The International 2018 (TI8) champions OG have announced that Anathan “ana” Pham will be returning to their roster after he took a brief break from playing professional Dota.
Welcome back² @anadota99 #DreamOG pic.twitter.com/d1DEj227uz
— OG (@OGesports) March 13, 2019
Ana was a huge part of OG’s championship run in TI8, especially during the Grand Finals where they bested Chinese juggernauts PSG.LGD, 3-2, in arguably the best TI finals in Dota 2 history. Ana announced that he left OG’s active roster shortly after TI8 to take a break from competing.
Since then, OG have struggled to find a suitable replacement — with the likes of longtime veteran Per Anders Olsson ‘Pajkatt’ Lille and Russian rising star Igor ‘iLTW’ Filatov both trying and failing to have the same impact ana had as the position-1 player.
Many OG fans have been calling for ana to return to as the team struggled all throughout the first half of the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season, capped off by OG failing to even qualify for the DreamLeague Season 11 Major in Stockholm, Sweden.
Ana first joined OG after the team lost the superstar mid player Amer “Miracle-” Barkawi to Team Liquid back in 2016. He won two Majors with OG, but left the team for the first time after a disappointing Top 8 finish in TI7.
Ana would later return to OG after Tal “Fly” Aizik and Gustav “s4” Magnusson left for Evil Geniuses just before TI8. The team assembled a makeshift roster — with ana returning, pubstar Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen signing on, and coach Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs shifting to a playing role — and went on a historic Cinderella run to win TI8.
OG will be looking for that magic again with ana as TI9 is a mere five months away.