ViCi Gaming will not compete at the third Dota 2 Major of 2019/20 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season and will instead take a break in a bid to regain strength ahead of the EPICENTER Major in May.
ViCi got off to a flying start in the 2019/20 DPC season, finishing as runners-up at the MDL Chengdu Major and pocketing a bronze medal at the DreamLeague Season 13 Leipzig Major in January. Their superb performances earned them 5,100 DPC points and a guaranteed spot at the 2020 International, which might be the reason why the Chinese Dota 2 powerhouse decided to skip the ESL One Los Angeles Major.
While there has been no official confirmation of the decision, ViCi are nowhere to be found under the Chinese section of the ESL One Invites page for the event’s qualifier. That should not be the case, considering they are the highest-rated Chinese Dota 2 esports team.
ViCi not attending the LA Major should not be a shock to anyone, however, as their head coach, Bai “rOtK” Fan, has spoken openly about the possibility of taking a short break from the competitive scene and skipping the third Major of the season in order to prepare for the challenges they will face ahead. There is also the problem of acquiring a travel visa for ViCi offlaner Zhou “Yang” Haiyang, who has had issues gaining entry to the United States in the past.
“To some lengths, it is because the third Major is run in the United States and Yang’s visa has already been rejected six or seven times, that is an issue everyone is considering,” said rOtK in an interview recorded after ViCi’s win at the ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational.
“On the other hand, we also need to rest, and we cannot participate in every high-intensity competition.”
The ViCi coach also talked about plans for the future, stating that the team’s focus for this season is player development rather than success in the Majors.
“The most important thing for us is to make effective adjustments to our mindset and to learn from tournaments and make progress,” rOtK said.
“We have a new talent [Xiong “Pyw” Jiahan] on our team. Although Pyw has also participated in TI before, he is still a newcomer and has less competition experience. I hope to cultivate him this year, and help him reach his potential.”
While ViCi connections have stressed that the team’s withdrawal has nothing to do with health concerns, the coronavirus crisis has made it difficult for Chinese esports players to travel freely. Most of the ViCi squad resides in Hubei province, which is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
ViCi’s plans for the next two months are to participate in other, non-DPC tournaments in order to get ready for the EPICENTER Major, which is set to take place in May at CSKA Arena in Moscow, Russia.