Even though Team Liquid fell well short of qualifying for The International 2021, Michael “miCKe” Vu might get the chance to play at the event for OG.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Sebastian “Ceb” Debs is indisposed due to an emergency eye surgery. The Team Liquid carry player has been boot camping with OG in his stead, prepared to replace him. While Ceb isn’t officially out of TI10, odds are that miCKe will be playing alongside the other members of OG at TI10.
For those who don’t follow Dota 2 closely, the brings up a few different questions. Foremost among them is, “Who the heck is miCKe?” Here’s a quick rundown of miCKe’s career and how he fits into OG.
miCKe is a former Heroes of Newerth esports pro who transitioned to Dota 2 in 2016. He has a long history with Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi, with the pair being teammates in HoN for an extended period of time and then spending their entire Dota 2 career together.
miCKe’s biggest esports accomplishment to this point is winning the 2017 HoN World Tour Finals with Fnatic. After this event, miCKe and many other HoN pros made the transition to Dota 2. That has paid off for him, as miCKe has found generally strong success in Dota 2 as well, most notably qualifying for The International 2019 and winning ESL One Germany 2020.
miCKe and his former HoN constituents bounced around after making the move to Dota 2, but a roster with a core built from that Fnatic HoN roster eventually formed on Alliance. The team also included another former HoN pro in Tommy “Taiga” Le and eventually became complete with a Dota 2 veteran in Max “qojqva” Bröcker. While roster stability is terrible in Dota 2, this roster has been stable for over four years.
This has come despite generally middling results. The team has qualified for many majors, but never placed higher than fifth. miCKe and Team Liquid qualified for both majors in the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit, but suffered early eliminations and ultimately failed to qualify for The International 2021.
It’s unclear whether this team will stay together heading into 2022, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they stayed together or broke up during the offseason.
OG is a big underdog when it comes to winning TI10. That said, OG was a big underdog for its two championship victories as well.
Though miCKe is skilled, he’s coming into an awkward situation with OG. Even though he’s replacing an offlaner in Ceb, miCKe has actually spent most of his career as a carry and played as a mid before that. It’s unclear if he will be forced to play off-role for this or if Syed “SumaiL” Hassan will be pushed into the offlane to have miCKe play his normal position. Either way, OG will have at least one player trying to figure out a new position.
That situation is a tricky one for OG and makes them a longshot when it comes to winning TI10. But then again, that’s not unusual for the team.
OG’s first championship lineup didn’t come together until right before the qualifiers for TI8 and the team was fielding a completely unknown pubstar in Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen who had minimal experience in LAN play. For TI9, the team had little opportunity to play official games with other teams and was playing in a seemingly problematic meta.
OG will enter TI10 with a star-studded roster with an abundance of experience. At face value, it would be ludicrous for OG to win a third The International trophy. But would anyone really be all that surprised if it happened?