Team Aster’s TI12 journey is cut short by an underdog force, Team Bright.
Team Aster is eliminated from The International 2023 (TI12) China Qualifier - their last hope of making it to TI. The prominent lineup was handed defeat by an underdog force, Team Bright, also a Division II team. This will be Aster's first time missing TI since 2021.
Here is the complete roster of Team Aster:
- Du "Monet" Peng
- Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan
- Lin "Xxs" Jing
- Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi
- Yu "皮球" Yajun (aka Siamese C.)
SumaiL misses his second TI in a row
Image via ESL
Throughout 2023, Team Aster formed a distinct lineup, merging forces from different regions. SumaiL who is on loan from Nigma Galaxy replaces Xwy in the middle of the season following a successful stand-in stint during the ESL One Berlin Major. The team also acquired notable captain, Kaka, in a last-minute roster shuffle, just a month before TI12 Regional Qualifier began.
Entering the TI era, a lot of fans have their eyes on the prodigy and TI winner, SumaiL. He is one of the greatest midlaners of all time and remains in great form today. However, his journey has been topsy turvy for the past few years.
In 2022, SumaiL played alongside Nigma Galaxy in Western Europe (WEU). The team was eliminated in the WEU Qualifier at the hands of the eventual TI11 runner-up, Team Secret. And thus, TI11 was the first time SumaiL misses the prestigious Dota 2 tournament. Unfortunately this year, the Pakistani star player would once again get knocked out in the qualifiers - making it his second absence from TI in his entire career.
"Rough, hopefully heals faster than last year," SumaiL tweeted after the loss.
Team Bright defeats Team Aster 2-1
Team Aster moved into the TI12 Qualifier as one of the favorites. In the region, other powerful stacks like Azure Ray and Xtreme Gaming are also eager to grab the last TI slot. Although fans are always entertaining possible elimination, today's upset was downright unexpected.
Team Bright, fielding lesser-known players were just relegated to Division II in Tour 3. They were the eighth and last team in the Upper Division. With their last performance looking incredibly grim, no one would've expected Team Bright to knock Aster out of their TI12 run.
Yesterday, Team Aster met with Xtreme Gaming, who confidently knocked them down the Lower Bracket. Team Aster, already appearing shaky, then meets Team Bright. The series started with a win for the underdogs. The first game was a 50-minute slow burn as Team Bright's Anti-Mage slowly accumulated items and spiked in the late game.
The second game was smooth sailing for Team Aster. SumaiL grabbed his legendary Storm Spirit, scoring 13/2/22. But the star of the show was Monet on his Bloodseeker, who survived the game with 0 deaths.
It all came down to the third game and Aster opted for a change in draft. While Team Bright settled with their comfort Anti-Mage, Aster had a Phantom Assassin and Outworld Destroyer in the core lineup. This would prove lackluster as in 39 minutes, Bright closed the game and knocked out Aster from the TI12 Qualifier.
One team from China will head to TI12
With Team Aster out of the equation, only a few favorites remain. Battling in the Upper Bracket are Xtreme Gaming and the veterans, Azure Ray. Meanwhile, in the Lower Bracket, Invictus Gaming faced the same fate as Team Aster and was eliminated by an underdog team, Team Zero.
The winner will be decided tomorrow. You can watch the live broadcast of the TI12 China Qualifier on PGL's Twitch.