Steven R. March 12, 2019
OG once again finds itself without a carry player.
The team announced on its Facebook page that it is parting ways with Igor "iLTW" Filatov. He returns to the roster of Espada, where he was loaned from.
OG has been struggling to find a carry player since the departure of Anathan “ana” Pham in November. Though he helped the team hoist the Aegis of Champions at The International 2018 in August, Ana took a surprise hiatus from Dota 2 in November. The team found a solid replacement in former OpTic Gaming carry Per Anders Olsson "Pajkatt" Lille, but dropped him just a month later citing “chemistry issues.”
ILTW joined the squad shortly after and while he proved to be a solid player for the lineup, OG’s struggles continued. The team failed to qualify for the Chongqing Major and didn’t look like a defending TI champion in side tournaments including ESL One Katowice 2019 and WePlay! Dota 2 Winter Madness.
The final straw for iLTW came when OG suffered a group stage elimination at the StarLadder Minor, which denied them a spot in the Stockholm Major. It is OG’s third missed major tournament of the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season.
Though iLTW likely wasn’t the root cause of OG’s struggles this season, he does find himself in a tricky spot. He now technically returns to Espada, though the CIS team may not exist at this point.
Espada popped up suddenly last year as a fearsome contender in the CIS qualifiers to The International 2018. Though the team fell short, Espada remained together though the autumn, strugglting to qualify for prominent events.
Though Espada is still a recognized team, it has not competed in a tournament since November and currently has two players competing elsewhere on loan. This means that iLTW’s immediate future is unknown.
Meanwhile, OG seems to have a replacement already in the chamber. The team declared in its statement that it will be “announcing his replacement in the following days.”
It is unknown whether Ana is set to return to active competition or if OG is to bring in another fresh face. There is no shortage of free agent talent in the European region and players such as Omar"Madara" Dabachach and Uroš "Swiftending" Galić could deliver strong results for OG.