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| 31. August 2021

Dota 2 History Series #1: OG’s Triumphs, Failures, and Chances at the Next Edition of The International

OG is one of the most legendary teams in Dota 2. Its status, as the first team to ever win The International twice, will forever remain in the history of the game. But how did OG start and what did it have to go through to reach greatness?

The History of OG

A lot of Dota 2 teams have very humble beginnings. But the OG that we know today showed signs of strength right from the start. The official date of its inception is October 31st, 2015. And just 3 weeks later, the team had already won its first Major.

Back in those days, Majors were something new and had a huge prize pool of $3 million. So, after defeating Team Secret in the Grand Final of The Frankfurt Major, OG received more than $1.1 million. This money was extremely helpful in further developing the organization and improve all of its operations. These days, N0tail owns a 17-bedroom mansion, so money is no longer a pressing issue. But in 2015, winning a Major wasn’t just good for morale, it was also good for the players’ and the org’s finances.

OG would go on to win another tournament in 2015: DreamLeague Season 4. And just to get a feeling for how different things were back then, the team claimed the Frankfurt title on November 21st and then the DreamLeague Season 4 title on November 28th. This way of doing things, where you have one event scheduled right after another, is unlikely to return any time soon.

2015 – 2016

In 2016, OG started with a decent result at MarsTV Dota 2 League, where they finished 3rd. And despite finishing 7th – 8th at the 2nd Dota 2 Major of the first 4, OG had a great season in which they would go on to win another Major, several smaller tournaments, and then finish 9th – 12th at The International 6.

The team’s lack of experience, or perhaps its leaders’ desire for greatness, led to several roster changes in the wake of the TI 6 disappointment. Objectively speaking, it wasn’t really a bad result given how little time OG had been around as a team. But N0tail wanted more. So on August 31st, just one week after The International, OG’s roster changed dramatically.

Before:

  • N0tail
  • Fly
  • MoonMeander
  • Cr1t-
  • Miracle-

After:

  • N0tail
  • Fly
  • JerAx
  • s4
  • ana

At the time, it was believed that OG’s new roster would be far weaker than the first, mainly because Miracle- was regarded as the best player in the world and one of the best Dota 2 players in the history of the game. His Invoker and Anti-Mage were irreplaceable. Plus he excelled on many different heroes, both in the carry and mid roles.

What the public didn’t understand at the time was just how good ana was. JerAx and s4 were already famous for their skills, but ana was a complete unknown. Just 3 years later, he would be considered by many to be the best carry of all time.

2016 – 2017

With its new roster, OG won the 3rd and 4th Dota 2 Majors in the 2016 – 2017 season. But once again, they failed to win The International. At the most important event of the season, OG finished 7th – 8th. This made ana leave and Resolut1on was brought in to replace him. However, this roster move would prove to be a bad one.

2017 – 2018

The 2017 – 2018 season was the most eventful one so far. Today it’s hard to imagine just how many competitions there were back in those days. The total was somewhere around 25 tournaments, many of which were $1 million Majors. This was the first time ever when Valve introduced the notion of Dota Pro Circuit and qualification points to determine the directly invited teams to The International.

rsz dota2 eg fly 1

Because of its roster issues, OG had poor results all year, with the exception of the trophy they won at MDL Macau. And then, on May 28th 2018, s4 and Fly decided to abandon the ship and join Evil Geniuses. This was the most difficult moment of N0tail’s career, because he felt betrayed. After all, Fly was his best friend and he just couldn’t accept his decision.

On June 4th, ana and Topson joined the team to replace the two players who had left. And in this new format, OG not only managed to qualify for TI 8, but to actually win it. They entered the tournament as the team that was least likely to win it and did the seemingly impossible. Because of this, The International 8 is the best tournament that you can watch to discover the beauty of Dota 2.

2018 – 2019

After TI 8, ana left the team again and OG struggled for another 6 months until he came back, in March 2019. The team had a huge mountain to climb but they eventually succeeded and secured a spot at TI 9.

Just as before, OG found a way to win when it mattered most and claimed the 2nd Aegis of Champions in a row, becoming the first Dota 2 team to unlock this achievement.

2019 – 2021

In the wake of the TI 9 victory, JerAx retired and ana left again to pursue other goals. However, OG successfully maintained its status in the region, in the sense that they continued to be a strong team. But the professional scene changed completely because of the global pandemic that started at the end of 2019. The International 2020 was canceled and the biggest Dota 2 event of these two years was scheduled to take place in Bucharest, Romania, between October 7th – 17th.

OG’s Chances at The International 2021

After narrowly qualifying for TI 10, OG began to train for the big event. This $40-million tournament is of tremendous significance and will take place in a stadium. OG’s current roster is made up of N0tail, Ceb, Topson, Saksa, and Sumail. The expectations are high and OG is definitely one of the top 6 favorites at this edition of The International.