Vici Gaming’s former captain, Pan “Fade” Yi was the centerpiece of the post TI9 Chinese shuffle. His contract with Vici Gaming ended only last week, on the 7th of September 2019, but before that, Fade got to announce his retirement from the competitive scene. About two weeks later, he was revealed as being on the new roster of Team Aster.
Dota 2 Chinese professional players are well known for releasing retirement statements only to return to the competitive scene immediately after, so much so that the Chinese fans have actually made a meme about the phenomenon. They call it the Power Treads Toggle post and that’s how Fade’s two-weeks retirement was labeled.
However, to shed light on his decision, Fade made long Weibo post to explain how he got to actually be suspected of trying to increase his salary with VG and how his organization was left under the impression that he tried to negotiate a transfer to another team during The International 2019.
Pre- TI9 discussions and the “talk” with RNG during TI9
“Actually some clubs had approached me before TI and asked about my plans after my contract expires, I told them that I want to wait and see what results can I accomplish at TI. There was nothing much to talk about because at that time TI was the most important for me. On the day when RNG got eliminated, we didn’t have any matches to play. I wanted to comfort Monet a bit, so I asked their manager if he wants to go downstairs to have a cigarette and have a little talk. I had never thought anything about a transfer. It’s true that it was extremely inappropriate for me to do stuff like that during TI. It was my fault and I want to extend my apology to VG, my teammates and the coach with whom I played for a whole year.”
Salary and transfer to another organization
“As for the so-called “directing the drama to boost my salary”, I think netizens have thought too highly of me. Whether when other clubs approached me before TI or when VG asked me about my requirements for the next season after TI, I always told them that the most important thing for me is how the rest of the team looks like, as well as who is the coach. I hoped my team is a competitive one and I have never mentioned anything about salary. I always think that in esports the only things that matter are how well the team can perform and how many champion titles the team can get. As for salary, I’ll be fine as long as it’s enough to support my life.
Long ago, when I was first approached by other clubs, I said I’m not sure if I will leave yet, but if eventually, I leave as a free agent after my contract expires, I hope they could still give VG some money. From the aspect of contract, they don’t really need to do that. I asked for it for the sake of the three years I spent in VG, if other club doesn’t want to do it, I’ll give VG the money from my own pocket, and that’s what I did. All people who have talked to me should know that what I say is true. I don’t think it’s important how much money I earn. In my opinion, a high salary will make me feel safer while a low salary can keep me motivated. It’s really that simple. Last year my salary was not at the high end among players, but I was very happy because I have made progress and helped my team win three championships.”
Regrets and apologies
“Just now, everything has been settled peacefully between me and the management of VG, and my contract with VG officially ended. I spent three years in VG: from the youth team to the secondary team and then to the main team, it’s been a bumpy road and I feel sorry that it ends this way. I have hurt the club and my teammates by behaving inappropriately. If I put myself in their shoes, I would have felt disappointed and betrayed, even though that was not my intention. So again, I want to apologize to my club, teammates, and the management, I am sorry!”
“Our defeat at TI has already made me really upset, and then the drama was so overwhelming that I felt lost. I sat alone and thought about it for a while. That afternoon was suffocating and I crumbled. I told myself, so be it, maybe staying in the scene is a mistake, maybe retirement is the best choice, so I announced my retirement on Weibo. But now, when I think about that, I realize it was just an act of evasion. I would be a true coward if I would really retire. Sorry for the drama and power treads toggle.“