Steven R. July 17, 2018
OG needed to send a message in the European qualifiers for The International, and the team managed to do exactly that.
Despite limping into the event with a recently rebuilt roster and numerous questions about what condition the squad was in, OG successfully earned a spot in Vancouver. Not only that, but it may have just re-established itself as a serious contender for the Aegis of Champions.
After posting a perfect 7-0 record in the group stage and having very little trouble along the way, OG kicked off its playoffs by sweeping Polish standouts Team Kinguin 2-0. From there, it faced North American expatriate stack Wind and Rain in both the upper bracket finals and the grand finals. Though the team managed to take a game in either series, OG answered both with absolute routs, netting them wins by margins of 2-1 and 3-1 respectively, as well as an invitation to TI8.
Many predicted OG to win the qualifier based on the team’s pedigree and dominance in recent years, but success here was far from guaranteed.
After a largely underwhelming run in the current Dota Pro Circuit season, the four-time Valve Major winners organization were rocked by the sudden departure of Gustav "s4" Magnusson and Tal "Fly" Aizik just days before open qualifiers began. OG managed to plug the gaps in its lineup by re-signing Anathan "ana" Pham and adding Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen, but the new arrivals forced its established members to change roles and learn on the fly.
While it would have been understandable for the squad to look shaky here, the new OG was instead devastating in the European qualifiers. Despite the relatively soft lineup of competition, the fact that the team cruised through the field with such ease suggests that Johan "N0tail" Sundstein and company are capable of making a real run under the spotlight.
Now with a TI8 invite in its pocket, OG has a month and a half to get in further practice and gel ahead of its trip to Vancouver.
The event begins on August 15. While OG won’t be looked at as a serious contender to win by many, the side has proved it isn’t a team to be slept on.