How N0tail, ana, Ceb, SumaiL and more have shaped the OG roster

Steven Rondina • July 4, 22:27

OG’s victories have been so grand that people have forgotten the team’s defeats, but at this point it’s getting hard to remember the team’s wins as more and more struggles pile up.

Since winning The International 2019, OG has been in a constant state of uncertainty. Roster changes have been frequent, and competitive performance has been shaky. That has landed OG into a precarious position with the team needing to navigate a crowded European qualifier field to have a chance at defending its title. 

But how did this happen to OG? And who will the team be bringing to the qualifiers? Here is everything that’s happened to OG since winning TI9.

Catch up on TI10 news:

OG took extended break after TI9, added MidOne, Saksa, and SumaiL

After winning The International 2019, OG took an extended break from competition. This wasn’t strange as the team took a lengthy break after winning TI8, but this was slightly different as Team Secret, PSG.LGD, and the eventual Team Nigma all decided to follow suit. 

2019-2020 DPC OG lineup:

  1. Syed “SumaiL” Hassan
  2. Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen
  3. Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng
  4. Martin “Saksa” Sazdov
  5. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein

OG sponsored a sister team, OG Seed, to compete in its stead during this time. After the ESL One Los Angeles Major came up on the horizon, news began to come out. Three members of OG’s two-time championship-winning roster were retiring, with Sebastian “Ceb” Debs, Anathan “ana” Pham, and Jesse “Jerax” Vainikka all stepping away from the game. The question of who would replace them became the hottest topic in Dota 2.

Some of the news slipped prematurely as incoming support player Martin “Saksa” Sazdov was spotted alongside Johan “N0tail” Sundstein. Shortly thereafter, a press event was held to confirm that Saksa was joining alongside former Evil Geniuses mid Syed “SumaiL” Hassan and Secret star Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng.

The new trio combined with N0tail and Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen to form a superstar lineup unlike anything seen since the inaugural roster of Team Secret. Unfortunately, the team never got to realize its potential.

Topson and MidOne stranded overseas in 2020, SumaiL kicked

OG’s new roster debuted successfully by qualifying for the ESL One Los Angeles Major and looked poised to be an elite team on the global scene. Unfortunately, those qualifiers proved to be the only time this iteration of OG played together.

As global travel restrictions kicked in, Topson and MidOne were effectively stranded overseas and SumaiL moved back to America. Once online regional events started popping up, OG was forced to compete with a revolving door of substitutes and SumaiL on the other side of the ocean.

Among them was Ceb, who opted to come out of retirement ahead of a number of bigger events. Once Topson and MidOne made their way back to Europe, SumaiL was removed from the team to make room for Ceb on a permanent basis and MidOne was moved to the carry role.

2020 online league play, original 2021 DPC OG lineup:

  1. Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng
  2. Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen
  3. Sebastian “Ceb” Debs
  4. Martin “Saksa” Sazdov
  5. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein

This iteration of OG found mixed results in online regional leagues, taking second in Omega League and Epic League while floundering elsewhere. Though the team had its ups and downs in 2020, when the Dota Pro Circuit finally kicked into action, it settled into mediocrity.

The side went 3-4 in DreamLeague Season 14 and failed to qualify for the ONE Esports Singapore Major. This brought about another change for the team.

Ana rejoins OG in DPC, leaves in short order

Following the Singapore Major, MidOne was kicked from OG and replaced with a returning ana. While the OG lineup is a special one, ana returned to the highest levels of professional Dota 2 after quitting the game cold turkey for months. He shook off the rust quickly, but OG still didn’t look up to scratch.

OG DreamLeague Season 15 roster:

  1. Anathan “ana” Pham
  2. Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen
  3. Sebastian “Ceb” Debs
  4. Martin “Saksa” Sazdov
  5. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein

The team once again went 3-4, falling into sixth place and failing to qualify for the WePlay AniMajor. This put OG at risk of being relegated to the European lower division, which was made scarier when it was announced that ana wouldn’t be playing with OG for the tiebreakers. He was replaced by former OG Seed player Omar Mohammad “Madara” Dabachach. OG then managed to avoid relegation. ana’s absence soon made sense as it was announced that he was retiring from Dota 2.

SumaiL returns to OG for TI10 qualifiers

The TI10 qualifiers were slated for just a few weeks after DreamLeague Season 15 wrapped, and the team needed to find a replacement for ana. That replacement wound up being SumaiL.

SumaiL had a rough go of things following his removal from OG. He was on the shelf for months and only reemerged for a one-off stint with CIS team Just Error. He skipped the first half of the Dota Pro Circuit season and only returned in the second half as a stand-in for Team Liquid. The run with Liquid was nixed after Liquid flopped in the WePlay AniMajor, but this opened the door for a return to OG.

OG TI10 qualifier roster:

  1. Syed “SumaiL” Hassan
  2. Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen
  3. Sebastian “Ceb” Debs
  4. Martin “Saksa” Sazdov
  5. Johan “N0tail” Sundstein

With SumaiL back in the carry position and a proper bootcamp under the team’s belt, there’s strong potential with OG. There’s no questioning the amount of talent in the roster, but the team does have a stiff challenge ahead of it. 

The European qualifiers for TI10 have numerous formidable teams including Team Liquid, Team Nigma, Tundra Esports, and Vikin.gg. OG has what it takes to reach TI10 and defend its title, but it faces a long journey before it will have the opportunity.

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