ICONIC Esports Moments: OG’s Miraculous Win at TI8

Betrayal cuts deep. Losing hurts, especially when you lose on the biggest stage your game has to offer, when you lose in front of everyone, when you lose to the underdogs. But there’s something worse than losing. There’s nothing more painful than being betrayed. Seeing someone you considered a friend turn against you, turn against the philosophy you once shared, turn against the band of brothers you put together to win online casino bonus canada.

And there’s nothing better than getting revenge. (Casting) OG was founded on a simple principle. Johan “Big Dady N0tail” Sundestein and Tal “Fly” Aizik were tired of being tossed from team to team without really getting a chance to develop. They believed that if a team stuck together for long enough, If they believed in their ability to play together. They could win anything.

(Casting) They were almost right. (Casting) OG won four Dota 2 Majors, more than any other team in history, and every time The International came around, they were favorites. “Prediction one way or the other.”

“OG.” With Fly at the helm as captain and N0tail at his side, OG looked strong going into TI. They boasted team chemistry, one of the best players in Dota history and promising rookies. But they never succeeded.

Things shifted ahead of TI8. The OG of the 2017-2018 season was not the OG fans came to recognize. The team just couldn’t put together wins when it mattered, falling to weaker teams and lagging behind in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit. It looked like they weren’t going to make it to TI. In May, Fly broke the promise on which OG was founded.

After two years of leading, building and supporting OG, he left. He took Gustav “S4” Magnusson and went to Evil Geniuses, long considered North America’s best team. Evil Geniuses has never had the player loyalty that defined OG. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the team is a perennial TI powerhouse. (Casting) But it means that even after winning TI, they were willing to drop one of the players that earned them the Aegis. They’ve got the money, the reputation and the core talent that could convince any player to leave one team and join their hallowed ranks.

And Fly was convinced. “Fly and S4, why did you leave OG.” “The team hasn’t worked for a long time, and I can say personally that I lost a lot of motivation when the whole situation arised where I could join EG. I felt a new surge of motivation. Where I felt this is really a team I could win with. As opposed to the previous team where I felt we kinda hit a dead end.

And yeah I want to win and I want to do it with teammates I believe in.” The change meant that both EG and OG would have to go through the open qualifiers to make TI, but the addition of Fly and S4 made EG suddenly look like serious contenders to lift the Aegis of champions, at least on paper. OG on the other hand were disregarded. Without their captain and one of their star players, fans didn’t even think they could make it through the open qualifiers. OG signed Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, a promising young rookie, and moved their coach, Sebastien “Ceb” Debs onto the main lineup. Still, few had OG pegged to make a deep run at TI, or even make it at all.

But if there’s anything that can fuel a team to victory, it’s revenge. (Casting) But even once they made it to TI, hopes weren’t high for OG. “There’s still a lot of questions around OG though, cause you look at LGD are tagged up in the top three to go through. But OG were a team that came through — they obviously had their roster ripped apart by Evil Geniuses.” But they were at TI, and that meant they had a chance.

A chance to win, but perhaps more importantly, a chance to get revenge on their former captain, their brother who betrayed them. “It is obviously never going to be easy to win a TI. Nobody has done it twice. But this year I think our chances are actually better than they’ve ever been. That’s my personal gut feeling.”

OG had a tough group, arguably the harder of the two, but they stayed strong, even after taking a 2-0 loss to Fly and EG on the second day. (Casting) And in the end, they came out in fourth, with a spot in the upper bracket and a clear path to a fated rematch against EG. Both EG and OG dispatched their first round opponents with ease, 2-0. (Casting) They were qualified for the upper bracket semi finals for a match against each other. The stage was set.

EG against OG. Blue against Green. Brother against brother. Fly against N0tail. “Everyone has their own analogy about this matchup. There’s many stories to be told.

But obviously one that dates back to the old OG squad. And how now these two squads have come to be in their current form. Winter, do you think that’s gonna play a role in this matchup between the two?” “Yeah both teams understand each other really well in terms of drafting, what they want to do.” (Casting) Game 1 was close. (Casting) And while game 2 looked close as well, (Casting) EG still managed to snuff them out in a dominant performance.

(Casting) The score was 1-1, EG were still the favorite, and OG still the underdogs. Sitting directly across from Fly, N0tail knew what exactly how much was on the line. He wasn’t just fighting for a spot in the upper bracket finals. He wasn’t just fighting for more prize money. He was fighting for his principles.

For his belief in a team he and Fly built, on an understanding that loyalty and friendship meant more than money or championships. N0tail was fighting for the very soul of OG. And his team was behind him.

Every step of the way. Things got off to a bad start for OG. (Casting) And they only got worse. (Casting) (Casting) EG had taken two Roshans, had pressure on OG’s barracks and were getting ready to close out the game. But OG persevered, and pulled out a miracle. (Casting) After a grueling, 53-minute game, OG emerged victorious, and N0tail had his revenge.

(Casting) The time for revenge was over. Now it was time for vindication. “When it comes to OG, it’s the element of surprise that they have to play on. So I’m expecting just a lot of creativity from them. But if LGD show up with their absolute best, I do feel like they have an edge. Yeah a lot of times it did feel like OG was kind of able to force mistakes out of their opponent, by surprise.

And then take advantage of that momentum, whereas LGD we discussed earlier just plays a clean game. Despite beating EG, OG had a long way to go. There was still one more team between them and the Grand Finals: PSG.LGD.

Up until 2018, TI was defined by a cycle. Every even year, a Chinese team lifted the Aegis, and LGD were the only Chinese team left in the bracket. Of course, it wasn’t just fate that was on their side, it was skill. LGD may have only come out of the group stage in third place, but they dominated two powerhouse teams on their way to the upper bracket finals. 2-0 over both Virtus.pro, And defending champions, Team Liquid.So when (Casting) But by now, OG were used to being the underdogs. This was already their best TI performance in the team’s history.

Why not take it just a little farther? (Casting) Once again, OG silenced their doubters. They defeated LGD 2-1 thanks to an incredible comeback, and secured a spot in the Grand Finals. OG was one match away from the Aegis. One match away from the victory that had escaped them for so long. One match away from proving that they didn’t need Fly or S4, they just needed to believe in the thing that had gotten OG so far in the first place.

The belief that working together as a team and trusting each other would get them the rest of the way. LGD dispatched EG 2-0 in the lower bracket finals to earn another shot at OG, OG took the first game, (Casting) But LGD rallied, taking two one-sided games back-to-back. (Casting) OG had their backs to the wall.

(Casting) With so much on the line, with so little room for error, no one expected former coach Ceb to save OG. But, he did. (Casting) And it kept them alive for one last game. OG went in with a lineup of some of the least-picked heroes at the tournament, and LGD took advantage of that as soon as the game started. (Casting) Once again, LGD took an early lead, but OG had been here before. The whole tournament was one big comeback, so what better way to close it out than with one more.

(Casting) OG emerged victorious after a close, 3-2 series. Ater a tournament filled with comebacks and close calls. After getting revenge on Evil Geniuses. “A team that was shaken up months before this event.” “They just reformed the team.” “Topson, he’s only been playing for a couple of days, and now he’s won TI.”

“Oh my goodness. OG.” “Congratulations to OG, they deserved it.” “They played out of their minds this entire tournament, they didn’t follow anyone else’s strategy maybe that was the stepping stone.” “They just played their own game, and it was miraculous.”

But perhaps most importantly, they emerged victorious after proving themselves. “Cinderella story ain’t got nothing on this.” “OG! Your TI8 champions!”

At The International 2018, N0tail, JerAx, Ceb, Ana and Topson proved that the fundamental belief that created OG was true. Sometimes, sticking together, working hard and believing in the team you’ve built means more than the best all-star roster that money can buy. Even when your friends lose their way and become your enemy, Even when the world is against you, “I would not have picked them as a favorite for a single series they played at TI.” You persevere, because the trust you’ve created can win anything. “That’s what it’s for.

That right there. ” “You’re a TI Champion n0tail.” “I guess. It’s real. It’s f***ing real.” “Breathe it in, take your time.”


About Herminia Wells