SumaiL returns to OG for The International 2021 qualifiers

Steven Rondina • June 15, 16:04

OG is replacing Anathan “ana” Pham with Syed “SumaiL” Hassan. Again.

ana is out of OG and seemingly set to retire from professional Dota 2 entirely. With that, OG has brought back SumaiL, a player that replaced him once before, for the European qualifiers to The International 2021. OG revealed the news on its website.

“SumaiL has played for OG in the past as our carry, and we all kept a fantastic memory of our time with us…We’re more than delighted to have him on our side once again, as SumaiL’s reputation is more than accurate,” OG said in a statement.

Much of OG’s The International 2019-winning roster retired in the months after the event, prompting a heavy overhaul of the lineup. SumaiL was a part of OG’s 2020 roster, joining along with Martin “Saksa” Sazdov and Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng. Over time, the returns Sebastian “Ceb” Debs and ana pushed SumaiL and MidOne off of OG’s roster. 

SumaiL departed OG in July 2020 to make room for Ceb, with the team saying that the decision stemmed from travel restrictions preventing SumaiL from practicing with the team. He took an extended break from there before a one-off appearance alongside a number of former Virtus.pro players in the EPIC League. He most recently played as a stand-in for Team Liquid, but was released following a poor run at the WePlay AniMajor.

With MidOne returning to Southeast Asia and joining Team SMG, a return to OG was much more logistically difficult. SumaiL’s return is surely a welcome one for the team, but there are big questions about how the team will perform.

Catch up on The International 2021 coverage:

Will OG win The International 10 qualifiers?

The return of SumaiL is great news for an OG roster that was left in an awkward position by ana’s departure. The team narrowly avoided relegation in DreamLeague Season 15 with Omar Mohammad “Madara” Dabachach as a substitute and could have performed well with him moving forward. Still, SumaiL showed with Team Liquid that he remains a force and his raw skill level may be higher.

OG specifically noted that SumaiL will be returning as a carry player. This will preserve Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen’s position as OG’s starting mid laner.

OG’s full roster for the TI10 qualifiers will include the following players:

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

OG faces a long and difficult road through the European qualifiers for TI10. Team Liquid, Team Nigma, Tundra Esports, and many others are set to join OG in a battle for just one spot in the event.

Team Nigma is likely to be the favorite to win based on the team’s strong showing in the WePlay AniMajor. It’s always hard to doubt OG however, as the team’s entire history has been defined by middling performances everywhere except at large events, particularly at TI.

OG is set to start the qualifiers with a match against Vikin.gg. Vikin.gg is a formidable squad that was relegated out of the upper division but showed its strength by going 7-0 in the lower division to secure an upper division return.

The good news is that OG will have some time to practice and prepare for the TI10 qualifiers with the altered lineup, something it didn’t really have with Madara. OG will return on July 7 with the start of the qualifiers.

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