posted by Brasozial,
Yao 'Somnus' Lu is one of the best midlaners in the world — and he has held this status for more than three years now. The Chinese star is one of the best in the region, but still hasn't attended a TI Grand Finals yet. His team is one of the biggest favourites to win The International 2018! Short hair, long hair, Maybe or Somnus丶M — Chinese midlaners have already experienced a lot in the Dota 2 community. Although his professional career in Dota 2 is rather short, people already knew him already from DotA. In his teenage years he switched from playing Counter-Strike 1.6 to DotA, and was completely hooked.

He became part of Vici Gaming in the Dota 2 ancestor.

Waiting for LGD

Although he was one of the most talented players in Dota 2, he didn't find his way into the professional scene early on. While players like Luo 'Ferrari_430' Feichi and Zhang 'xiao8' Ning were competing at The International, Somnus was still not active in the professional scene — until xiao8 left LGD to join Newbee in early 2014.

LGD picked up the talented midlaner, but just used him for a short period: Lin then came to replace him. Somnus was moved to play for the developmental team LGD.CDEC*inactive. After the team became its own organization, the midlaner stayed with his other teammates until Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015.

They surprisingly qualified for the first edition of that tournament, and even ended up beating Big God 2.0* with the Chinese legends Xu 'BurNIng' Zhilei, Zhang 'xiao8' Ning and Bai 'rOtK' Fan.

Finally alongside xiao8

Alongside Sun 'Agressif' Zheng at CDEC, Somnus and the squad were not able to cause a surprise at DAC itself, but the midlaner put in decent performances — he got the attention he needed. LGD Gaming picked their former player again and it was the beginning of a successful era. It's rare that a Chinese player forms a firm connection with an organisation. What Ferrari was for iG, Somnus is for LGD — he is the face of LGD Gaming.

In 2015, after playing against xiao8 for a long time and even replacing him, both players finally played side-by-side and pulled off Somnus' biggest success so far — at The International 2015 xiao8 was no longer playing midlane, but had switched to support. Somnus filled the midlane position perfectly and played an incredibly strong tournament.

Most people only have CDEC Gaming in mind when they think about the Chinese at TI5, but LGD were also close to making the second all-Chinese Grand Finals a reality. However, Evil Geniuses found a way to beat LGD, and later on won the tournament.

Liquid prevent Lower Bracket run

For The International 2017 Somnus had go through the Chinese qualifier to earn a TI spot. Other Chinese teams were the darlings of the nation, but from the group stage on LGD proved why they deserved a spot at the tournament in Seattle.

They went 12-4 in the group stage, but were not able to beat However, LGD pulled off an incredible Lower Bracket run, which ended the TI hopes for Digital Chaos*, OG and Invictus Gaming before they lost again against the future TI winner. This time Team Liquid were the last station on the line for LGD.

Rebranding and China's hope for TI8

The typical roster swap after TI hit LGD hard, as Yang 'Eleven' Wei Ren left to join Vici Gaming. LGD were not able to find any form in the first Dota 2 Pro Circuit. More changes were needed — in the end only Wang Chun 'Ame' Yu and Somnus from their TI7 campaign remained part of the roster.

However, Somnus was still not able to pull off a good fight against the best in the world — their best tournament result during the season was a second place at a Minor. Until Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018, that is. LGD took second place, only defeated by Mineski.

A great result which should change the ways of the organization — The French football team Paris Saint-Germain, mostly known for their star players Neymar and Mbappé, decided to invest in Dota 2. LGD Gaming, one of the oldest organizations in Dota 2, would be named PSG.LGD from that point on, but Somnus was still the face of the Chinese team.

From that moment on PSG.LGD and Somnus upped their own game, and were finally able to win a tournament. After their Major win against Team Liquid at EPICENTER XL, they won Mars Media Dota 2 League: Changsha and surpassed almost every top team in the DPC ranking — only Liquid and VP remained ahead of them.

It was the same placement that occurred at the final Major of the season — at China Dota 2 Supermajor LGD were the best Chinese team, outperformed only by VP and Liquid.

At The International 2018 Somnus can finally reach the top of China and the world by beating the best teams and winning the Aegis — and a lot of experts expect Somnus to perform great with LGD.

What do you think? Can Somnus win the Aegis?

Photo credit: Media EPICENTER/ Valve

  • Brasozial


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