The International 2018 Champions have officially announced their return to the new competitive season after a well-deserved extended break. However, the Australian prodigy Anathan “ana” Pham will not be alongside the team, the organization announced today.
Ana’s official statement regarding his decision:
“Thank you to all the guys in this team, it was a pleasure playing/working again with them plus some new members! I would also like to thank ppasarel and Charlie for being such great assistance to myself and the team. For now, I think more time is needed for myself and right now my motivation lies elsewhere. Good luck to these great bunch of guys and I wish them the very best!
OG will always be the happy place!”
Our Australian prodigy, without whom nothing would have been possible, Anathan “ana” Pham, will be taking a longer break away from the game. He'll remain a sub for OG.
→ https://t.co/GERSDKmsAL #DreamOG pic.twitter.com/xAoiLetFsm
— OG (@OGesports) November 19, 2018
Ana joined OG for the first time in the post TI6 shuffle and quickly became one of the finest mid lane players. Through his one-year stint with OG, Ana won two Valve Major, Boston 2016 and Kiev 2017, and qualified for the International 2017 where he and his team finished top eight. After TI7 he announced a brief retirement to finish his studies and put order in other aspects of his life. He briefly played in the past season at Echo International alongside Wong “ChuaN” Hock Chuan and Martin “Saksa” Sazdov, but the project wasn’t successful at all.
A couple of weeks before The International 2018 qualifiers, OG were as shocked as their fans to find out that two of their members left the team to join Evil Geniuses. Tal “Fly” Aizik and Gustav “s4” Magnusson packed and moved to NA two weeks before the TI8 open qualifiers were scheduled to begin, leaving OG in an almost impossible situation. The saving grace came from Anathan “ana” Pham, who answered Johan “N0tail” Sundstein’s call and didn’t hesitate to come and help his friends in their roughest times of their Dota 2 professional career. OG started from open brackets on June 14, 2018 and what happened at the TI8 main event in Vancouver two months later is going to remain in the Dota 2 books as the most impressive victory.
For now, the TI8 Champion Ana, will remain as OG’s official substitute and the team will commence their road to TI9 next week when they will play in European closed qualifies for the Chongqing Major with a stand-in whose name is to be announced in the upcoming days. Until then, OG founding member Johan “N0tail” Sundstein had a few words to say to the fans and to Ana.
N0tail’s official statement:
“To the fans,
Thank you all for showing us this incredible positivity and support that helped us throughout TI. Couldn’t have done it without you. The dota 2017-2018 season gave us a lot of good games and a few new faces, but Ana is somebody we all knew and to think he’d return to us after close to a year of not playing together. What a journey this year was, and to my own surprise what an ending it had.
When I think back at TI8 Ana Ember pops into my head and leaves me smiling, wonder what other people think when someone says TI8 Ana.
Thanks brother, thank you for the best few months of my professional life. To see you lay the haters down one by one and keep climbing higher is a true inspiration to me and others that see it. Can’t wait to see you soon down under my man, all the best <3”
Chongqing Major qualifiers will kick off on 26th of November and OG will fight alongside Team Secret, Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance, Vega Squadron, The Final Tribe and Hippomanicas. The tournament organizers StarLadder and ImbaTV will announce how many qualifier slots are available for the European region in the next coming days.