TI8 team spotlight: OG, embracing a fresh but unpredictable era

This is the latest article in our series on the 18 teams participating in The International 8, starting on Aug. 15.

A rich history

OG used to be one of the most celebrated organizations in esports, not just in Dota 2 but in the industry as a whole. They were known for their consistency and ability to stay relevant for long periods of time. With their incredible talent, they won four Major titles under the old tournament system before the Pro Circuit was introduced.

Unfortunately, those days are gone. OG has been struggling since The International 7 last year. While they won MDL Macau last December, their performance in other Pro Circuit events has not been up to par for such an accomplished team.

Changes are coming

Today, OG’s roster looks very different from their lineup at TI7. Two months ago, Gustav “s4” Magnusson and former team captain Tal “Fly” Aizik left the team. Fly decided to part ways with his longtime friend and partner Johan “n0tail” Sundstein. This is the first time n0tail and Fly will be playing for different teams since their brief stints with Cloud9 and compLexity Gaming in 2015.

Photo via [Mars Media](https://www.flickr.com/photos/157269376@N03/42252103042/)

Fly and n0tail have been replaced by rising Finnish pubstar Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen and Anathan “ana” Pham, who was with OG when they won their two most recent Valve Major championships. Ana left OG after TI7, and his return will be interesting to watch, as he has been out of the spotlight since then. Can he reach his 2017 form in time for TI8?

Former coach and current captain Sébastien Debs temporarily played in the mid lane after ana’s departure, but now he will be moving to the offlane position for their upcoming campaign in Vancouver. N0tail will also be playing a support role, a position he is familiar with. These changes paint a different picture from OG’s glory days, but will they be enough to succeed?

Player to keep an eye on

Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka is one of the best utility support players in the game. He is known for his exceptional skills in this role and frequently delivers clutch plays for his team. If he gets to play Earth Spirit, expect some impressive highlights.

Biggest challenge

For the players who are new to the team, adapting to their new roles will be the biggest challenge. N0tail has been playing support for a long time, as has JerAx, but this will be the first time they play both support roles together. It may take some time for them to develop their dynamic, even though they have been teammates for over a year.

Topson and ana, on the other hand, will need to quickly form chemistry. Ana should have no problem doing so with the senior members, but Topson will be somewhat of an unknown factor until he aligns with the other players.

Team rating

C+ is the score for OG. They are no longer at their peak, but the players they have are still capable of achieving top eight placements in major tournaments. However, that is likely the highest we can expect from them at TI.

Dota 2, The International 8, OG, esports, Dota 2 teams, TI8, Dota 2 roster, OG changes, OG roster, Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, Anathan “ana” Pham, Gustav “s4” Magnusson, Tal “Fly” Aizik, Johan “n0tail” Sundstein, Sébastien Debs

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