In a stunning turn of events, Chinese esports organization Azure Ray has announced significant changes to its Dota 2 roster for the upcoming 2024 season. The organization, known for its prowess in bringing players out of retirement, has welcomed back three iconic players to its lineup: Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang, Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida, and Xu “fy” Linsen.
Additionally, the return of coach Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng adds further depth to the team’s leadership. This move follows the departure of several players to Wang “Ame” Chunyu’s new squad, Xtreme Gaming, after Azure Ray’s victory over Gaimin Gladiators in the epic ESL One Kuala Lumpur grand final.
A legendary reunion
Azure Ray’s roster for The International 2023 featured three former PSG.LGD legends, but with most of them leaving the competitive scene, the spotlight is now on fy’s remarkable return to the team for 2024. However, what truly stands out is the return of two of China’s most renowned players—midlaner Ori and offlaner Faith_bian.
Ori, the long-time midlaner for Vici Gaming and later played for Team Aster, achieved his best result at The International with a fourth-place finish at TI11. His experience and skill make him a valuable addition to Azure Ray’s lineup.
Faith_bian, on the other hand, is a name synonymous with success. He was a part of the legendary Wings Gaming squad that claimed the Aegis of Champions in 2016, marking the last Chinese team to do so. After a stint with EHOME, Faith_bian returned to PSG.LGD in 2020, contributing to their victories at Riyadh Masters 2022, the WePlay AniMajor, and a second-place finish at TI10. His presence in Azure Ray’s offlane promises to bring a wealth of experience and versatility.
Azure Ray’s roster for 2024 introduces an intriguing offlane duo in the form of Faith_bian and fy. These two players are regarded as some of China’s most individually skilled and versatile in their respective roles. While their past achievements speak volumes, this will be their first collaboration on the same team. Dota 2 fans can expect fireworks once they shake off any initial rust.
Azure Ray a bright spot in China
Despite its relatively recent formation in May of the previous year, Azure Ray emerged as a bright spot in the Chinese Dota 2 scene in 2023. The team secured a spot at The International 12 and clinched a respectable fourth-place finish. This achievement reflects their potential and competitive spirit, making them a team to watch in the upcoming season.
Continuity in the safelane
Azure Ray will retain its safelane duo that brought the organization its first title. This decision underlines the team’s commitment to building on its past successes while integrating the newly acquired talent. With experienced players in the safelane and an exciting offlane duo, Azure Ray aims to maintain its competitive edge and strive for greatness in the 2024 season.