Lu "Somnus" Yao (also known as Maybe) is reportedly considering coming out of retirement and returning to the Dota Pro Circuit, after being inspired by Lionel Messi's performance at the 2022 World Cup.
Somnus is considering a return to the DPC
If he does come back, it will have been an incredibly short retirement. Somnus announced he'd be stepping down from the Dota Pro Circuit back in October, following Royal Never Give Up's (RNG) disappointing 13th - 16th placement at The International 2022.
It was a difficult year for Somnus, after he was hospitalised in October when he was diagnosed with COVID-19, forcing RNG up to forfeit their match against PSG.LGD at The International. It later transpired that Hu "kaka" Liangzhi, Daniel "Ghost" Chan and Yang "Chalice" Shenyi had all also contracted the virus - meaning they had to play from isolation, leading to communication issues.
Following a year like that, it was perhaps no surprise that Somnus wanted to retire. But it seems that he might have changed his mind, according to a post he made on the Chinese social media website Weibo.
“Seeing Messi win the championship is inspirational and touching,” said Somnus. “Messi only fulfilled his dream at the age of 35, and after watching Messi, I do want to return to competing.” (translation via dot esports)
After his World Cup inspiration, Somnus apparently got in contact with his former RNG teammate kaka, asking about his plans for the new season. According to claims on social media, kaka said that he would be willing to join a team alongside Somnus.
While he hasn't been gone for very long at all, it's an exciting sign for fans that he might not be retiring after all. While he struggled in 2022 for somewhat understandable reasons, near decade-long career has earned him devout fans, both in China and around the world.
Somnus has been part of some of the strongest teams on Dota history - perhaps most famously during his time on the legendary PSG.LGD roster, alongside Chalice, Xu "fy" Linsen, Wang "Ame" Chunyu and Yap "xNova" Jian Wei.
That lineup saw PSG.LGD reach the top three in two Internationals in a row, ranking in 2nd at The International 2018, and 3rd at The International 2019.
If Somnus and kaka do indeed team up once again, we'll be sure to keep you up to date here on Luckbox. The 2023 DPC season is due to kick off soon - so make sure you've signed up for your free account before the action begins!