Legendary Chinese carry Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei, who was last seen playing for Invictus Gaming, is taking a break from professional Dota 2. According to journalist and streamer Sovann “Skim” Kim, BurNIng will be replaced by former ViCi Gaming Reborn player Yang “END” Pu in the carry position.
END joins Invictus Gaming after spending two years with ViCi. While he didn’t achieve significant results with his team this year, he did reach the grand finals of the World Cyber Arena (WCA) Dota 2 tournament last year. At WCA, he and his teammates pushed eventual champions Invictus Gaming Vitality to five games.
The rest of the team will remain together, as confirmed in the same announcement. Mid laner Ou “Op” Peng, offlaner Lin “Xxs” Jing, utility support Ye “BoBoKa” Zhibiao, and team captain Fu “Q” Bin will continue without BurNIng for the upcoming Dota 2 season.
Invictus had a successful season this year, particularly by winning the Dota 2 Asia Championships (DAC) in late March. They displayed a strong understanding of the metagame in Patch 7.04, allowing them to rise to the top of the Dota 2 world.
They also achieved respectable placements in other tournaments, placing in the top 4 at the Kiev Major and fourth at Dota Pit League Season 5.
However, in the other events they participated in, they performed poorly compared to their strong start in the first quarter of 2017. Many of their preferred heroes were no longer viable due to patches, most notably BoBoKa’s Monkey King.
Despite their string of losses leading up to The International 7, they were fortunate that other possible direct invites performed worse, avoiding the need to go through the highly competitive Chinese regional qualifiers.
In Seattle, they exceeded expectations by performing well in the group stage and securing a seed in the upper bracket. They even pulled off an upset by sweeping their first round series against Team Liquid.
Unfortunately, their miracle run came to an end when they were knocked into the lower bracket by Newbee. They ultimately lost to LGD Gaming, settling for a top 6 finish. This seems to have prompted BurNIng to take a break, although it is likely that he will return to the game soon given his history.
Due to their strong synergy and chemistry, it is not surprising that there will be no major changes or disbandment in the lineup.