In this article, we take a look at Vici Gaming, the best Chinese team of the season in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings. In a few days, Vici will defend the honor of their region in The International 9 championship in Shanghai.
Before the start of the 2018/2019 DPC season, a roster shuffle took place for Vici. The club replaced both supports and the team’s off-laner. They made the decision to build their team around Kerry Zhang “Paparazi” Chenzhong and mid-laner Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang. They were joined by young Pan “Fade” Yu, Zhou “Yang” Haiyang, and Ding “Dy” Cong. It is noteworthy that all three newcomers were in the past pupils of Vici Gaming’s youth squads.
The managers also replaced the coach – instead of Tong Mikasa Junjie, Bai was invited to lead the team with “rOtK” Fana, who previously worked with Fade and Yang at VGJ.Thunder. This new mentor immediately established tough discipline among the team.
The Best Chinese team
In October 2018, the updated roster Vici Gaming debuted at ESL One Hamburg 2018, where it took second place, losing to Team Secret in a close game. The Chinese team failed to make its mark at The Kuala Lumpur Major and The Chongqing Major, however, where they finished in 7th-8th place. Yet in their third major, they showed tremendous progress, as they reached the final and beat Virtus.pro.
At the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major, the team again took a 7th-8th place finish and then lost to Gambit Esports at ESL One Birmingham 2019. Many felt that the swan song of VG had ended in Stockholm, but at the Moscow EPICENTER Major 2019, they silenced the critics. In this last major, Vici put on a great game, winning the final against Team Liquid in one of the most fascinating series’ of the season. In the final table of the season, the club took third place and was the best Chinese team in the rankings.
rOtK for the win
The main star of the Vici Gaming team is their rOtK coach – he is not only a mentor, but a true leader of the team. ROtK himself coordinates the drafts and draws up a general plan for the match. Periodically, he has gotten himself into scandals, but he is not afraid to bear the responsibility for his actions. He has a difficult character, quick-tempered, and he may yell at players after a defeat or speak sharply about opponents in an interview. But this only indicates how much he worries about the team.
Vici Gaming will arrive at The International 2019 with the status of one of the best teams in the world and certainly the strongest representative of China. The end of the season turned out great for them, but will they be able to maintain their momentum? The team has never been stable, and even in a successful season they have alternated first places in majors with unexpected defeats in other tournaments. ROtK will surely motivate his players to perform well in front of the home audience, but this may not be enough to reach the final.