OG and The Third Coming of ana
Ana, the famous Australian Dota 2 player, has rejoined OG. This is the third time he’s decided to join a struggling roster that desperately needs a world-class carry to turn things around.
The whole story is similar to that of Arteezy and Evil Geniuses. Except in ana’s case, when he returns, he wins. Or at least, that’s how things went down last time he did it.
Ana’s First Adventure With OG
The year was 2016 and OG had failed to win The International, putting on a weak performance that resulted in them placing 9th – 12th. It was an absolute disaster relative to everyone’s expectations.
The team had dominated the professional scene during that 2015-2016 competitive season, winning 2 Majors and looking unstoppable. Keep in mind that the first OG roster had players like Miracle- and Cr1t leading the charge. They weren’t that well-known back then, but they were just as strong.
Then disaster struck. Following the shipwreck, three of the five players left, leaving N0tail and Fly to reconstruct their roster from scratch. Thankfully, they found some very strong replacements in the form of s4, JerAx and ana. This was ana’s first adventure with OG and he wasn’t even 18 at the time.
On paper, the second OG looked considerably weaker than the first. Miracle- was regarded as the best player in the world at the time and he seemed irreplaceable in the mid-lane. But ana worked wonders for OG, playing his position to perfection and saving many games from the brink of ruin.
Subsequently, OG won two more Majors and then had another shot at winning The International. But, just like the previous year, it wasn’t meant to be. The team finished 7th – 8th, disappointing their fans one more time. And once again, there was the risk of at least one player leaving the team.
With N0tail and Fly being the irreplaceable duo that formed this organization, there were only three options left. While I’m sure that everyone prayed for peace and stability, ana was young, restless, and had to finish high school. So, he left, being replaced by another world-class player: Resolut1on.
The change immediately resulted in a huge performance drop for OG. During the 2017-2018 competitive season, they only won a single Minor out of more than 20 Minors and Majors combined. By their standards, it was a disaster. And to make matters worse, Resolut1on left the team, probably by mutual agreement, and was replaced by the team’s coach, 7ckngMad. But the poor performances continued, nonetheless.
For the first time since the team’s inception, OG risked not qualifying for The International. In the midst of this mess, the fans were expecting OG to finally find a way to win and rise from the ashes. But instead, Fly decided that he had had enough and left the team, taking s4 with him. They both went to EG, a North American giant that was having problems of its own.
The word “disband” was on everyone’s lips in the community. N0tail had been betrayed by his closest friend during OG’s darkest hour. And with The International 2018 just two months away, the team looked finished.
The Second Coming of ana
It was literally better than any Oscar-winning film, and only the start of what was to come. Instead of giving up, N0tail found a strong mid-laner named Topson, a complete unknown at the time for the general public, and at the same time convinced ana rejoined og. They dominated from Open Qualifiers to Regional Qualifiers and then to The International itself, OG wrote what may be the most impressive page of the Dota 2 history book.
Ranked 18th out of 18 teams before The International 2018, OG went on to win the event with ana as the team’s carry and most important player. His performance during that event was simply unbelievable and resulted in the best TI Final in the history of Dota. Five games, massive swings, and a triumph for the ages. The power of flowers and friendship ultimately prevailed.
After such a great success, it can be hard to summon the same level of focus. It’s like going to the Moon in the ‘60s and not knowing what to do with your life after you’ve made it back to Earth. You’ve reached the highest point of what seemed possible. Now what?
As you probably know, ana left again, leaving the other 4 players to find a replacement. In the end, the rest of the team found they had no desire to play anymore and decided to take a break. They declined to take part in the qualifiers for the first Major. Afterward, they tried to find a new carry but things just didn’t work out. As a result, they failed to qualify for the second and third Majors.
With only two Majors left, people started to worry again that OG might truly be in trouble this time. They had their moment, just like Wings Gaming and Alliance. But now they were done.
The Third Coming of ana
But guess who’s come to the rescue. Like a bird returning home after Winter, ana rejoined OG. Which means that, for the first time in a long time, OG is back to their TI winning roster.
What can we expect this time? It would be an absolute miracle for OG to repeat their 2018 performance. But that’s not likely to happen given the fact that Team Secret, Virtus.pro, Evil Geniuses and a few other competitors are light years ahead in current skill level. Not just of OG, but everyone else as well.
Europe is beyond stacked with solid teams. Team Secret, Team Liquid and Ninjas in Pyjamas are very hard to beat at this point and their regional dominance can only be challenged by a very solid lineup. Right now, OG’s lineup has the potential, but they need to learn how to play together on a completely new patch.
Since the end of The International, Dota 2 has changed completely. In many ways, it’s almost an entirely new game. From heroes to items, it’s a completely different wild horse to master, and the very best on the scene have already done that.
Puppey from Team Secret, for instance, looks determined to win The International this year. It’s been too long for him since that first TI that he won with Natus Vincere. In the history of Dota 2, not a single player has managed to win it twice. He could be the first.
As for OG, the time has come for them to return to that incredible state of heightened focus that brought them the Aegis of Champions last year. If they can do it, then I expect them to easily qualify for the next Major and become a serious contender once more.