With PSG.LGD's exit from TI11, Faith_bian ends his legendary Dota 2 career

With PSG.LGD's 5th-6th place exit from The International 11, the team's offlaner and The International 6 champion Faith_bian storied career has come to a close. (Photo: Valve Software)
With PSG.LGD's 5th-6th place exit from The International 11, the team's offlaner and The International 6 champion Faith_bian storied career has come to a close. (Photo: Valve Software)

The International 11 (TI11) has already seen the departure of multiple fan-favourite teams such as OG, Thunder Awaken, Team Spirit, and many others.

But would also be the last TI for several mainstays in the Dota 2 scene, among them Team Liquid's Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen and RNG's Lu "Somnus" Yao, as well as PSG.LGD's Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida, who announced in September that TI11 would be his last tournament.

Frequently seen as the strongest team in China and a team that has placed in the Top 3 in the past three TI's, many thought this TI11 will finally be PSG.LGD's year.

However, nobody expected the Chinese juggernauts to bow out of the tournament in just 5th-6th place after losing to regional rivals Team Aster in the fourth round of the lower bracket.

"Looking back, I fortunate to have played side by side with my teammates on the field. I am sincerely thankful for the time we spent working together and the trust we had in one another. I am very happy to have had a good year with no regrets," Faith_bian's most recent Weibo post read in Chinese.

"Thanks for all the encouragement and help, kindness and enthusiasm over the last 8 years. I hope everyone enjoyed esports through my experience."

With Faith_bian bowing out of competitive Dota 2, let's take a look back at the storied career of one of the game's legends.

Faith_bian won the Aegis in his first TI at just 18

Faith_bian started out as a young pubstar in China before beginning his professional Dota 2 career in 2014 as a member of Speed Gaming's Chinese team.

He first joined Wings Gaming for a short two-month stint at the end of 2014 before rejoining the squad in August 2015 ahead of the 2016 season.

Despite failing to qualify for the first two Majors of 2016, Faith_bian and Wings stole the spotlight when they won ESL One Manila with a 3-0 sweep over Kuro "Kuroky" Salehi Takhasomi's Team Liquid.

However, the hype around the team quickly died down when they bottomed out of the Manila Major.

Wings then bounced back by winning the Nanyang Championships Season 2 and The Summit 5, which branded them as an inconsistent team. The team would carry that mark of inconsistency into TI6, where they earned their place through the Chinese regional qualifiers.

TI6 featured one of the most dominant runs by the winning team ever seen at the tournament. Wings came out of nowhere to win the Chinese regional qualifier and proceeded to make it to the upper bracket of the Main Event.

There, Wings had a near-flawless run, only dropping one game in the first round and one other in the grand finals, both against their finals opponent Digital Chaos.

Wings were infamous for their extremely deep hero pool. In the four games of the grand finals, they picked 17 different heroes.

What's more impressive is that TI6 was the first TI that Faith_bian attended. He had attempted to join in previous years but couldn't make it through the qualifier.

Since his run to the championship in TI6, Faith_bian won plaudits as one of the best offlaners in the world.

TI6 was notable for being the last time a Chinese team won the tournament, as it's been a European team that has taken the Aegis every single time since then.

Faith_bian retires as the second richest Dota 2 player in China

The list of championships Faith_bian has achieved throughout the years is impressive.

Besides his TI6 victory with Wings, at PSG.LGD he also won the WePlay AniMajor, the Riyadh Masters 2022, and came second in TI10.

Trophies aren't the only things Faith_bian has, as he retires as the second-highest-earning Dota 2 player in China in terms of tournament winnings with over US$3.7 million, according to esports charts. Only his PSG.LGD teammate Wang "Ame" Chunyu has made more.

Faith_bian is also listed as the 19th highest-earning player in all of esports by espors charts.

It's pretty impressive for Faith_bian, as he only attended TI three times in his career compared to Ame's five TI appearances.

His work as a Dota 2 analyst in the past

In his entire career, Faith_bian has only joined one tournament as an analyst, and that was TI9 as part of the Chinese broadcast.

He hasn't cast any other event before that, but now that he has retired from playing, we may see him again behind the caster's desk in the future.

There have been multiple cases of Dota 2 professionals transitioning from the competitive scene and going into broadcasting.

Avery "SVG" Silverman, Ioannis "Fogged" Loucas, Dominik "Lacoste" Stipić, and Troels "syndereN" Nielsen are just some of the former pros that have all become staples of the casting scene.

Faith_bian ended his farewell announcement by hinting that he will remain in the esports world.

The last line of his most recent Weibo post notably read, "We will definitely meet again if destined!"

Time will tell if destiny wishes for him to return to Dota 2, be it as a player or a caster.

It's a sad day when a legendary Dota 2 player retires. One of the best offlaners of all time, Faith_bian's departure will be felt by the Dota 2 community.

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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