Reversal: EHOME, Keen Gaming swap players again

The Chinese organizations reverse their player exchange after a little over 1 month.

In the wake of the DAC 2018 Major, the landscape in the Chinese region is getting a small shake up as we head into the final months of the Pro Circuit season. At the the end of February, Chinese organizations EHOME and Keen Gaming agreed to a player swap that sent Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong to the Keen Gaming roster and brought Zhai “荧” a.k.a “Ying” Jingkai to EHOME. Now after a little over a month and an appearance at the DAC 2018 Major for Keen Gaming, the two players are set to return to their original squads as per another agreement between the organizations.

The temporary addition of Ying to EHOME’s roster did little to lift the team out of the doldrums in the Chinese region, as the squad continued to struggle at home. The team finished outside of the Top 4 in the China Qualifiers for both the EPICENTER XL Major and the StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 Minor. The team also finished in the 9th-10th place position in the Dota 2 Professional League Season 5 in China and failed to advance out of the Group Stage of that event. The team’s struggles over this period weren’t solely confined to China though, as the team finished in the collective 9th-16th place position out of a field of 30 squads at the World Electronic Sports Games 2017 in March. Overall, the experiment of swapping players with Keen Gaming did not pan out for EHOME, and now the squads has to hope that the return of old chicken to the lineup will be some sort of spark that can get the team playing at a higher level as the TI8 Qualifiers appear to be on the horizon for the Chinese squad.

For Keen Gaming, the player swap has been a much more positive experience, as the squad has seen a relative measure of success with old chicken in the lineup. THe team has seen action in four qualifiers that includes two Top 4 finishes in the qualifiers for the StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 Minor and the DreamLeague Season 9 Minor, as well as a successful run through the China Open Qualifier for the EPICENTER XL Major. Like EHOME, Keen Gaming also participated in the World Electronic Sports Games 2017 this March, and managed to finish in the combined 5th-8th place position at the event. The Chinese squad also made an appearance at the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 Major just a few days ago, although the team was largely unsuccessful and ended up finishing in the combined last place position of 15th-16th. While the team’s performance over the course of the player swap period may not have been overly successful, Keen Gaming did manage to build up a degree of momentum that squad will now look to maintain as Ying rejoins the lineup.

The roster of Keen Gaming following the player swap:

  • Yang “MS” Yongjie (Carry)
  • Zhai “荧” a.k.a “Ying” Jingkai (Mid)
  • Song “dark” Runxi (Offlane) (Captain)
  • Liu “yoona” Xiangkun (Support)
  • Jiang “天命” a.ka. “Tiān mìng” An (Support)

Keen Gaming’s announcement of the swap via its Weibo page (Chinese)

The roster of EHOME following the player swap:

  • Chen “Cty” Tianyu (Carry)
  • Wang “old chicken” Zhiyong (Mid)
  • Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida (Offlane)
  • Xu “Hym” Zhi (Support)
  • Zhang “y`” Yiping (Support)

EHOME’s announcement of the swap via its Weibo page (Chinese)

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