OG’s hard carry Dota 2 player Anathan ‘ana’ Pham is extending his break through the entire season, meaning he’s not planning to come back until after TI10. But will he return to the active roster right before the big tournament again like he did last year? And who will OG pick up and play with in the meantime?
Imagine vacationing for most of the year, then showing up for a handful of big-money tournaments, and winning back-to-back Dota 2 International championships. That’s the life of OG’s ana, who arguably has the sweetest gig in all of esports.
After the team became the first to win back-to-back TIs, as well as being the first to win two ever, the Australian Dota sensation announced he would be taking some time off to vacation. All of OG, in fact, passed on participating in the Chengdu major, along with some other big name teams.
This is old hat for the two-time champs, who passed on the first major of last year’s Dota 2 Pro Circuit, but still ending up winning TI. Like last year, ana is once again taking an extended break, as the team announced he will be coming back next season.
For OG, they will again have to kill the void left by ana, and fill the empty slot at the hard carry position. They tried this last year, with both Per Anders Olsson ‘Pajkatt’ Lille and Igor ‘iLTW’ Filato, but neither player helped the team achieve any good results, and he returned to boost the team’s TI-qualifying run.
As for who will be filling in for him, rumors initially circulated that the benched Evil Geniuses player Syed Sumail ‘SumaiL’ Hassan could be headed to OG, but the team is unlikely to pay a huge buyout for a temporary player, and there are indications that SumaiL may join a Chinese roster.
What appears more likely is Yeik ‘MidOne’ Nai Zheng, formerly of Team Secret, joining the reigning champions, as fellow Malaysian player x1aoyu indicated from a leaked in-game chat.
How well MidOne, or whoever officially joins OG, does at the qualifiers for the ESL Los Angeles major will likely determine whether or not ana actually takes a full year off.
If the team struggles, he may return early again to spark another run at The International, in what would be a repeat of the team’s journey to lifting the Aegis of Champions last year.
The community jokes that Dota is a “part-time job” to ana, but evidently it pays better and allows for more vacation time than most other jobs.
While he vacations, OG will have to qualify for ESL LA through the open qualifiers, with no DPC points to their name so far this season.