In October 2020, online rumours emerged about a new Chinese Dota ‘super team’ being formed. Just nine months later, that super team, Elephant, are headed to The International 2021.
In a dramatic 3-1 schooling of regional rivals EHOME, Elephant refused to allow their opponents a way back into the best-of-five series. Dropping their first game, Elephant swung the scales in their favor for the next three. The star-studded roster took out EHOME in a trio of straight games to score a spot to TI.
While things looked hairy for the first two games, by game three, Elephant most definitely looked in control. By the time the final game four was coming to a close, the players even had time for some preemptive celebration.
With the win, Elephant conclude their run through the China Qualifiers for The International 2021. A run, that saw them take part in one of the longest games in history, and defeat some of the best the China region has to offer.
Elephant No Strangers to TI Success
Although Elephant is a relatively “new” stack, the players of Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun, Lu “Somnus丶M” Yao, Zhou “Yang” Haiyang, Xu “fy” Linsen, and Xie “Super” Junhao are no strangers to TI. Somnus and fy were part of the 2019 PSG.LGD roster that narrowly lost out in the tense TI9 finals. Between them, this team has close to a dozen TI appearances, and are rarely out of the top 10 in finish.
During less than a year of their formation, the team has gone from not existing to heading to TI. However, the squad still lags behind the rest of their region. Because of the other strong Chinese contenders, Elephant were not able to attend a major this year. They still struggle against their rivals – and for the most part remain a perennial fifth-place.
Elephant is the fifth Chinese team to qualify for TI, behind PSG.LGD, Invictus Gaming, Vici Gaming, and Team Aster. China has a formidable lineup of teams attending TI10, and with PSG.LGD currently the favorites to win it all, it seems highly likely a Chinese team will take home the Aegis in 2021.
However, Elephant has shown incredible fortitude to make it this far. They hold single match victories over almost all of their regional rivals. As a result, Elephant will definitely be no push overs on the international stage. While ultimately, they are simply not the best their region has to offer, they are more than a match to plenty of their international opponents. An Elephant never forgets—and this team will have memories of falling short at past TIs to fuel their tournament run.