Anathan “ana” Pham came back to Dota 2, at least for one night.
The two-time The International champion hopped onto Dota 2 on February 28. He played just one game on Monkey King with a five-stack of players that also included star Korean player Lee “Forev” Sang-don. The game was an utter stomp, lasting just 43 minutes while seeing ana rack up 32 kills and 29 assists
While ana putting the boots to random Dota 2 players might seem like a common occurrence, this game is newsworthy because it was ana’s first game in over four months. Though ana has never been shy about taking extended breaks from Dota 2, his appearances have been less frequent since winning The International 2019. He’ll binge Dota 2 for weeks or months at a time, then take a few weeks off from the game.
His play was regular in August 2020, and was frequent in September and October. When November came, his play became infrequent before he stopped entirely on November 4. His social media profiles have been almost completely dark, with his only posts being a Christmas greeting and a rare bit of banter with other Dota 2 pros.
officially one of the worst radiants! LET’S GOOO pic.twitter.com/zE8eRDRpnL
— Anathan Pham (@anadota99) January 17, 2021
He has been gaming a bit, but not in Dota 2. In January he announced that he had reached the top rank in Riot Games’ tactical shooter, Valorant.
It’s currently unclear if ana intends to return to professional Dota 2, and whether OG would have the space to add him. Though ana has proven on a few occasions that he’s capable of playing Dota 2 at an elite level after spending months out of action, he’s played very little Dota 2 over the last 18 months. Even during his annual vacations following The International, he never spent so many months on end playing little to no Dota.
Even if he wanted to return to professional Dota 2, it’s unclear whether he’d be able to do so with OG. The organization is currently playing with Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng in the carry role, and he has been performing fairly well in the position.
Assuming OG was willing to kick MidOne to make room for ana, there would also be logistical difficulties. ana would need to move from his native Australia to Europe for several months in order to compete with OG in the new Dota Pro Circuit leagues, which would present issues with travel and visas.
If ana is looking to make a push to return to professional Dota 2, he might choose to do so in Southeast Asia. ana has routinely played with Forev over the last year and it seems as though Forev may be a free agent.