The announcement came shortly after RNG were eliminated from TI11.

After a brutal 109 minute loss in the TI11 elimination lower bracket, Lu “Somnus” Yao has strongly hinted at his retirement from pro Dota 2. 

Somnus hints at retirement from Pro Dota 2
Somnus hints at retirement from Pro Dota 2. Screengrab via Weibo.

“It seems like my career is destined to be filled with regrets and difficulties,” Somnus said on Weibo. “Thank you all for your concern and encouragement. My time ends now. Somnus out.”

Somnus in his Weibo post.

The 26-year-old player competed at TI as Royal Never Give Up’s mid-laner. After a strong start to TI, multiple players on the RNG roster tested positive for COVID. With multiple players in isolation and COVID positive, the team’s form took a massive hit. On October 20, they were eliminated from the TI lower bracket after a 127 minute bo1 game against Team Entity. The TI11 match which saw xNova walk on to the stage as the sole RNG representative went down in history books as the longest main stage match in TI history.

A glorious career – A TI regular

Somnus at ESL One Birmingham playing for PSG.LGD in 2019. Somnus recently hinted at his retirement from pro Dota 2.
Somnus playing for PSG.LGD at ESL One Birmingham 2019. Somnus recently hinted at his retirement from pro Dota 2. Image Credit: ESL.

Somnus is one of the most popular names in Chinese Dota 2 history. He started playing DotA several years before transitioning to Valve’s Dota 2 on launch. Formerly known as ‘Maybe’, the player was infamous for his aggressive playstyle and calculated approach to the game.

He signed on with LGD gaming in 2014 but was soon transferred to LGD’s development team, LGD.CDEC. A few months later, he moved back to the main LGD roster after some impressive performances in the Dota 2 League and DAC qualifier.

As one of the iconic players to have ever graced this game, Somnus could never really win the biggest prize there is – The International. He has played for LGD for several years and more recently for Elephant and RNG this year. But the TI trophy has always eluded him, even though he came painstakingly close to winning on multiple occasions.

As part of the LGD organization, Somnus had the following placements at TI:

  • The International 2015: 3rd
  • The International 2016: 9-12th
  • TI7: 4th
  • TI8: 2nd
  • and The International 2019: 3rd

The social media post does not explicitly mention his retirement but the cryptic nature of the post hints at a possible retirement.

The team had an impressive performance in the DPC this season, with top four finish in each of the three Tours. Despite four players getting COVID, the team still managed to reach the TI11 playoffs and finish in the 12-16th place.

Cheers for Ame

With RNG now out of competition, PSG.LGD and Team Aster are the only two remaining Chinese teams at TI11. Shortly after hinting at retirement, Somnus was cheering for Ame in a pub match.

The text translates roughly to “Cheer Up Ame”. Chun yu is Ame’s name. PSG.LGD are in the lower bracket and will face BOOM esports in their next match – a Bo3 elimination series.

After their win over BOOM esports, PSG.LGD’s Ame said he was very emotional on reading Somnus’ message. Ame has been a part of PSG.LGD for the past few years and they have often come close to winning TI, but they fell short everytime.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Dota 2 news and updates.

Rohan - Content Editor

Rohan

Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)