Team Aster first to finalize Dota 2 roster for DPC 2023, Ori excluded

Going into the off season, we expect some big roster moves inside the region, as is tradition with seasonal China Dota 2 roster shuffles. Team Aster seems to have stepped out of the standard cycle and finalized their roster earlier then most.

They were the most accomplished Chinese team at the International 11 (TI11) this year, finishing in fourth. For this entire region, ending anywhere below first is never considered an achievement.  Aster, having failed the least, is also making minimal changes to their roster.

Team Aster at DPC 2023

The Chinese teams certainly did not win big at TI this year, considering the top three finishes were occupied by Western European teams. Regardless, Aster is amongst the best candidates to emerge from the region.

Fast forward to today, and Aster announced their latest addition to their team, Zhai “Xwy” Jingkai. Xwy will take over the role of mid-player, a rather major role in a powerhouse team, especially for him. Yet, here Xwy is, looking to surpass its predecessor’s success at TI Championships and DPC.

What happened to Ori?

Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang

Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang

Well, this brings us to Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang. Aster’s mid-player, renowned across the battlefield as an almighty player. Considering their success at TI11, any fan would have assumed that Aster takes the high road of roster shuffles by sticking together for another season to train. Just look at what another year of practice led PSG.LGD to accomplish at TI11.

Jokes aside, Ori is a phenomenal and seasoned player, so when Aster let Ori out of their active roster, fans were baffled. Turns out Ori had other motives to quit Aster, or rather, quit professional Dota 2 altogether.

According to a Reddit thread, Ori retires to pursue his career as a lawyer. In fact, he is an overachiever, graduating from one of China’s top law schools and passing the Legal Licensing Exam. He could start his career as a lawyer right away, so his parents have arranged a lawyer job for him.

Prior to this clarification, there were rumors going around that Ori’s parents wanted him to quit his Esports career without much clarity on the subject, spewing hate. Upon further clarification, it seems justified that Ori left for a more long-term career that ages well, which is certainly not viable in any esports career.

All eyes on Xwy

Anyways, Team Aster has Xwy to work with for the next DPC 2023 season. The new player’s last team was a sister team of Team Aster, Aster.Aries. However, his career dates way back to established powerhouses, such as EHOME and Keen Gaming.

During his term in Keen Gaming for two years, Xwy managed to debut at TI9, albeit with very poor results. He has made some appearances in ESL One tournaments, DreamLeague, and even majors, so Aster certainly isn’t picking up any run-in-a-mill player for their star roster.

Regardless, these are old accomplishments, so the most recent reflection of his performance is the DPC (2022) Tour 3, where his team secured fifth place in Division 1 bracket. Not too shabby for a sister team, but certainly nothing to brag about.

Considering how shaken up the Chinese competitive scene is after multiple veteran players retire and a sloppy TI run. We can likely expect more unique roster shuffles before the DPC 2023 kicks off next year.