In an interview by GameFy before DK’s fourth place finish in The International 4, Zhi Cheng ‘Lanm’ Zhang, DK’s star support shocked the world when he told the interviewer that he will be retiring from the competitive scene after the prestigious tournament.
After a tearful lost to Vici Gaming, Zhang kept his words and officially announced his retirement over a Weibo post, “With DK, last year was the most exciting in the first half of my life. Shoutout to my most trusted carry, the two strongest solos and my understanding partner, coach and fans. Thank you for accompanying me to the end of my career. @BurNIng @DK_iceiceice @Mushi @Pennytang.
“The recent news were false, and after I return home I am willing to share the wonderful year we have had in DK with all of the loving and supportive fans,” dismissing rumours of internal strife in the team.
No specific reasons were stated on why Zhang’s decision to retire but many speculate that it is due to real life commitments which he has to start attending to after years of pursuing his dreams in competitive Dota 2.
Zhang competed in all three The International event and is known for his time in EHOME which brought them a second place finish in The International 1. He returned to Seattle in 2012 with a brand new EHOME team but fell to the eventual winner of the tournament Invictus Gaming to finish in 5th place. He left EHOME to lead a group of young players in Rattlesnake. Rattlesnake finished second in the Eastern Qualifiers and subsequently qualified for the tournament via the wildcard matches but exited the tournament early on mediocre performance.
Zhang’s determination to win a major title led to the formation of the DK dream team. While the team did capture several championship such as WPC-ACE League Season 1, G-League 2013, and Star Series Season 9, DK faltered under pressure in the biggest stage of them all, The International 4. DK walked away with approximately $820,000 for their fourth place finish in the event.
With Zhang’s retirement, DK is now knee-deep with talks of Zhi Lei ‘BurNing’ Xu and Zeng Rong ‘MMY’ Lei retiring.
DK’s team roster:
- Yee Fung ‘Mushi‘ Chai
- Daryl Pei Xiang ‘iceiceice‘ Koh
- Zhi Lei ‘BurNing‘ Xu (may be retiring)
- Zeng Rong ‘MMY‘ Lei (may be retiring)
Now, let us relive the moment when Zhang won his first major title. Monitor and keyboard were smashed.