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Although he retired from the competitive scene nearly two years ago, Chinese legendary carry Xu “BurNIng ” Zhilei has never stopped to dedicate his entire attention to Dota2.

Besides being the co-owner and coach of Team Aster which is directly invited to the closed regional qualifiers for The International 2019, BurNIng couldn’t resist the temptation of forming a stack of his own for open qualifiers.

Team Solid roster

  • Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei
  • Zhou “bLink” Yang
  • Jiang “YYF” Cen
  • Li ” iceice” Peng
  • Huang “LongDD” Xiang

Unfortunately, his Team Solid stack has been knocked out early in both legs of the open brackets, but in between the first and second round of Chinese competition, YYF, TI2 Champion with Invictus Gaming and bLink, TI6 Champion with Wings Gaming, now both joining BurNIng for TI9 open qualifiers talked to Perfect World about main differences between pubs and official games, between being a full time streamer and being a professional player and because both are The International champions, they were also asked what does it take to claim the Aegis of Champions.

Courtesy of our Yuhui Zhu we are able to share with the English translation of the entire Perfect World interview with YYF and bLink.

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What’s the difference between pub games and captains mode matches (scrims and pro games)?

YYF: In pubs, people focus more on getting themselves a good game, thus the overall tempo is slower. Pub players are more self-centered, you would see your teammates farming around the map, exposing themselves under enemy vision. But in captains mode, the tempo is faster. You either see nobody on the map at all or you see a 4-5 man rotation to secure kills and objectives. That’s the difference.

bLink: Pubs and captain mode games have one thing in common: everyone plays for victory. But in pub games people would focus more on their own tempo while in captain mode games, in-game communication and shot calling are more important

Returning to intensive training from retirement, how does it feel?

YYF: It’s really exciting and that kind of excitement makes me feel like time is flying by.

bLink: It took me some time to adjust but I’ve been playing lots of Dota, so it feels alright. Although I have a feeling that all these new Chinese teams are incredibly strong, playing against them feels like playing against Team Secret.

If you manage to qualify for TI9, which team do you want to play against the most?

bLink: Secret of course, they have many different strategies to play around with.

YYF: I don’t want to pick any team, I want to make it to the regional first.

What differentiates TI from other tournaments?

YYF: Apart from the prize pool, what differentiates TI from other tournaments is the sense of achievement. Every player has a TI dream and winning a TI means getting the recognition from everyone else.

bLink: Among all tournaments, winning TI is the greatest achievement. As such, all participants will play to their fullest in every game. The level of commitment is the biggest difference.

YYF and Invictus Gaming at TI2


What does it take for a player/team to win TI?

YYF: A TI winning team needs to have unity, clean execution, strong drafting skills and 1-2 top tier players in their respective positions. Moreover, luck is also an important factor.

bLink: First of all, only the best players will have the opportunity to become a title-contender at TI. The final result is decided by not only player skill, but also some non-player factors. Maybe sometimes luck does play a role in this.

bLink and Wings Gaming at TI6


TI9 will be held in China, what do you think is the biggest impact it may have for the scene? Also what’s your expectation for TI9?

YYF: As far I understand, there has never been a tournament of this scale being held in China. Prize pool this year surpassed last year’s when the open qualified have just kicked off. It’s unprecedented. The tournament itself also means a lot, everyone, players who have been AFK’ed for a long time or players who have never played Dota2, would want to go to arena and watch TI9. It is going to be an esports feast for China and also might be the opportunity for Chinese esports industry to take its next leap. Personally I hope a Chinese team will win this year so everyone can chant this line with proud: CN DOTA, BEST DOTA.

bLink: It’s the first time ever for China to hold TI. This time ,the Chinese audience don’t have to stay up to watch the games. What I want to see the most is a Chinese team defending the Aegis successfully; to witness the moment of a Chinese team winning the grand finals. But this year all foreign teams are really strong, so I expect to see top level competition and more amazing matches at TI this year.

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