winrate over the last month. Despite a roster shake-up last November, the team's success remained as empty as Arteezy's trophy cabinet, as it failed to qualify for not one, not two, but three major tournaments. Now, with only four members left staring at their screens, Team Aster's future looks quite bleak.

Rumors are swirling that the team, co-owned by Dota 2 royalty Xu "BurNIng" Zhilei, might be hitting the "eject" button on their Dota 2 adventures after this rough start to the year. Remember their glory days of a Top 4 finish at The International 2022? Seems like a distant memory now. As for what's next, will Team Aster disband, or will it pull a Phoenix and burst out of its egg fully reformed? Only time will tell, but for now, they're keeping the Dota 2 gossip mill running at full speed.

Xtreme Gaming Wins Big, Celebrates for Exactly 0.2 Seconds Before Next Tournament

Wang "Ame" Chunyu and Xtreme Gaming bulldozed their way to victory at Games of the Future 2024, sweeping LGD Gaming with a decisive 2:0. This marks Ame's grand return to the winners' circle post-hiatus, making it a comeback story that rivals Sébastien "Ceb" Debs’s at ESL One Stockholm Major 2022.

But hold the confetti and pause the victory lap; there's no time for champagne when you've got a schedule tighter than Phantom Assassin's spandex on laundry day. Before the echoes of its victory cheers had faded, Xtreme Gaming was already packing up for DreamLeague Season 22. 

With $350,000 now warming its bank account, Xtreme Gaming sets its sights on the million-dollar prize pool of DreamLeague Season 22. A win there could punch its ticket to the Esport World Cup. Here’s to hoping the team finds time to breathe—or at least, to cash the check.

Xtreme Gaming's Million-Dollar Man?: Ame's Price Tag Revealed

Xtreme Gaming's acquisition of Wang "Ame" Chunyu allegedly came with a hefty price tag of a million dollars—or slightly less, according to a somewhat confused exchange between Lu "Somnus`M" Yao and Yan "Chalice" Shenyi.

Somnus and Chalice's back-and-forth sounded less like a conversation and more like two roommates trying to remember if they left the stove on—except the stove is a top-tier esports player, and the gas bill is a million dollars. 

The conversation, sparked by a chat inquiry about Ame's transfer fee, had Somnus and Chalice volleying figures back and forth with an air of uncertainty. "I know the rough amount," Somnus claimed, to which Chalice echoed a similar sentiment of vague awareness but unsure precision. The dialogue took a comedic turn as numbers danced from "1 Million Dollars" to "a little less," then to "about half, not that expensive," as if they were haggling over a market item rather than discussing the transfer sum of one of Dota 2's most notable players.

Somnus attempted to clarify, suggesting that domestic player transfers typically don't reach such astronomical figures, with Chalice concurring that Ame's case might be a rare exception in recent years. 

Interestingly, both players also claimed that western esports organizations may be paying more than their eastern counterparts in transfer fees.

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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.

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