There is no such thing as retirement in Dota 2.

It seems proven that no one actually retires from Dota 2. At the end of 2023, a number of notable retired players have made their way back to the professional Dota 2 scene. And with a recent announcement, two more enter the fray. Star offlaner, Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida, and midlaner, Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang, have returned to competitive Dota 2 as they sign with Azure Ray.

Azure Ray's current Dota 2 roster is as follows:

  • Lou "Lou" Zhen
  • Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang 
  • Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida
  • Xu "fy" Linsen
  • Jiang "天命" An (tian ming)

A season of comeback

Dota 2 fans are still celebrating the return of notable pros such as Miracle-, who continued with Nigma Galaxy, and Ame, who recently joined Xtreme Gaming. Not only that, fy, who attempted to pursue retirement after The International 12, has scrapped his plans to join Azure Ray.

Now two more Chinese veterans have made their return official.

Faith_bian returns from retirement to play for Azure Ray.<br>(Photo via PGL)
Faith_bian returns from retirement to play for Azure Ray.
(Photo via PGL)

Faith_bian is one of the biggest Dota 2 stars in the world. He is a TI6 champion and was a part of the formidable Wings Gaming lineup. His reign also continued at TI10, in which he placed a runner-up finish with PSG.LGD.

The 25-year-old offlaner opted to retire after TI in 2022 to explore other things in life. But it seems Faith_bian has been itching to compete once again. And he's not the only person to feel so.

Ori returns from retirement to play for Azure Ray.<br>(Photo via Valve)
Ori returns from retirement to play for Azure Ray.
(Photo via Valve)

Ori will also return alongside Faith_bian to play for Azure Ray in 2024. Ori is most known for his time with Team Aster, where he shined in the midlane position. His last competitive battle was at TI11, which saw him grabbing a top 4 placement. Despite a respectable finish, Ori surprised the community with the decision to retire. But with all that buried in the past, we'll soon see Ori in action!

Chinese Dota looks explosive for 2024

It is an exciting time for fans of Chinese Dota 2 and the game in general. Not a couple months ago, the community was concerned for the health of Chinese Dota 2. But with Azure Ray's recent victory at the ESL One Kuala Lumpur, many Chinese retirees have picked up the keyboard once again. And we will definitely look forward to see more from the revitalized region in 2024.

Stick around for more Dota 2 news!