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Team Aster Professional Chinese World of Warcraft Raid Guild Disbanded
08/04/2022 à 06:22
After only two tiers, Team Aster's World of Warcraft raid guild is breaking up. Made up of top raiders contracted from guilds such as Alpha, JiaTianHong, Skyline, and even former Limit player Supreme, the guild was created with a very clear mandate - to be the #1 Chinese guild - with Aster's CEO Geng XiaoFei clearly stating "I will not take CN 2nd for an answer." While the guild came in
CN 1st and World 7th
in Sanctum of Domination, along with
CN 2nd and World 6th
in Sepulcher of the First Ones, increasingly high expenses and interpersonal conflicts within the new raid team resulted in not faltering performance and poor public relations.
Team Aster's Sanctum and Sepulcher race venues. Like some western guilds, high level Chinese groups typically rent out esports arenas or gaming hotels to play together from the same location.
major esports organization
in the world of Dota 2, Aster quickly became one of the most famous raid teams in China, spending a purported $1.85 million USD on the team in 2021, covering player salaries and the Sanctum of Domination Race to World First event. Around 40 raiders and managers were paid an average of $3,000 a month for their expert level play, but the guild quickly became known more for drama than performance, as personalities clashed with one another.
During the Sanctum of Domination race, a well regarded class guide writer left the team mid-race over the possibility of missing a month's salary upon being benched. He purportedly made ~$12,000 USD during his time with the team and only participated in the first three bosses.
After an argument regarding missed interrupts, one of the team's Warriors became violent, smashing tables and throwing things around the venue.
Team Aster's raid leader publicly blamed their community and stream viewers for the guild's poor item level and performance, followed later by a tearful on-stream apology.
Team Aster's raid leader tearfully apologizes on-stream after blaming poor performance on the community's lack of support.
During the recent race in Sepulcher of the First Ones, another argument began over Pantheon interrupts, with popular streamer and former MDI champion Yeluo getting into an argument after being called out for low damage, despite
being high on the meters
, and being blamed for something which he didn't consider to be his fault. This continued into Halondrus progression, with Yeluo admonishing another player for failing their responsibility in carrying the bomb, though the argument that ensued resulted in
and his removal from the team. Afterwards, Yeluo commented on stream regarding the raid leaders lack of experience and how the team would have been more successful if he were raid leader and could have kicked some other players off the team.
Two players cursed and threatened each other after arguing over how to handle a mechanic, and although
the clip is in Chinese
, we can hear things being smashed before the streams were muted.
Another player was banned from the Chinese streaming platform Huya for 10 years after their hotel roommate began joking about the Covid situation in China during a bathroom break. While they wisely muted their microphone before speaking, the first player hadn't muted theirs, resulting in the comments being broadcast to thousands of viewers. The banned player was purportedly charged $90,000 RMB (or ~$14,000 USD) to be unbanned, though they've since appealed the ban since it wasn't their fault.
A player called ShiGuang became well known for their antics within Aster, claiming that former Limit player Supreme scared him into making a mistake and dying on Lihuvim due to using Heroic Leap, which has since become a meme among Chinese fans - reimagining the Warrior tier set bonus as "Your Heroic Leap will fear nearby teammates upon landing."
Because Supreme is new to the team and came from a well recognized western guild, ShiGuang also made frequent snide comments toward him over any small mistake. This came to a head when ShiGuang again tried to talk down to him during Jailer progression, resulting in Supreme confronting ShiGuang in person, with one of the team managers standing between them to avoid IRL PvP.
Aster still achieved their goal of becoming the #1 guild in China with the World 7th defeat of Sylvanas, but despite the player salaries and extravagant venues, these examples of their on-stream antics and drama turned the guild into something of a joke among Chinese viewers, with clips of their drama amassing over 700,000 views this tier alone. That might be excused as long as they succeed, but with their second place finish in Sepulcher, the group appears to have run out of good will - support was similarly cut off for the organization's MDI teams after they failed to meet expectations as well. According to Aster's former raiders, however, the problems may run deeper, as some of their salaries have not been paid in over 4 months.
There may be a lesson learned here as well. Although many high-end teams pay their players in some capacity, organizations usually sponsor existing guilds rather than hiring a completely new team of players who lack the experience with one another, or the infrastructure, to keep them working well together. An anonymous raider in another highly ranked Chinese guild commented, "We feel so bad that no one in Aster had the courage to stand up and take responsibility for their failures or admit when they did wrong. Guilds like Aster should not have such drama, and Aster does not represent the majority of Chinese players in WoW. It also seems that a few players in Aster ruined the team for everyone else." In response to the news of their disbanding, many Chinese viewers reaction was simply that the Race to World First in China "would not be fun anymore."
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