“Invoker offlane. Invoker any position.”
Dota 2 superstar Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida has made a comeback for Azure Ray, and BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 will be the new lineup's first seven-figure LAN. The most star-studded roster in Chinese Dota since PSG.LGD enters as a serious podium threat. Esports.gg caught up with Faith_bian before the start of the tournament to learn more about his surprise comeback.
Join us from BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 as we interview Faith_bian from Azure Ray.
Faith_bian at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024
How’s FISSURE treating you? Is it your first time in Dubai?
Everything is amazing. Our training room, our bedrooms are amazing. Very big and very comfortable.
Were there any pro players who inspired you to pursue Dota 2 full-time?
[Daryl "iceiceice" Koh.] When I first started to play offlane, I watched his replays to learn.
What do you think about the DPC dissolving and third-party events like this taking its place?
I think its quite nice actually, because now we can play more international tournaments. We can play in other regions, and there is more prize money to compete for.
Do you ever use your fame in pubs? If someone tries to take your role from you, do you just tell them “I am Faith_bian.”?
No, no. That's too ego for me. I'm not that personality.
A legendary player deprived of his heroes
Are there any heroes that you wish were stronger for this tournament?
Not really. I'm a noob right now. Whatever hero is good, I play that hero.
Your signature Beastmaster has been gone for this patch. Why did you stop picking the hero?
It's been overpowered for the last couple of years, so they nerfed it too much. For Beastmaster, it's quite sad. The bird is not movable at all, you can't open vision with it, so that's a big nerf. That's kind of sad.
If you could only play one hero for the rest of your life, who would you pick and why?
Invoker, I think. Its a fun hero, and he's my most played.
No more offlane? Or Invoker offlane?
Invoker offlane. Invoker any position.
Azure Ray is stacked with superstars
The sudden roster changes after Kuala Lumpur were very controversial in the west. Were they already decided before the tournament?
It's all around [Wang "Ame" Chunyu.] I heard they had discussed it before the tournament.
Your series against G2.iG at the ESL One Birmingham qualifier broke the record for longest Dota 2 match ever. What was it like playing in that series?
(Deep sigh) I was just too tired after that, especially since we lost it, but it was really fun. We spent 60 minutes thinking about how to win just one game. It was a brand new experience to me.
What did you do right after the match?
Since we lost, we just sat there and looked at the screen thinking "How did we lose this?"
Your entire team will compete in the 1v1 tournament, and Xu "fy" Linsen is famous for his 1v1 skills. How well do you think each player will do?
I don't know, we just signed up for it. We don't have too much ambition. Fy actually didn't want to sign up for it, but we convinced him to join us. We will just try our best.
If you play against your teammates, who will you beat?
I don't know, maybe we will try some fun heroes!
The name change has yet to catch on
You’ve tried changing your name to Bach, but many still call you Faith_bian, especially in the west. Do you mind that?
No, I don't care. Its just a new ID, a fun thing to change it.
Speaking of the name change, you’re known to love classical music. What other composers did you think about changing your name too? Azure Ray.Vivaldi, maybe?
No, only Bach. I love Bach.
Do you have a particular favorite piece from Bach?
The Goldberg Variations.
You were retired, but you returned to pro Dota 2 for this team. Why?
Because this team's boss treats me nice. He seems reliable. This is the most natural opportunity that has come to me. For XG, I wanted to play with [Zhao "XinQ" Zixing] and [Wang "Ame" Chunyu] and they also asked me, but after the first tournament, XinQ won it with [Lin "Xxs" Jing,] so its better that they play together. This team is the most natural for me.
It is reported that the team is playing without a salary. Is this true?
No, we have a salary.
Anything else you’d like to say to the fans?
I hope you can enjoy Dota and life.
A special thanks to Faith_bian for taking the time at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 to speak with esports.gg.