New OG roster debuts at ESL One LA Major against Evil Geniuses

Steven R. March 11, 2020

Dota 2 fans really want to see Evil Geniuses vs. OG, and ESL isn’t leaving it happening to chance.

The two teams happened to land in in the same group at the ESL One LA Major and will kick off the event with a best-of-three showdown. And it's all just a coincidence, of course.

The match has a lot to offer Dota 2 fans on every level.

OG represents an all-time great team from a talent perspective. Following The International 2019, OG took an extended break from Dota 2 with Anathan “ana” Pham, Sebastien “Ceb” Debs, and Jesse “Jerax” Vainikka all splitting off from the team for various reasons. OG rebuilt around its remaining players, and will step into the ESL One LA Major with the following five players:

  1. Syed “SumaiL” Hassan
  2. Topias Miikka "Topson" Taavitsainen
  3. Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng
  4. Martin "Saksa" Sazdov
  5. Johan "N0tail" Sundstein

SumaiL and MidOne are among the most accomplished Dota 2 players in the world, with SumaiL being integral to Evil Geniuses’ prolonged stay at the top of the game and MidOne being a three-time major winner with Team Secret. Saksa doesn’t have the same sort of resume, but stands at the top of Europe’s Dota 2 leaderboards as a support and previously reached the grand finals of The International 2016 during his time with Digital Chaos.

Alongside two-time The International champions Topson and N0tail, the new OG is loaded in a way few teams ever have been. That said, there have been a number of supergroups in Dota 2 that have fizzled out over the years, which makes this a big test for this new OG lineup.

Evil Geniuses shook up its roster after a strong 2018-2019 season, but has been strong to this point in the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit season. The team took fourth at the MDL Chengdu Major and second at the DreamLeague Leipzig Major. Sandwiched in between those was a second-place finish at the ONE Esports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore.

Those performances comfortably place EG among the best teams in Dota 2, and if this new OG lineup can score a win over the team in its live event debut it would be a huge coup. It would also give SumaiL, who was controversially benched by the team after TI9, a bit of revenge over the team that spurned him.