Elephant, hope and disappointment, why the superstar squad collapsed at TI

Somnus Dota 2 - Emergenceingame

Elephant brings together the top Dota 2 esports stars in China. They have Somnus and fy, two players that were in the top 2-3 in previous TIs; Eurus, the best Chinese carry of 2019 with great microphone abilities in the DPC seasons; Yang, a player who won many majors with VG; and finally Super, which has been in the top 3 at TI since 2014. All of these members are veterans and almost every one of them has come very close to the Aegis shield. Experts predict Elephant’s chance of winning TI10 is quite high. But that’s what happened before The International 10. So what caused the team to fall and, importantly, when?

Lineup of superstars

Originally, Elephant.4AM was the name of the team from a year ago. This is the squad that owns the superstars of the Chinese Dota 2 platform.

Elephant.4AM lineup:

  • Sylar
  • Somnus丶M
  • Yang
  • fy
  • RedPanda

Although the official matches have not started yet, fans are expected to see spectacular performances from Elephant.4AM. However, trouble was present from the very beginning. Sylar left the team immediately.

Then there was the transfer issue with Eurus from Vici Gaming. The result came from internal disagreements. Elephant and 4AM stopped collaborating while the conflict with VG was resolved.

The new lineup takes part in four year-end Chinese tournaments: CDA-FDC Professional Championship Season 1-2, China Dota2 Pro Cup Season 2 and OGA Dota PIT Season 4: China. Elephant won the last two championships. Overall, before the new DPC season kicked off, the players had earned nearly $95,000 USD. A pretty smooth start.

Dota Pro Circuit 2021

The team’s performance at the DPC season was quite strange. The players don’t compete as a team, sometimes winning solely through the sheer skill of an individual.

In his first season, Elephant had the opportunity to attend the ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021. But in the match to win the Wild Card (saved ticket), the Elephant squad lost to PSG.LGD unexpectedly. At that time, the new PSG.LGD squad consisted of strange names at that time: NothingToSay and XINQ, two players who played for EHOME in the Chinese regional tournaments and only ranked in the top 12 at TI 2018.

At the end of the season, it became clear that the team needed to change and find the piece they were missing. All members play a bit selfish, too personal. They need a leader, someone with full authority, a seasoned person who knows the direction of the players. And Bai “rOtK” Fan became Elephant’s coach.

Following the DPC season, despite the presence of the rOtK coach, nothing has changed. The team did not qualify for the WePlay AniMajor. Elephant’s only chance to make it to The International was by taking part in the harsh regional qualifiers.

Before the regional qualifiers took place, between Elephant and Royal Never Give Up exchanged members with each other. They brought in position 5 player RedPanda to bring in Super and with the new roster, Elephant is ready for the qualifiers.

Elephant squad:

  • Zhang «Eurus» Chengjun;
  • Lu «Somnus丶M» Yao;
  • Zhou «Yang» Haiyang;
  • Xu «fy» Linsen;
  • Xie «Super» Junhao;
  • Bai «rOtK» Fan (Coach).

In fact, the strongest teams in the China region at that time won the right to participate in TI10 thanks to enough DPC points. This means that there is no worthy opponent in the regional qualifiers enough to make it difficult for Elephant.

However, they still have to try their best. The first obstacle was that RNG and Elephant didn’t have much trouble sending their opponents to the losing bracket. But Elephant “falls” before EHOME in the finals of the upper bracket.

Pushed to the bottom bracket, Elephant easily defeated Team Magma and found a chance to get revenge in the grand finals. This time, the team won 3:1 against EHOME.

However, before going to TI10, the superstar members need to prepare more carefully. i-League 2021 Season 1-2 and OGA Dota PIT Season 5: China is a great tournament for members to test their fire. Although not always performing well, but positive achievements have lit up hope for Elephant.

Fail at TI10

At TI10, Elephant faced the best teams around the world, after almost a year of competing only in domestic tournaments. Despite the successful performance on the first day of the group stage, the Chinese team’s next games left fans with many questions.

Elephant Somnus Dota 2 scaled - Emergenceingame

Elephant is a squad that owns a talented superstar. However, the players and coaches of the team need to understand one thing: Dota 2 has changed. Of course, you still have individual skills, but the game is now much more team-oriented and team-oriented than before.

Elephant still won, especially when the match went according to plan. And it works well against weak and inexperienced teams. At times, it also succeeds against tougher opponents: taking advantage of the early game and pushing until the end.

But the more Elephant played, the more their problems became apparent. The members play as they like, everyone tries to carry the team to show that they are the star of the team. But as mentioned above, things have changed. And Elephant does not understand this, so it is completely helpless before the opponent’s teamplay ability.

Elephant Dota 2 TI10 scaled - Emergenceingame

The Chinese team was almost eliminated without the help of SG esports – the South American team finished at the bottom of the table with a 1-0-7 record. Now Elephant must find his way in the knockout round with BO1, ahead of the runner-up of the previous two Majors: Evil Geniuses.

EG sometimes had similar teamplay problems, but Elephant lost to the strongest team in North America and forced the end of The International 10 journey. Lack of teamwork despite the members possessing excellent individual skills, the Unorganized, confusing handling on the map is said to be the cause of Elephant’s defeat, in that BO1 match as well as in previous matches.

In the last interview, rOtK apologized to all fans for the poor results. Despite his best efforts, the coach still failed to make the team better. He couldn’t lead the players in the right direction. And more importantly, as a coach, rOtK cannot ‘outplay’ opponents during the draft phase. And perhaps, it was only at that moment that he realized all of Elephant’s mistakes. But everything seems to be too late. An embarrassing 13-16 result at TI10, especially for a team that was theoretically seen as a title contender.

rOtK Elephant Dota 2 scaled - Emergenceingame

Elephant’s Fate

After the tournament, rumors that Elephant was disbanded spread. According to the media, Team Aster and some Chinese organizations are looking to recruit some Elephant players.

The first to voice an official response to the rumors came from the representative of the Chinese company and the tournament organizer, ImbaTV, Hai Ta:

“Talked to Elephant, the rumor is complete bullshit. The team is currently still in Romania. Everyone is just focusing on getting home now. The team will make changes, but we won’t know about the final decision any time soon.”

Elephant’s manager, Dong “Hide” Hang, reacted to the rumor: “We’re not disbanding, the team will have two more years. Details will be confirmed when the team returns to China.”

Elephant hy vong de roi that vong tai sao doi hinh sieu sao sup do tai TI - Emergenceingame

However, it is clear to all that Elephant needs change. This superstar lineup has not been able to bring success with the transformations in Dota 2 in recent years. And if it is decided to do nothing, then at the end of the season the same or worse results will follow. At that time, fans will definitely not forgive the coach or the players.

Let’s hope that the best players in China will find themselves and once again make fans happy with great performances.

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