Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen will seemingly return to pro Dota 2, but what team will he play for?
The two-time The International champion was hinting at retirement ahead of The International 2021, and seemingly ended his career after OG’s top-eight run at the event. But now after a six-month break, the competitive itch has seemingly returned to the star mid-laner.
In a recent stream, Topson stated in fairly certain terms that he was intending to come back to professional Dota 2. It’s not a matter of if, only when.
“Do I miss playing professionally? Yeah, of course. There’s a lot of things about it I miss… I feel like I’ve had my time off. I feel like I’m kind of ready but I’m probably skipping this year. No team, you know? No team. Probably next year, though,” Topson said.
Topson has an esports career like few others, effectively going from his couch to playing in The International 2018 with OG after a late roster shakeup. The team shockingly won the event and followed it with a repeat performance at The International 2019. Though Topson remained active after, the birth of his first child and the change to the Dota Pro Circuit format seemed to drain some of the enthusiasm out of him.
Esports retirements are often short-lived, so a return for Topson isn’t a surprising concept. But if he does come back, where will he end up?
Though Topson indicated that he’ll be out for the rest of the year, that’s far from guaranteed. The Dota Pro Circuit format stifles the longstanding openness of Dota 2 esports. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t return for an event like The International 2022.
In 2021, teams were allowed to change their rosters for the TI10 qualifiers. This sparked a great deal of drama as well as some shady business dealings. It still opened the door for several formidable teams to come together.
Valve could potentially announce the day before qualifiers that this precedent will be scrapped. At present, it opens the door for a Topson return. That won’t necessarily mean a return to OG, however.
OG debuted an all-new roster after TI10 with its entire lineup stepping away after the event. That new roster has been electric, placing third in the first tour’s regional finals and taking first in European league play in tour two. If that continues, the OG organization likely won’t want to mess with the chemistry by bringing in Topson.
This could mean Topson moving to a different organization if he wants to get a spot in TI11. It could also mean he skips that event and sees how things look for OG for the 2023 season.