Two players won't attend The International 2019
TI9 Will have two players absent ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!
Without a doubt, this is a tough time for veterans, last year's International had only 4 players who had visited each event. This year the number has halved — Puppey and KuroKy will be the only players having attended each Dota 2 International.
Until this year, Leong "DDC" Fatmeng has participated in all Dota 2 International tournaments since TI1. He has played in almost all major Chinese organizations, except Newbee; originally wreaking havoc as the fourth role in Invictus Gaming, DDC has a legacy to defend. He has visited The International with Invictus Gaming, PSG.LGD, EHOME, Vici Gaming and now plays with Royal Club — the second team of Royals Never Give Up.
LGD's roster was Leong's longest stay between TI2 and TI4. He has achieved the greatest success with LGD, establishing himself as a legend on the Chinese stage, consistently occupying high positions in Internationals. On TI2 the player took third place with the team, losing it to the iG. At TI4, he was close to repeating his TI2 race, where LGD took 5th-6th place, losing to DK.
Although he subsequently left the LGD, Leong almost immediately regained the 5th-6th place in TI5 with EHOME, losing to Vici Gaming, and, finally, at TI7, where he took third place with LFY, losing to Digital Chaos. Leong is a legend of Chinese gaming, yet he still hasn't achieved much success outside of this scene. His biggest successes are always TI, but he never won a Valve Major, and never even came close to TI.
Since the beginning of 2019, he has been playing with Royal, who didn't make it for The International qualifying round. He was the last Chinese player to visit every event up to TI7, and he supported this title for another year.
Despite being a North American legend, Saahil 'UNiVeRsE ' Arora did not play in the team for about 5 months. After leaving Forward Gaming in March of this year, the Dota 2 player decided not even to participate in open qualifications. He went through the stages when he was the most coveted offlaner, and is known as one of the (if not the most outstanding) efficient and most successful offlaners of all time. He initially visited TI with Online Kingdom, Starting with Clinton "Fear" Loomis in OK, they have eventually attended The Internationals in Evil Geniuses' roster, where UNiVeRsE has managed to conquer Aegis on TI5 and made it to third place twice. Outside of these jogs with Evil Geniuses, his performances at TI were much less remarkable. Many thought of Saahil's success at International as a rite of his passage, however, it does not change his status as a Dota 2 legend.
By the end of his career, things weren't going too well. The rest of his TI experience ended up with Saahil consistently finishing 9th or lower. Eventually, after leaving the NA region, he moved to Fnatic with some NA players in the SEA region. However, despite the fact that they attempted to own the championship several times, they did not win any competitions together. His time at Fnatic hasn't made much impact, and he returned to North America.
Starting with the new team, Forward Gaming, last September many were happy to see Universe in his home region with players he knows and is passionate about. Unfortunately, despite the exciting prospect, they had limited success. At this moment it might be hard to imagine The International without UNiVeRsE, though the reason seems that not because of his lack of skill, but because of Saahil wasn't even trying to make it.