Can OG bring back the Championship roster for TI10?
The International 2020 or TI10 will be an anniversary happening for the Dota 2 competitive scene. The event which was already postponed, would have likely been the largest one to date. Judging by how the Dota 2 Battle Pass 2020 surpasses records, it will have a prize fund to match.
Team OG has managed a feat no other team has even come close to. Win two back to back TI championships. And while a three-peat attempt was on everyone’s minds, the start of 2020 didn’t look to promising.
On 26 January 2020, JerAx announced his retirement from the DOTA2 pro scene. A day earlier “the two-time champion who watches Gordon Ramsay videos instead of practicing” or Anathan announced he would be taking a break as well. Ceb soon followed, killing the dream that the legendary roster would play for a three-peat. Expectedly, the news shocked the gaming community as it means they may never see the complete OG Champion roster play again.
Stepping down as defending champions
Thanks to an interview by Valavuori, and translation by Dota 2 Reddit user Totdoga, we got a deeper insight into why JerAx decides to quit his pro career.
Often times, we hear news about pro players retiring from the scene when they have been through a series of lows. Some realized they can’t strive in competitive scene anymore. Yet, JerAx stepped down as the two-time International champion, a feet that no team has accomplished to date.
Just like how unique JerAx views DOTA2, his perspective on life is just as unpredictable either. In his statement, he states that:
“DOTA2 has been my only identity in my entire life”.
If it wasn’t for it, he would be known for different things. He didn’t want his career to be his life, instead it should only be a part of it. It just goes to show that pride and achievements do not always mean you have a better life. Thus, he retires to seek a greater meaning for his life that he feels he has been missing out.
Ceb’s retirement was a little less definitive. Back in January he stated:
“I do not want this to sound like a definitive retirement, even though it could very well end up being it”
And in retrospect we know he is still driven towards competitive play. OG just recently used his services as a stand-in at the OGA Dota PIT 2020 Online.
As for Anathan, we wrote a whole expose about his story back in March. He is definitely destined to return eventually, we just hope its sooner rather then later.
A craving for another “15 Million Dollar Diffusal Blade”
Perhaps the biggest highlight of OG’s TI9 isn’t the 5-man blackhole or the Aegis steal. Instead, it’s just one man’s decision to buy the right item. Topson’s infamous Diffusal Blade purchase became the defining moment of TI9. According to JerAx, that itemization came about while they were losing the game and it won them TI9.
It turns out that it was Topson’s intuition to buy Diffusal Blade midgame. Commonly, teams discuss itemization before the game begins. Picking up Diffusal Blade for Gyrocopter is already unconventional, especially in pub games. Yet, after Topson made good use of it, it suddenly seemed like a relevant item for the hero.
Since Gyrocopter’s Flak Cannon skill allows him to attack multiple units at once, the Diffusal Blade’s passive effect (mana burn) is applied to all attacks too. It allowed Gyrocopter to burn multiple enemy’s mana, rendering them unable to spam skills. Thus, team OG successfully defended their base and went on to crush Team Liquid.
Why this segway?
This is the OG that fans want and demand. Not the most recent washed up version we saw at ESL One Birmingham 2020 Europe. Only the original OG’s (pun intended) had the creativity and willpower to experiment at the highest level with the highest stakes on the line.
No shade thrown at Saksa, MidOne and SumaiL, but this new roster simply doesn’t gel well. They’ve had enough time to work on cohesion this past few months, yet the results are simply not there.
What would it take?
With The International 2020 pushed back to 2021, we are entering the year of a potential Anathan return. With Ceb already stepping in recently, we have two out of three potentially being ready to step in.
What about JerAx?
JerAx confirmed that he will not return to the pro scene as a player nor a coach. But since he owns part of OG, he looks forward to help OG. And we believe the time is nigh for Jesse to consider reuniting the team for TI10 and straightening out OG’s 2020 season. A three-peat definitely sounds better then back2back. And just imagine the precedent that would set for the future of TI and Dota 2 as a whole. Just imagine the Dota 2 odds for an OG winning T10 outright and completing a back2back2back run.
Of course, we do understand an OG TI10 return would put immense pressure both psychological and social towards the roster. At least four of them have openly said that the level of commitment and sacrifice it takes to compete that level is taxing and unhealthy. And yet, would a 50 million prize fun be enough to sacrifice another year of their time?