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Dota 2: LGD Gaming revamp roster with Emo, Pyw while planet goes inactive

LGD's roster shakeup comes after the team's third place finish at The International 2023 with a mixed roster of decorated veterans and promising young players.

Chinese Dota 2 powerhouse LGD Gaming has revealed its new roster for the upcoming 2024 season will include two new players in midlaner Emo and position 4 support player Pyw. (Photos: Valve Software)
Chinese Dota 2 powerhouse LGD Gaming has revealed its new roster for the upcoming 2024 season will include two new players in midlaner Emo and position 4 support player Pyw. (Photos: Valve Software)

Chinese Dota 2 powerhouse LGD Gaming has revealed its new roster for the upcoming 2024 season will include two new players in midlaner Zhou "Emo" Yi and position 4 support player Xiong "Pyw" Jiahan.

Emo and Pyw will be replacing Cheng "NothingToSay" Jin Xiang and Lin "planet" Hao. NothingToSay left LGD earlier this month to join Invictus Gaming (IG) while planet has been moved to LGD's inactive roster.

LGD's roster shakeup comes after the team's third place finish at The International (TI) 2023 with a mixed roster of decorated veterans and promising young players.

After their 5th-6th place finish at TI 2022, LGD started the 2023 season of the now-defunct Dota Pro Circuit with only NothingToSay, Zhang "y`" Yiping, and coach Zhang "xiao8" Ning remaining from its previous roster.

Wang "Ame" Chunyu had retired and was moved to the team's inactive roster while Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida and Zhao "XinQ" Zixing left the team. LGD replaced their departing players with Guo "shiro" Xuanang, Li "项羽" Longwu, and planet.

LGD saw mixed results to start the season, as they finished first in the Winter Tour regional league for China but bombed out of the Lima Major in 9th-12th place. As a result, the team loaned 项羽 to IG and signed Nicholas "zeal" Lim as his replacement.

Despite the roster adjustment, LGD once again saw mixed results after they finished second in the Spring Tour regional league and got knocked out in 9th-12th place again at the ESL One Berlin Major. That prompted another roster adjustment, this time with Li "Niu" Kongbo replacing zeal in May.

With Niu on the squad, LGD finally saw some promising results. They finished first in the Summer Tour regional league, third in DreamLeague Season 20, and 5th-6th in the Bali Major, with the latter earning them a direct invite to TI 2023.

However, LGD caught another 9th-12th place finish, this time at the Riyadh Masters 2023, ahead of this year's Dota 2 world championship. In September, LGD also ceased its five-year partnership with PSG Esports, the esports wing of the French football club Paris Saint-Germain F.C.

Despite their rollercoaster season, LGD managed to hit their stride at just the right time in TI 2023.

They finished the first phase of the Road to The International Group Stage as the first seed of Group D, even scoring a surprising sweep over three-time Major champions Gaimin Gladiators in the process. In the second phase, they swept Vivo Keyd Stars to earn an upper bracket berth in the Road to The International Playoffs.

LGD continued rolling in the first two rounds of the upper bracket, sweeping 9Pandas and fellow Chinese team Azure Ray. However, they suffered their first loss at the hands of eventual champions Team Spirit in the upper bracket finals.

LGD would then get knocked out by Gaimin Gladiators in the lower bracket finals, with the three-time Major champions going on to finish in second place. LGD settled for third place and with US$270,499 in consolation.

Despite the loss of NothingToSay and planet, LGD will be looking to build on its success in 2023 with two veteran players in Emo and Pyw joining the squad. Emo and Pyw are most known for their time with IG, having helped the team win the ONE Esports Singapore Major and finish fourth at TI 2021.

LGD's new roster is set to make its debut in ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, the last big tournament of the year that features 12 teams fighting to claim the lion's share of the US$1 million prize pool from 11 to 17 December.

ESL One Kuala Lumpur will begin with a three-day Group Stage, taking place from 11 to 13 December, and will split the 12 participating teams into two groups of six teams each to compete in a single round-robin format.

The top six teams from the Group Stage will then proceed to the Playoffs, which will be hosted in the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre from 15 to 17 December. The Playoffs will follow a double-elimination format.

LGD Gaming Dota 2 roster:

  1. Guo "shiro" Xuanang

  2. Zhou "Emo" Yi

  3. Li "Niu" Kongbo

  4. Xiong "Pyw" Jiahan

  5. Zhang "y`" Yiping

  6. Zhang "xiao8" Ning (coach)

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