The split Aegis of Champions defense by Wings Gaming
For the first time since its inception, The International winners from the previous year will not be defending their title – but they will try from separate teams.
Wings Gaming took The International 6 by storm; dropping only two games in the entire main event and beating Digital Chaos in the finals in decisive fashion. But once the confetti had settled, Wings were a shell of their former selves. The team battled to find the form which they had showed at The International and with a string of sub-par results they failed to make an impact in nearly all competitions – and then we were hit with the ACE drama in April of this year.
The five Aegis winners left the Wings organisation just before The Kiev Major and played in the major as Team Random. While the ACE incident left a sour taste in many mouths, it seemed to be the best move for the players as they looked to move forward now as Team Random, but this was not to be. Another poor performance in Kiev would see the team part ways; with all members deciding to either take a break or join existing teams.
With The International 2017 coming up in the next few months and Wings Gaming not being a team anymore, this will be the first time that the defending champions of the Aegis will be unable to defend their title. However, this has not stopped the former members from trying to get to Seattle once more, albeit as part of three separate teams.
After originally deciding to take a break from Dota 2, Zhou 'bLink' Yang and Li 'iceice' Peng have now formed their own team, Dango and will be looking to find their spot in TI7 through the Chinese Open Qualifiers.
For Chu 'Shadow-' Zeyu, Team Eclipse will be where he makes his attempted run through the Open Qualifiers to reach Seattle. Huang 'Shiki' Jiwei is also a part of this squad and has had his share of glory after being part of the CDEC team who finished in 2nd place at The International 2015. The Team Eclipse Roster is as follows:
The last remaining ex-members of Wings Gaming; namely Zhang 'Faith_bian' Ruida and Zhang 'y' Yiping, have joined the ranks of EHOME and will fight their way through the China Regional Qualifiers in an attempt to reach the prestigious event. These 2 TI winners join Liu 'Garder' Xinzhou who was part of the underdog grand-finalists at TI5 - CDEC. The EHOME roster is:
It will be interesting to see if all five members of the TI6 winning team will make it to the final eighteen teams at TI7 and if they can make a great showing even if they do. With the China qualifiers beginning a day after the other regions, June 23rd, we look forward to witnessing these teams in action. With 2 Chinese teams advancing from Open Qualifiers to the Regional bracket and 3 spots for the main event available for CN teams, it is possible for these 3 teams to all show up at The International 2017. We wish them the best of luck in their upcoming qualifications matches.
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Which team do you think seems a stronger contender for the Chinese Open Qualifiers for the International 2017?
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