OG caught the Dota 2 community off-guard yesterday by announcing the former coach and offlaner Sébastien “Ceb” Debs would return to the roster effective immediately, replacing mid player Syed “SumaiL” Hassan.
Though the community is no stranger to comebacks like this from OG—especially right before the International season kicks off—Ceb’s return was simply unexpected. OG released an interview with Ceb today, featuring the offlaner reflecting on his decision to quit playing competitive Dota 2 and the new motivations that pushed him to return to the scene.
The interview kicked off with Ceb taking a look at the reasons that motivated him to leave OG back in January. Ceb said he’d started thinking about what would be his next step after winning two back-to-back Internationals a bit too much. Even before earning the second title, Ceb found himself lacking in terms of motivation through the competitive year.
“We were playing in the Paris Major’s playoffs, and it was the freaking playoffs day,” Ceb said. “But it just felt like another day, I felt tired and didn’t want to get out of the bed.” After months and years of waking up hours before his alarm rang on match days, all started seeming off for Ceb, and he knew his fluctuating motivation wasn’t a good sign both for him and the team.
Ceb added that his motivation was always on all-time-highs during TI, but after the last TI, he started wondering whether it would be worth it to play another season. His desire to spend more time with the OG squad was one of the main factors that delayed his departure, but he also found more ways that he could still be beneficial to the team even if he weren’t actively playing.
Ceb found retiring rather comforting at the time, mainly because he would feel awful if he wasn’t giving his best to the team. He also added that the level of competition could get too tiring at some point, and he was having more difficulties in focusing on Dota 2 completely as an adult. While it’s easy for a young player to only concentrate on playing games at a high level, the challenges that adult life brings can be distracting for any type of player.
When it came down to how he felt, however, Ceb said that he was enjoying seeing players getting smart and understanding that it’s actually okay to take some time off. Though most Dota 2 players enjoy the thrill and love the game to its roots, it didn’t change the fact that playing the game on a competitive level had become more of a job than what it was a couple of years ago.
Having all the players on the same page, even in terms of motivation, was one of the factors that Ceb finds essential for a team’s success. This requires players to have their private lives in order and basically leave nothing in their lives that they need to worry about on a personal level.
Ceb confessed that even though he felt like he was losing his will to play, he may have over-thought a lot of things in his life, and it may have overshadowed the drive inside him. His new primary source of motivation was the teams that thought they could beat OG.
“I take offense, and it annoys me,” Ceb said. “They need to be more realistic when going up against us, considering everything we’ve accomplished.” Ceb believed that OG’s contenders should think that they can’t beat them, but they just might on a lucky day. “It feels horrible when teams take off games from us, and this is now a personal duel for me now, prove me wrong.”
The interview ended with Ceb talking about how much he missed playing with his teammates Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen. He also gave a shout-out to his still retired teammate Anathan “ana” Pham and Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka saying that each of them was what made playing Dota 2 fun for him.
“I want to keep playing this game with our trust and friendship,” Ceb said. “What we have is a blessing, and I want to remind other teams of their places just like we did in the past.”
This isn’t the first time that OG had one of its retired players return. OG’s carry player came back from retirement two times in a row before the Internationals 2018 and 2019, winning them both. While the fans already started speculating about having the old OG roster back in full force before the International 10 happens, this may just be OG’s ultimate way to avoid burnout and keep on enjoying Dota 2 on the highest stages.