At this rate, expect Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and company to lift the Aegis of Champions for the third time in a row.
Despite barely earning a spot at The International 2021 through regional qualifiers, OG is on fire in the group stage. The two-time defending champion ended the day with a 5-1 scoreline, dropping only a single game to Virtus.pro. N0tail is already making his mark on the TI10 metagame with some eccentric, yet successful drafts. Here are all of OG’s wackiest moments from day one of TI10.
All eyes were on OG for its first game against Alliance. Most fans hoped something weird would happen, and N0tail was more than happy to oblige. For OG’s first match at TI10, the squad picked up Tidehunter for star mid-laner Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen. Topson is partial to flashy caster mids, but he’s clearly messed around with mid Tidehunter before.
His laning stage against Linus “Limmp” Blomdin’s Lina didn’t go swimmingly, but Topson more than made up for it with excellent positioning later on in the game. Topson’s mere presence near a wave was enough to deter Alliance from approaching. He dominated team fights so much that Alliance began hesitating to initiate. OG won the series 2-0. The first surprise worked out, which will probably encourage more bold picks in the future.
OG went for very ambiguous lanes in its first draft against Thunder Predator. Sebastian “Ceb” Debs had already played off lane Legion Commander at TI10, so the second-phase Legion Commander didn’t seem too unusual. After some theorizing from the casters, N0tail selected the hero for himself and blew the minds of everyone watching.
Instead of acting as a pickoff-oriented initiator, N0tail built around Legion Commander’s second ability, Press the Attack. The spell offers health regeneration, attack speed, and a strong dispel, all of which is something that should’ve been registered by fans as support-like beforehand.
Legion Commander’s Aghanim’s Shard makes Press the Attack also grants spell immunity for 1.75 seconds and lowers the cooldown. The enemy Mars and Earth Spirit became much less useful after 20 minutes. The OG captain ended the game with 6,600 hero healing and several saves against Thunder Predator’s gank-oriented lineup. The European qualifier winner added another two wins to its record to advance to 4-0 on the day.
One of the most elaborate combos in Dota 2 wound up securing a key pickoff for OG in its bout against Virtus.pro. Carry Syed “SumaiL” Hassan’s Tiny was already able to deal 768 physical damage with one swing thanks to Tree Grab and a double damage rune. He was then further boosted with a Wolf Bite from Sébastien “Ceb” Debs. Now at max movement speed with an additional crit, it was only a matter of time before someone from Virtus.pro got deleted.
That combination of buffs was enough for SumaiL to absolutely obliterate Illias “Kingslayer” Ganeev with just one Echo Saber attack. While OG would ultimately lose its second game against Virtus.pro, SumaiL can rest easy knowing he gave the VP support quite the scare.
OG’s series against Alliance was an unexpected blowout in favor of the champion. It was the first time OG had beaten Alliance all year. The teams have had an ugly rivalry since OG dubiously accused Alliance of cheating during Dota Pro Circuit league matches. OG captain N0tail and Alliance carry Nikolay “Nikobaby” Nikolov were both very vocal about the situation.
After pulling off a lightning-fast gank against Nikobaby, OG’s captain decided to do a little trolling. N0tail is usually considered one of the most relaxed players in professional Dota 2. You know the rivalry is real when the winningest esports player of all time starts throwing shade in all chat.