Team Liquid triumphed over the last Chinese team standing in Dota 2’s Berlin Major, Team Aster. Despite struggling to close out the first match, Liquid advanced to the lower bracket quarterfinals with a score of 2-0.
With this result, the European Dota 2 region makes up five of the six remaining teams at the Berlin Major. Aster’s second-round exit also marks another disappointing run for the Chinese region, as they have been unable to secure a top-six finish in a 2023 Valve event.
During the later stages of TI11, Aster players stated that they weren’t worried about their region’s speculated decline due to low player numbers and a lack of talented players. China has been one step behind the global competition ever since this comment, however.
This steep decline can seem sudden for fans who haven’t been following Dota 2’s competitive scene since the region was considered one of the strongest during 2022. Even after having a relatively successful year in 2022, the top Chinese Dota 2 teams had to watch their franchise players like Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida, Wang “Ame” Chunyu, and Lu “Somnus” Yao retire.
With the strongest and most respected players out of the competitive Dota 2 scene, China relied on youngsters who weren’t quite ready to step up. In recent months, Aster has been trying to pull the region up in global events, but their lackluster internal performance may still cause them to miss out on a TI invite since they haven’t been able secure high-place finishes in their regional DPC leagues.