ana reportedly looks to make Dota 2 return, but not with OG

Steven Rondina • November 21, 18:40

It seems as though Anathan “ana” Pham isn’t done with professional Dota 2 after all, but he is done with OG.

Prominent figures within the Chinese Dota 2 scene have stated that ana looked to make a return this season with Invictus Gaming, something the organization declined. This was discussed on social media, inspiring debate regarding whether iG had made the right call by turning the player away.

ana possibly returning with iG sparked a great deal of discussion for a variety of reasons. The news came as a surprise, dredging up past tension between the player and the iG organization, hints at a return for the two-time The International champion, and suggesting that the long-standing roster of OG is fully split.

According to the post, ana reached out to Invictus Gaming at some point regarding a return to the team for the 2023 season. The organization turned him down for unknown reasons, with widespread speculation regarding the decision.

Why did Invictus Gaming decline an ana return?

There are a number of possible reasons why Invictus Gaming may have turned down ana’s offer to return.

First is the ugly divorce between ana and Invictus Gaming in 2016. ana first rose to prominence in Dota 2 as a substitute for iG, famously helping the team win the National Electronics Arena 2016 tournament. 

Despite looking poised for a strong run with the team, ana abruptly left to join OG in 2016 while alleging an unfair contract and withheld earnings from Invictus Gaming. iG responded by saying the contracts were standard across Chinese Dota 2 and that ana had violated his own contract by joining OG.

Another concern regarding a possible return is the fact that ana’s most recent stint in competitive Dota 2 went poorly. After an extended hiatus in 2020, ana returned to action in Dota 2 in 2021 with OG but only stuck around for one unsuccessful DPC tour before leaving again.

Is ana done with OG?

Worth noting is that ana was looking to return to action with a team that isn’t OG. Though ana has famously taken extended breaks from Dota 2 and found his way back to OG, that seems to be done. He’s not alone, either.

Evil Geniuses recently revealed its new lineup led by Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka. Alongside them, Sebastian “Ceb” Debs announced his retirement while Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen are both set to take breaks until 2023.

While OG has repeatedly tried to bring together its two-time championship roster in the past, it seems like that may be a thing of the past. OG is moving on entirely from this with its 2023 roster set to include five all-new players.

The big question now is whether ana will look to make a return with a different team or if he will sit back and wait for an opportunity to present itself.

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