Chao "Fenrir" Lu has been one of the longtime standing veterans in this industry hailing from China. He is fondly known for being the other half of the dynamic support duo of "fy-fenrir" and has recently joined Team Aster post TI8; formed by none other than Xu "BurNIng" Zhilei.
Fenrir was kind enough to sit down and give an interview to us where he talks on Vici Gaming's TI8 performance, Team Aster's formation, game meta as well as ESL One Hamburg that's scheduled to begin in the next two days.
Hi Fenrir. Let's get straight to the point. How did Team Aster come to creation?
Team Aster is solely built by B-God himself. On choosing teammates, it was really just us rating each other in high regards and that's how we ended up playing together.
You've been part of Vici Gaming for the longest time in your pro-gaming career and captained VG at TI8. However, the results were dismal for a team of such high calibre and ended up finishing between 9-12th place. To what factors or circumstances do you attribute such dismal performance?
I was actually just a captain by name at TI8. Whoever the captain was at that time really doesn't matter anymore. I think the bad results were a result of poor chemistry between us, and the very tight schedule did not allow us to work on our weaknesses.
Why did you decide to leave VG after TI8 and end up joining Team Aster instead? What attracted you to the team?
I just wanted a change of scenery by leaving VG. Everyone was very fatigued in TI8, and it was quite obvious that we didn't want to stick together after our poor performance. The main reason I joined Team Aster is because of the players and secondarily because I wanted a change of scenery.
As we know, Team Aster, is headed by none other than Burning. He is also the coach besides being the team owner. In which way does he contribute to the team as a coach?
As a coach, B-God just helps with the very key parts of our game-play after each match. He's also really good at pointing out game deciding factors due to which the course of a game is decided.
Team Aster is a mix of young and old blood in terms of team composition. In your view, is this the ideal mix that other teams should be aiming for?
The combination of old and new isn't really a new experiment as it all comes down to whether the team mates have trust in each other. Trust, to me, is the key ingredient that a team should have.
One question that comes up is on grooming new talent in Chinese Dota 2 scene. At present, many say, that Chinese scene is lacking the entry of new blood in the scene. What are your opinions on this? What solution do you think can be found for this situation?
The lack of players to shuffle issue comes mainly down to experienced players retiring into broadcasting or just not even playing. I also do not know how to fix the issue, after all I'm nearing the end of my retirement too.
As a new team, you've qualified for ESL Hamburg and Kuala Lumpur Major coming up in the next one month. Without taking anything away from the team's performance, which area do you think Team Aster needs to improve on to get even better?
We still have a lot to work on since we are a new team after all. The most important thing now is to have a common mind in terms of strategy, thinking and in the ability to have faith in each other.
How do you expect to fare against the top teams at ESL Hamburg and Kuala Lumpur Major, especially against LGD? Do you think you're capable of defeating your Chinese comrades or other foreign teams?
There is not much to compare between teams as long as we learn from the strength of the other teams. If we lost due to our own problems then we should work on ourselves first. No pro player ever thinks of losing, they only think about winning!
How would you rate Chinese team's performance at TI8? rOtk and xiao8 are of the opinion that it was the worst Chinese year at TI8 in terms of performance. Do you share the same views?
They both think that it was a bad year because every Chinese teams apart from LGD performed very poorly at TI8. In my eyes TI6 and TI8 had a similar number in terms of strong Chinese teams participating, however, lack in strong Chinese teams naturally leads to poor results.
What do you think of the new Dota Pro Circuit season from the perspective of a player? How does the new season affect players and teams as compared to the old season?
The new DPC system makes more sense, you can't swap members just to get invites and accumulate DPC points as I think they should not be counted by an individual metric. As far as effects on the players themselves, I'd say there isn't any. A good player will naturally play with strong teammates and not leave.
What about the meta? What changes do you think should be made in the upcoming 7.20 patch?
The key part of 7.19 is just the laning phase. Team fights and objective based gaming too. I hope that they rework the Kill Bounty formula for 7.20, so the team ahead would not have that big of an advantage.
Which heroes are most viable in this current patch?
Phoenix, Winter Wyvern and Necrophos.
According to you, which new Chinese player or players has the best chances to succeed in pro-gaming and carry the torch from the old guard?
VG. Yang. He certainly has the capability to carry on the torch from us veterans.
Have things become better after ACE disbanded?
Things have gotten even worse after ACE dissolved. Alright, that's a wrap.
Anything you'd like to say before we wrap this interview up?
Thank you to all Team Aster and my fans.