Netizens rally for lone M’sian player on stage at Dota 2 tournament after teammates downed by Covid-19


As Yap's teammates from China-based Royal Never Give Up (RNG) were down with Covid-19 and had to compete from isolation, their seats on stage were filled with giant teddy bears. — Twitter @dota2ti

Fans showed their support for Malaysian Dota 2 professional esports athlete Yap “xNova” Jian Wei after he showed up on stage alone to take on members from team Entity at The International 2022 (TI) event in Singapore yesterday (Oct 20).

As Yap’s teammates from China-based Royal Never Give Up (RNG) were down with Covid-19 and had to compete remotely while in isolation, their seats on stage were filled with giant teddy bears.

A photo uploaded on Twitter has received more than 1,700 retweets and over 8,000 likes with fans cheering on Yap and expressing their heartbreak as well.

Yap held on to play the longest main stage game in TI history with 107 minutes.

Eventually, his team lost to Entity from Europe who will go on to play in the quarterfinal tomorrow.

Yap has acknowledged the situation and fan support in a tweet posted today.

"It definitely felt difficult to play alone on the stage today but hearing the crowd shout my name for the first time made me emotional to another level and it’s a feeling I’ll never forget... Thank you everyone for your kind words, your support... I’m grateful beyond words," he tweeted from his verified account on Twitter. The tweet has received more than 30,000 likes with fans also expressing their respect and pride for his performance on stage.

He also earned praise from fans after he stood up to shake the hands of his opponents at the end of the match. In videos shared on Twitter, some fans have described it as the "saddest moment" in the tournament so far.

Yap's team still walked away with US$255,300 (RM1.2mil) in prize money after finishing in 13th place. His teammates are Lu Yao (Somnus), Yang Shenyi (Chalice), Hu Liangzhi (kaka), and fellow Malaysian Daniel Chan (Ghost).

The TI tournament has a prize pool of over US$17mil (RM80mil). A new champion is set to be crowned this year as Team Boom Esports from Indonesia eliminated reigning champion Team Spirit yesterday.

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