After a slow start to the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit season, OG has had to deal with several switches to key positions in a very short amount of time.
The International 2018 winners were forced to find a replacement for arguably their best player, Anathan “ana” Pham, when he announced that he’d be taking a break from Dota. The team moved him to the inactive roster and has been trying to fill that void since.
Per Anders “Pajkatt” Olsson Lille was the team’s first try at a stopgap in the roster, but as they announced via a Facebook post on Jan. 3, that experiment just wasn’t working for the squad. The main reason cited in the letter was an issue with overall fit.
“OG’s spirit has always been the one of trust and stability,” the post reads. “We do not shy away from challenges or hard work, as you all know. We brought in Pajkatt. He is a very mechanically gifted player, a great Dota mind but also a truly professional team member.”
The statement went on to discuss how things failed to gel.
“We realized there was not enough space in OG for Pajkatt to express his full potential,” the post reads. “His profile, at the end of the way, no matter how excellent it is, did not match. Team chemistry is a very complex matter, and regardless of how competent an individual is, sometimes the puzzle just doesn’t come together.”
After wishing Pajkatt well with whatever he does next, the team mentioned that they’d hold brief tryouts to fill the position as they begin preparing for the Bucharest Minor.
Just a day later, on Jan. 4, OG announced they were bringing in Igor “iLTW” Filatov from the Russian team, Espada. ILTW was a rather obvious choice for the organization since they needed somebody familiar with their system to compete on such short notice.
During qualifications for the Bucharest Minor, iLTW filled in for several matches when Pajkatt was ruled out due to illness. That prior relationship allowed OG to bypass having trials for a new player in favor of working to build chemistry before their next big appearance.
The team just finished their run through WePlay! Dota 2 Winter Madness, where they placed second after falling to Gambit Esports 3-0 in the grand finals. OG will compete in the Bucharest Minor from Jan. 9 to 13 for their share of $300,000 and 500 DPC Points. The winner will also receive the final invite to The Chongqing Major.