Team Elephant disbanding holds a lesson for all superteam builders
The post-TI 10 shuffle seems to be in full swing as Chinese superteam Team Elephant has announced the disbandment of its Dota 2 team. The team’s lackluster 13-16th placement at The International 10 seemed to be the final nail in the coffin for the Chinese organization. Team Elephant came into the spotlight with high expectations after fielding a roster stacked with the absolute best talent the Chinese scene had to offer, but were ultimately left playing second fiddle to Invictus Gaming and PSG.LGD in the domestic scene.
Brazilian analyst Lyon ‘Arthur’ Lee revealed on his Twitter a conversation between Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei and the owner of Team Aster during which the two discussed the possibility of the Chinese organization taking over Elephant’s former squad. In the same post, Arthur also shared a Weibo statement from Elephant’s manager Dong “Hide” Hang who confirmed the disbandment.
Potential path forward for the roster
As it stands, some of Elephant’s former roster will stay together for the upcoming DPC season. Of the five players, only veteran support Xie “Super” Junhao has confirmed his departure from the group, returning from his lease back to Royal Never Give Up. Further rumors suggest that Lu “Somnus丶M” Yao and Xu “fy” Linsen might be teaming up with Invictus Gaming’s Jin “flyfly” Zhiyi, Vici Gaming’s Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei and Yap “xNova” Jian Wei.
With the post-TI shuffle still in its early stages, nothing is certain. Chinese teams as a whole severely under-performed at this years’ TI. Considering as a region they featured five teams at Ti10, and everyone pegged two of them likely favorites. With no victors from the region in the tournament’s last four iterations, we might be in store for the biggest shake-up the Chinese scene has seen in a long while.
Ultimately, Elephant’s story comes to an end in a reminisce of other Chinese superteams from the past. The team carried more than enough championship pedigree, their talent was unquestionable, but in the end, something didn’t just click right. After coming into the Dota 2 limelight on the scene’s biggest doors.
Elephant’s former roster:
- Zhang ‘Eurus’ Chenzhong
- Lu ‘Somnus 丶’ M Yao
- Zhou ‘Yang’ Haiyan
- Xu ‘fy’ Linsen
- Xie ‘Super’ Junhao
Key takeaways for all superteam prospects
Time and time again we are taught a key lesson in Dota 2. Superteams simply don’t work. It has not ever been about pure talent, mechanical prowess or egos clashing. It simply comes down to how five players gel together and feed off each-others energy. Granted almost every Dota 2 team at the highest level has talented players, but what sets Champions apart is a moment in time where all players gel perfectly together, and decision making becomes singular.
Elephant could be this team if the players and organization stick together for at least another season. But as always, a single bad season or tournament usually breaks apart superteams with ease. We are yet to witness an organization build a roster of the best talent, and commit to fielding the roster for longer then a single season.
Take note, building Dota 2 greatness takes time.