The dominoes continue to fall following the end of The International 4.
Jiang’s decision comes after a disappointing run at The International by his now former team, Invictus Gaming. Considered by many fans as favorites to win, Invictus Gaming was held winless after a decent group stage. Their two playoff series against LGD Gaming and eventual champions Newbee both resulted in losses by a score of two games to one.
The closeness of those matches was little consolation to the team. June titles in the Chinese WPC league and at ESL One Frankfurt showed Invictus to be capable to beating anyone at any time. Jiang’s departure from, and the game as a whole, is the first effect of the disappointing finish to be felt, though it may not be the last as further roster changes have been rumored.
Jiang’s career in Dota was successful by any measure. His time with Invictus Gaming was especially productive. The team were the champions of The International in 2012, defeating then-defending champions Natus Vincere in the finals. Notably, the prize Invictus received for finishing tied for seventh at The International 4 was more than half of what they received for finishing first at The International 2.
Jiang’s resume also includes championship victories in Esports Champions League and World Cyber Games competitions. He explained his decision to fans on social media site QQ.
“I’ve had a lifetime’s worth of experience. On one side, there’s the heartbreaking losses, but then there’s the realization of a dream with the ecstasy of The International 2,” Jiang said.
“Although these four years (of Dota play) can’t be considered perfect, I can already say I don’t feel any regret.”
While Jiang is retiring from competitive play, he did hint at the possibility of remaining close to the game in some form or fashion.
“Retiring is a kind of ending, but it’s also a new beginning,” Jiang said. “I’ll continue to fight for my next goal (in gaming), and hope everyone will continue with their support.”
Screengrab via YouTube/ESL