After Royal Never Give Up was eliminated from The International 2022, Lu “Somnus” Yao made the decision to formally leave professional Dota 2 after previously hinting at it.
Shortly after the nearly two-hour elimination battle ended, Somnus made the announcement live on his Weibo profile, stating simply that his time competing is over.
“My childhood is made to have regrets and [I] accept a situation that I can’t change because it’s too late,” Somnus said on Weibo. “Thank you all for your support. My journey is over. Somnus out.”
Somnus, who had extensive expertise in both DotA and Dota 2, was well-known in the Chinese scene and afterwards among fans all over the world.
Starting with Vici Gaming in 2013, he oversaw some of the strongest lineups in China for almost ten years. He ended his career as a member of a RNG team that competed to the bitter finish under difficult circumstances. That comprised four athletes, including himself, who contracted COVID and played while being in grave discomfort alone.
Between 2014 and 2020, Somnus, or Maybe as he has been referred to over the years, played for squads controlled by LGD. During this period, he participated in five consecutive editions of The International and only finished outside the top four once.
As Shadow Fiend says, “It’s now or Nevermore.” But it looks like nevermore arrived before he could finally reach the Aegis.
The crew that gave everything they had on the battlefield together—at least in spirit—for one final battle is left behind as the crownless monarch exits the game and moves on to a new future.
He probably won’t be the only player to retire following TI11. Once the dust settles in Singapore too, Liquid’s Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and another Chinese Dota star Zhang “Faith bian” Ruida have both made it plain that they desire to retire. We’re about to have a change of guards, but maybe, just maybe, Maybe will have second thoughts.