Our third player who has featured at every TI event to date and will be attending and participating in his 8th iteration of the event in just a few weeks is Leong ‘ddc’ Fat-meng. Being so close to the very top and never quite able to obtain victory, ddc has been through the biggest teams in China and played next to some unforgettable names in the scene.
DDC – The Confusing Transition to Dota 2
DDC’s journey began back in the DotA days, but his story and journey into Dota 2 are a bit confusing. After the Catastrophic Cruel Memories team were bought by Invictus Gaming, ddc would become a part of the iG roster going into the first ever iteration of The International back in 2011. However, while he did play for the squad, alongside SanSheng, Zhou, Ferrari_430 and xiao8, ddc’s choice to leave the team had already been determined prior to the event and soon after their 5th/6th place finish, he would move onto the LGD team.
After TI1, ddc would stay with LGD Gaming for quite some time. With the likes of Liu ‘Sylar’ Jiajun coming into the squad, they would manage an admirable 3rd place finish at TI2 – being beaten by the eventual winners and his ex-team, iG. The same squad would go into TI3 the following year hoping to improve on their position but unfortunately, they were eliminated early in the playoffs and took only a 9th-12th place finish. While their post-TI period would see the team claim some victories at smaller events, the squad began to suffer in the next year and following The International 2013’s poor results, DDC would see his teammates change around him with and the team not finding any success.
The International 2014 would prove to be ddc’s last TI with LGD Gaming – but not his final moment with the organization – as they climbed to a 5th-6th place finish once again but soon after this he would depart from the team to join He ‘inflame’ Yongzheng on LV Gaming.
EHOME And Back Again
This stint at LV did not last very long – barely a few months and soon EHOME would find the player and take him to his fifth appearance at The International. With Bai ‘rOtK’ Fan and Zhang ‘LaNm’ Zhicheng on the squad, EHOME were a menacing Chinese Dota 2 force for ddc to join but the team saw mainly sub-par results and once TI5 came along, they could only manage a 5th/6th place finish once again. Once again, the scenery changed for ddc following this result and he would make a return to LGD for a short time. Unfortunately, once more, ddc did not see any great results with the squad and at best he managed 2nd place at the World Cyber Arena in 2015 and 3rd/4th place at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 1.
After an extremely lackluster performance at The Shanghai Major 2016 ddc moved onto Vici Gaming Reborn which would be the squad that he would participate at TI6 with. Things started off well with a victory at StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 1 but moving on from that result saw nothing else come for ddc and TI6’s 13th-16th place finish was definitely not what he was looking for. The squad transitioned into Vici Gaming after this but still saw no real improvement and as such, ddc moved on once again.
After his contract had expired with Vici Gaming and having played a few games as a stand-in with LFY, ddc joined up with Inflame once again on the fairly new squad. The team enjoyed a plethora of success with a 3rd/4th place finish at EPICENTER 2017 and 2nd place at the Mars Dota 2 League of the same year and going into TI7 they definitely looked promising. Another admirable 3rd place finish would come for ddc at this iteration of The International as he would once again find himself losing to the team who would soon be crowned champions, Team Liquid.
Having various ups-and-downs in results with LFY, went on a loan move to VGJ.Thunder through the DPC’s inaugural season, where he plays next to Sylar once again. Having come second at The Bucharest Major and StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 along with the GESC: Indonesia Dota 2 Minor. With these results in hand, ddc was able to secure one of the 8 direct invites to TI8 with Thunder and secure his 8th showing at the event too.
ddc performances at The International by year:
The International 2011: Fifth/Sixth Place (Invictus Gaming)
The International 2012: Third Place (LGD.CN)
The International 2013: Ninth-Twelfth Place (LGD.CN)
The International 2014: Fifth/Sixth Place (LGD.CN)
The International 2015: Fifth/Sixth Place (EHOME)
The International 2016: Thirteenth-Sixteenth Place (Vici Gaming Reborn)
The International 2017: Third Place (LGD.Forever Young)
ddc returns to The International 2018 hoping to finally be able to raise the Aegis of Champions – as the only player out of the 4 who have attended every iteration of TI to have not done so. The road will not be an easy one for VGJ.Thunder though, with this TI featuring what could be the toughest lineup of opponents in years. Recent matches at the China Dota 2 Supermajor saw the position 5 player on Bane, Jakiro, and Warlock for most of the tournament but previously he has been known for his Lion, Ancient Apparition and Visage plays too. However, what will come out at The International 2018 will all depend on the patch and the teams and we are definitely assured of a great showing from ddc.
After coming so close on two separate occasions at both TI2 and TI7, ddc will want to make a change and get into the top 2 at least. With an amazing team in front of him, could this finally be ddc’s time in the spotlight? We will find out in just a few weeks as we roll down the path towards TI8.