[In-Depth] Getting to know DotA 1 Gods: Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei

In the early days of being competitive DotA there were some players who were known as “Gods” or “Gods”. Those who have the title of god have become the names most admired by many people even from the early days DotA is still a Custom Map for Warcraft 3 (Dota 1).

This is the third part in a series of articles on the history of the gods. Previous articles discussed M-God: best Zeus player from North America Ben “Merlini” Wu and V-God: The ganker king from Russia Ivan “Vigoss” Shinkarev.

This time we will discuss “The Emperor” or the emperor of Chinese DotA , B-God or BurNIng: One of the greatest carry and the best Anti-Mage player, ever.

4 out of 5 gods in DotA. From left to right: Vigoss, Yamateh, Merlini, LodA. They have their own character and style. Image Courtesy: thescoreesports

BurNIng is not a name that is unfamiliar to players Dota 1. Xu “BurNIng“Zhilei is a legendary player from China who is known as one carry best in professional history DotA. From the era DotA to Dota 2, BurNIng is a name that is admired by many people.

Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei grew up in a humble family in Tongling, Anhui Province in China. BurNIng’s father is a mining worker and his mother is a housewife. Xu Zhilei spends his time after school playing at Internet cafes, aka internet cafes.

BurNIng loves to watch Starcraft and Warcraft III. BurNIng grew up together gaming and his career as DotA player changed his life drastically.

Like many DotA 1 players, he set out on a journey gamingher on Warcraft 3. From Warcraft 3 Young BurNIng began to get to know a lot of Custom Maps, one of which he played the most often DotA.

Growth DotA as a Custom Maps in China at that time was a phenomenon in itself. All internet cafes are turned into playgrounds DotA. Played DotA became one of the cultures that emerged in China’s younger generation at that time and has survived to this day.

In China, DotA player just as popular with singers or actresses and actors. Various national and regional competitions are commonplace on Chinese television broadcasts. DotA is the national game of Chinese citizens, the same as StarCraft for South Korean citizens.

Not to mention that the large population makes China a mecca for itself DotA from the early days of its development.

Image Courtesy: Newzoo

DotA is one of the things it makes up gaming and esports in China is bigger than other countries. DotA in China paved the way for professional gaming more structured.

BurNIng starts playing DotA at the end of 2007. BurNIng fell in love with DotA since the first time he played this game. Young BurNIng was very interested in various RTS games and had wanted to become one professional player in Warcraft III. However his meeting with DotA change his career path.

BurNIng’s dream to be professional gamer not without reason, Chinese DotA Scene when it thrives. If Korea has Starcraft, China has DotA.

If we look at DotA’s competitive history, China becomes region the fastest growing rate. In the period 2007-2010, various local level competitions emerged in China with prize pool which is even more tantalizing.

Don’t want to be outdone by western scene, various international competitions in the east emerged in China, Malaysia and the Philippines which became the 3 axes of strength DotA in Asia.

Early Career: CaNt and 7L

BurNIng started his professional career in mid-2008. Not much different from the careers of other esports players, he started a team with his closest friends who have played together in internet cafes.

BurNIng forming CaNt and 7L together LongDD and N3komata.

The unique fact of 7L is that their first manager was none other than that Pan “ruruJie, the figure of a woman who is currently becoming CEO from CDEC Program and LGD Gaming. 7L Clan managed to shine on G-League DotA 2009 by beating EHOME in the final. Prior to 7L, CaNt was a young, shining team in China due to their good record on the international scene.

CaNt has also played against Fnatic-MSI. The Fnatic-MSI DotA team at that time had rooster players who are all from Indonesia. At that time, Fnatic-MSI was filled with the names of the best Indonesian players who have become legends in Indonesia Dota, that is Lakuci, Ritter “Ritter” Rusli, and Farand “KoaLa” Kowara.

BurNIng plays in the final of the tournament 2008 Colorful Game Makes against Fnatic-MSI. At that time, BurNIng defeated against Fnatic 2-1 in the Best of 3 Series.

InYourDream is not the first Indonesian player to be recruited by Fnatic. Previously, Fnatic-MSI Indonesia contained Indonesian DotA legends. They even played and won against BurNIng.

At that time DotA still version 6.53. The Goblin Clockwerk has just entered Captain’s mode, Raijin aka Storm Spirit is still visible chubby, and people still play in their own style.

7L filled by players like, aNgel_LovEr, LongDD, DanChe, and DGC. 7L did not last long due to the organization’s lack of transparency in the pay-sharing system and some sponsors demanded monetary returns from the organization.

At that time, esports was still full of scams that could trap players and various organizations tended to work not transparently with players, investors, or sponsors.

BurNIng has been described as “皇帝 (Huángdì) / The Emperor ”since the 7L era due to the success of 7L and BurNIng at the international competition level and also how BurNIng can become a star in various hero which he plays.

Along the way, BurNIng is known as one of the most efficient players from start to finish. Of the many Chinese players of that era, BurNIng shone by playing hard carry heroes efficiently and shocked a lot of people because of it heroes which are usually played in an inefficient manner.

BurNIng’s dominance in DotA: The Legend of EHOME.GIGABYTE.AAA

EHOME recruited BurNIng for one reason: BurNIng was one of the players threatening EHOME’s dominance in China.

At that time, BurNIng was using nickname which is unique, namely “AAA“. BurNIng used the AAA id because at that time Warcraft III DotA can only support username with a maximum of 15 characters. The name BurNIng was not sufficient to be used because of the sponsorship of EHOME at the time.

DTS (Dendi, NS, Dread, LightOfHe against EHOMe at ESWC 2010.

In BurNIng’s journey on EHOME, EHOME changed from “good team” Becomes “great team“. EHOME is an organization with a history of its own in DotA. Known as one of the teams with a strong history and principles, they are known for fanbase fanatical early in development DotA because everywhere there will always be fans shouting the name “EHOME” in the tournament they are competing in.

Chinese DotA when it started to become a big name because of their dominance in international tournaments. However EHOME is the only truly dominant one. BurNIng is one of the most important players because he can play a lot play style. Draft EHOME is also more dominant and has many variations.

BurNIng and EHOME are the 2 dominant names in 2010-2011. They become one of the best teams in professional history DotA. They are also one of the first teams to have coach or coach.

List of tournaments that BurNIng won at DotA.

Chinese Retirement and Achievements in Dota 2

BurNIng had several times stated that he would retire and stop playing Dota professionally. In the middle of the 2012-2013 season, he had stated that he would retire from Dota post TI 3.

BurNIng performance as carry in 2012 ranked it as carry best. Anti-Mage, Morphling, and Lone Druid became heroes the one he played the most.

BurNIng Anti-Mage can be a combination player-hero the most iconic in a long history Dota, BurNIng is known as the best anti-mage in both Dota 1 and Dota 2. Why?

Because, BurNIng can play efficiently on hero which arguably takes a lot farming before on line and ready. BurNIng can always make the team it defends play well because the Anti-Mage still has it early-game presence the good one.

BurNIng’s achievements in Dota 2

At TI3, BurNIng failed to do well. Team DK did not approve of BurNIng’s retirement plan because they ended up adding players to help BurNIng.

At that time, Team DK formed All-Star Asia Team which contains: BurNIng, Mushi, iceiceice, LaNm, and MMY.

BurNIng’s plans to retire in 2013 were pushed back but BurNIng stated in several interviews that playing Dota professionally drains a lot of energy, both mentally and physically.

He also stated that all this fatigue can accumulate, making a person player can lose motivation, and end up not playing optimally.

After finishing in 4th position in The International 2014, BurNIng declared his retirement from Dota 2. BurNIng stated that he was resigning from Team DK and would be taking a break from Dota before starting a career to be streamer.

However, the demands of many parties forced BurNIng to return once again. This time, he was under the banner of a different team, namely Invictus Gaming. BurNIng returned in December 2014 and said he would form a team for The International 2015. He also had time to return to play with the casual team Big God for DAC 2015.

BurNIng shines in Dota 2 with IG. At its peak, he won the DAC 2017 and surprised many parties because he was still able to play extraordinary at such a young age.

BurNIng carve ending which is good for his career with IG. Together with IG, BurNIng is back to being carry extraordinary at the end of his career.

Along with squad young people namely BoBoKa, OP, XXS, Q. BurNIng’s experience is a key factor. Leadership and also performance carry from BurNIng to be one of the formulas for the success of Invictus Gaming.

Ultimately BurNIng won the DAC 2017 with dominance. The strategy of BurNIng Juggernaut and XXS Magnus worked smoothly throughout DAC 2017. BurNIng himself was asked to become the MVP of the tournament because of his performance.

Unfortunately, BurNIng only finished 5-6 in The International 2017.

BurNIng only skipped TI1 and TI6 throughout his career and became one of the players who is remembered as a legend even though he never lifted the Aegis of the Champion.