With The International (TI) 11 inching closer to completing its list of qualified teams, Southeast Asian squad T1 has signed two of the most decorated Dota 2 players of all time: Tobias “Topson” Taavitseinen and Anatahan “ana” Pham.
T1 broke the news on Twitter today hours after it followed the accounts of the two Dota 2 legends. The organization confirmed that Topson will be a stand-in for the team, while it is unknown if ana will be the same or could be staying with the team for a longer duration.
“We’d like to officially welcome the newest addition to our #DOTA2 roster, @TopsonDota (stand-in) & @anadota99,” T1 said. “Please support us as we prepare for TI11’s SEA Qualifier.”
Topson last played at TI last year for OG when they barely made it after winning the regional qualifiers for Europe. Ana, on the other hand, played at TI back in 2019 when he helped OG earn back-to-back wins as the champions of the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world before announcing his retirement from the pro scene last year.
But rumors of the two making a return to the pro scene of Dota 2 began circulating recently. In ana’s case, his comeback was confirmed after he joined Team Liquid during the Riyadh Masters in July, as well as Chinese team Royal Never Give Up as a stand-in for Daniel “Ghost” Chan Kok Hong at the Arlington Dota Pro Circuit Major due to visa-related issues.
Topson, however, has not played for OG since losing at TI10 and instead took a break from playing professional Dota. But he was very vocal about returning to the pro scene, though he wanted to explore other options aside from playing for OG.
The two OG legends replace T1’s Karl Baldovino and Kim “Gabbi” Santos, who recently parted ways with the team. T1 finished at seventh to eighth place in T110 but are still not qualified for TI11 through DPC points. The team’s current roster will now be comprised of Topson, ana, Carlo “Kuku” Palad, Kenny “Xepher” Deo, and Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon.