Dota 2 veteran Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida’s surprise return to the competitive scene was initially hailed as a potential turning point for Chinese Dota 2. However, in a recent interview at the ongoing BetBoom Dacha, the legend painted a bleak picture for the future of the region’s scene.
Faith_bian, now competing for Azure Ray, expressed worry about the lack of fresh talent in the Chinese Dota 2 pipeline. The 25-year-old star emphasized a drought of new players and a shrinking high-level competitive pool:
“It seems like there are no new players to play Dota 2 in China.. Maybe it is because people don’t have time to play, or they prefer to play mobile games,” Bian told Escorenews. “We have high-rank players, yet they are not playing on the Perfect World Server because there are no players to play against.”
Faith_bian admitted reluctance to return to professional play after spending his time as an analyst with ESL in Germany last year. His decision to sign with Azure Ray came largely from the influence of his teammates Xu “fy” Linsen and Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang, along with the return of fellow veteran Wang “ame” Chunyu to the scene.
Despite China’s slight resurgence since The International 12, Bian stressed the region has significant work ahead: “It’s not in a good state right now.” He sees strong performances in huge events like the Dacha Dubai LAN as key to attracting more young players back to Dota 2.
In the next two days, Azure Ray will face Falcon Esports in a big match determining their path to the upper bracket Finals, where either BetBoom or Gaimin Gladiators await. Meanwhile, fellow Chinese squad Xtreme Gaming will fight for survival against Team Liquid in the lower bracket this evening.