I spent the entirety of yesterday watching TI at HangZhou LGD HQ. Pre match, alot of people messaged me "Fei bro, all the best for this year!. This is the year! " etc etc. Even till right before the match, i had a relaxed attitude towards the games, feeling confident that we are ready.
Match begins, we took out a strat that we're confident in this entire season whether in practice or match, Io. Io, ursa, lycan, Disruptor, this is also our comfortable lineup, until the last pick mid, i realized we don't have much room to choose, and settled for pango.
After losing the first match, the manager on scene told me that everyone discussed and felt that IO was our most comfortable strat, the first match is more of an early game lane mismanagement, adding on to mid game the few times the initiation was too hot blooded, resulting in the loss, everyone unanimously felt that we can try Io strat once more.
Yet after settling for Io as pos 5 hero , the entire lineup's tempo started to go in a direction that we aren't familiar with. After a shit laning stage, the game's difficulty had increased to a very tough level, even if Shaker Morph have a certain damage output, but the huge networth deficit proves comeback impossible.
After coming down from booth, 8King (xiao8 nickname) realizes that we've wasted too much time on Io, lane advantage is the most comfortable way for us, and thus suggested Undying. And it proved that with lane advantage, the games were easy.
After reaching match 5, everyone got their comfortable heroes. This is the same strat that we won Secret with. Yet the big hole left from losing the first two games, and playing too passively made the laning stage and mid game not being able to capitalize on getting a huge networth advantage after Tiny is completed. When a game have to defend against Magnus on highground during just midgame, this game becomes very difficult.
People asks why are you guys so stubborn, why not just ban Magnus, maybe if we had another chance, we would consider it. However back then, before the match discussion , the coach and all the team members, all unanimously agree that we can play against Magnus, we just need to think of the right strat, this is a team decision, not anyone's.
GG showed up on the game screen, me who is sitting in the office watching the games with friends was stunned, sad, wanting to cry yet was still in denial.
I ran to the carpark alone, after crying for tens of minutes, i gave a call to Tian bro, recalling my 7 years of since joining LGD, at that moment, it really felt like i want to give up.
2015, when first joining LGD's first TI journey, at this moment Maybe was still that superstar ember, against C9's huge comeback we immediately ensured a good position in group, and CDEC's good performance also ensured that our club's two teams were able to stand on the stage on Grand Finals day. And yet the story that year belongs to EG, belongs to Sumail's Leshrac, belongs to Aui2000's techies, Naga. But we were a new squad, we didn't feel much depressed, and chose to move on.
2016, Visa failed, Coach had to sub in to fight, even before a struggle, we fell before the clutches of DC.
2017, two bright stars started a new journey, LGD and LFY gave me a new hope. This time we managed to stood on the grand finals day as well, and yet was still bested by brood, huskar strat of Liquid.
During the half a year after TI7 ended, we were struggling, even the confident Maybe thought of quitting. It was good that we held on to youth camp, as we managed to find suitable 3 and 5 by year end.
Chalice and Xnova brought the team new energy. Epicenter Major champion, Changsha Major champion, the entire team was on a roll, with TI within sight. On the grand finals game 4, as i saw enemy's two highground were already destroyed ,was sitting in manager room ready to celebrate. And yet 2018's memories was painful, but also allowed me to see room for this squad.
All ready to go, the same squad challenged TI9, but TI9's us , whether it be mentality or strategy were all behind OG.
After TI9 ended, with the squad's 2nd year of failure, Life being as good as first encounter was only a blissful wish. As the team loses more matches, we have to face the elephant in the room, its time to adjust the squad.
2020's summer, Maybe and FY's contract ended and the original 5 man no longer exists. We start eyeing for new lineup. And thus, there was the meeting at Changsha between myself and 23458 who was vacationing there.
When we talked about forming a new squad, we talked about a few important points.
1.Young, the more senior player in this squad shall be Ame, born 1997
2.Focus, other than Dota there shall not be much other hobbies, so they can focus their all on the game
3.Maturity, Xiao8 and 2 ex-wings champion members are part of the team, there's no worry of making mistakes because of youth.
4.Congenial， in everyday life, squad members that are similar in age with the same hobbies (tabletop games and food), we can become a very rapport team.
With these analysis, i started forming the team from various squads, and after two months of negotiation we have the current LGD.
Everything was going in a good direction, China's big and small tournament champions, Animajor Champion, its as if this year's TI is within reach. And before the tournament, i had a firm idea that every year's TI champion have a strat that other teams can't play, and with our hero pool we can do it.
And yet with this squad, we lost, typed out GG, for a moment i don't even know what's the next step. I told Tian bro, i'm starting to lose confidence, is it me, is it LGD, are we just not fated for TI champion, Within China i even couldn't think of piecing together a better squad than this. At this moment i thought of giving up.
I took out my phone, wrote alot of messages for RURU, wanting to quit, deleting Weibo, deleting Ding Ding, deleting email, and finally deleting Wechat, and yet my will was still not convicted to send the letter of resignation.
Tian bro asked me two questions, do you feel that what you did all these years had any meaning, did LGD's effort in Dota 2 had any meaning. If you resign, do you feel that you will find a job that makes you more interested in than this.
To be honest, at the moment, i also don't know what the future will be like. Tian bro asked me to rest, not make any rash decisions, my entire thoughts were simply driving my car and wander around.
My wife called non stop, said she's very worried and wants me to come home. I felt like a fish that drowned, lost all sense of direction.
4am, i went home, my daughter who was sleeping sounded suddenly woke up and find her father. At that moment i realized, this world, i'm not aloine, i still have a family to take care, brothers to accompany, i can't be irresponsible.
If we say Ame's champion waited for 4 years, if we say that China's Dotaer's champion waited for 5 years, and me , waited for this champion for 7 years, then for LGD, its 10 years.
I don't know how many 7 years can i focus on this in my life, and also don't know how many Clubs can persevere for ten years as if it were one day on Dota 2, i don't even know how long if Dota 2 this game can stay on China's market. But its just like what Wa Shao said when i took the baton from him on Perfect World's ceremony "As long as Dota 2 exists, LGD exists".
Lastly, after a meeting with the players earlier today, everyone unanimously voted YES, This LGD, at the least will accompany everyone for a year more.