Anathan “ana” Pham is stepping away from Dota 2 and this time, it might be permanent.
OG has announced that ana is looking to move away from professional Dota 2 with a statement from the two-time champion.
“I have been on the fence about this for a while now but am ready to move on to a new chapter in my life. Long story short, Dota has been the biggest part of my life for the longest time and I am starting to find and appreciate other things in life that I want to learn about and explore,” ana said.
.@anadota99 has decided to no longer compete in Dota 2.
It was truly a great honor to play with you, and have you by our side my friend.
— OG, WePlay simp (@OGesports) June 14, 2021
The decision comes after OG put on a disappointing performance at DreamLeague Season 15 with the team managing only a 3-4 record in league play. OG barely avoided relegation from the league, surviving tiebreakers by going 1-1 as OG defeated Brame and lost to Tundra Esports.
Though ana played during the season, he did not compete for OG during the tiebreakers. Omar Mohammad “Madara” Dabachach, who previously competed with now-defunct OG sister team OG Seed, replaced ana in those games. Madara is not attached to any Dota Pro Circuit team and was ending a professional hiatus by joining OG for the tiebreakers.
ana has a long history of going on extended hiatuses himself, but this is his first time bowing out of the game prior to The International. He would traditionally take several months off after TI, return to action in top form, then help his team reach the biggest event on the Dota 2 event calendar.
Due to The International 2020’s extended postponement, he ended up taking a significantly longer break than usual. He returned to action in April for OG but the team lacked the potency it had in the past.
The confirmation of ana’s departure comes just a few weeks before the start of the regional qualifiers for The International 2021. OG is poised for a difficult run, with Team Nigma, Tundra Esports, and Team Liquid set to join them in the battle for one spot in the TI10 qualifiers.
It is currently unclear who will replace ana on OG’s starting roster. Madara may graduate from being a stand-in for OG, but the team wasn’t especially impressive with him on the roster. Another option would be bringing Syed “SumaiL” Hassan back to OG.
SumaiL replaced ana as OG’s starting carry player during the cancelled 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit season, but was released from the organization after just a few months due to his inability to practice with the team due to travel restrictions. He most recently played as a substitute for Team Liquid, but is now a free agent. The easing of some travel restrictions might allow SumaiL to better fit with OG this time around.
Fans should get a definite answer on OG’s roster situation in the very near future. The TI10 European qualifiers begin on July 7.