OG continues to make structural changes to its Dota 2 division. The team parted ways with longtime coach Titouan “Sockshka” Merloz.
Socks officially joined OG as a coach ahead of The International 2019 and remained a core part of the team up until this announcement. With a career dating back all the way to 2011, Socks had a long history competing in Europe alongside fellow Frenchman Sébastien “Ceb” Debs. The duo appeared on multiple rosters together, starting with their debut as Team Shakira through the 2015 iteration of the Monkey Freedom Fighters.
The two would reunite on OG, with Socks joining to help coach the team in their TI9 run that saw the organization lift the Aegis of Champions for a second straight season, and he would continue coaching the team throughout the numerous roster changes that followed. He even took on the role of coach for OG’s short-lived secondary squad OG.Seed, which saw great success in Tier 2 and 3 events.
“Today I’m no longer part of OG Dota 2,” Socks said. “I made some of the best memories of my life during those past three years with people I’m lucky to be able to call friends now. I will be forever grateful to everyone in the OG squad, especially Johan and Seb who gave me this life-changing opportunity.”
This move isn’t entirely unexpected, as OG has had an extremely rough time rebounding post-TI9, dealing with a rotating cast of players due to COVID-related issues throughout 2020, instability during the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit, and even more roster moves. This all culminated in a seventh-place exit at TI10.
Now, the organization is looking to try something new, as management previously agreed to release both Saksa and SumaiL due to the pair wanting to explore options playing for other teams. Ceb also noted that TI10 may have been his last appearance as a player, with Topson and potentially even n0tail’s status on the roster currently up in the air.
The team did mitigate Socks’ role within the Dota division of the organization slightly during the second season of the DPC’s regional league, bringing in Mikhail “Misha” Agatov as head coach and moving Sockshka to an assistant role. With Misha’s departure, it is likely that he will either remain with OG in a coaching position or potentially move into an active player role once again for the upcoming 2022 DPC season that will begin later this month.