Anathan “ana” Pham has announced this Saturday, January 25, he will extend his break from the competitive Dota 2 scene for the entire season, meaning he will not be returning to compete in DPC 2019/20, meaning he could also miss The International 2020.
Earlier this year, rumours surfaced that OG are allegedly looking for a replacement player and according to the team's recent announcement, these rumours proved to be true, as their carry player ana announced he will be extending his break from competitive Dota 2 until Dota Pro Circuit 2020/21.
"Our carry player and Io god ana will extend his break and come back for the next season," read the announcement.
Ana started his career as a Dota 2 pro in September 2013, when he joined Mobility Gaming and started playing professionally in 2016 when he joined Invictus Gaming in March 2016 as a substitute player for Luo "Ferrari_430" Feichi. During his time with IG, ana saw his team win National Electronic Arena 2016 and claimed silver at G-League 2016.
In August 2016, barely five months after joining IG, ana left due to a rift with the organization's management that involved team's results. Shortly after leaving IG, the Australian pro joined a newly rebuilt OG roster, where he won his first-ever tournament at Elimination Mode Season 2 and later claimed gold at Boston Major.
During his time with the team, ana saw immense success, as OG managed to put up consistent results, wining silver at Dota Pit League Season 5, third-fourth place at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3, second at Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017, first at The Kiev Major 2017 and finished the season with a seventh-eighth place finish at TI7.
Shortly after The International, ana announced he will be taking a break from the competitive scene and left the team. In February 2018, he returned to the scene, joined Echo International and returned to OG in July later the same year.
The newly reformed OG roster of ana, Johan "N0tail" Sundstein, Topias Miikka "Topson" Taavitsainen, Sébastien "Ceb" Debs and Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka entered TI8 where they reached the grand finals, toppled PSG.LGD and claimed the organization's first TI title. Ana played a pivotal role in OG success at TI with his incredible performance on Ember Spirit, which immortalized his signature mastery on the said hero. After winning TI8, ana again announced he will be taking a break from Dota 2 professional scene which saw him moved to the OG inactive squad.
Ana returned to OG main roster in March 2019, and shortly after helped OG finish top five at MDL Disneyland Paris Major. In the months that followed, OG failed to see much success in the DPC tournaments, finishing top-seven at both ESL One Birmingham 2019 and EPICENTER Major 2019. From there on, however, OG found their footing and went on an absolute tear at TI9, where they reached the grand finals and decimated Team Liquid (3-1) to claim the second consecutive TI title - something no other team in history managed to achieve before.
By lifting the Aegis of Champions for the second time in two years, ana pocketed over $3 million in prize winnings, which made him one of the best-paid esports players of the year and one of the best-paid esports player in history.
However, as it has become a tradition, ana once more announced he will be taking a break, only this time, he is planning on skipping out on the entire DPS 2019/20 season. There are no reports as of why he is planning on taking the entire season off. That being said, all the remaining players seem to be ready to return to 2019/20 DPC and contest their third straight TI title.
There have already been rumours connecting former Team Secret player Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng with the OG roster, however, no confirmations about the possible move have been announced yet.
Another name that has been tossed around as a replacement for ana is Syed "SumaiL" Hassan who has left EG in September 2019 and is currently a free agent and available for signing. He also hinted he is looking to move regions, which would make OG a perfect destination for one of the most successful Dota 2 players in the world.
Who will OG sign is at this point anyone's guess, however, there is always a possibility ana might return from his vacation sooner and help OG contest their third TI title later in August.
OG Dota 2 roster for 2020 season:
Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen
Sébastien “Ceb” Debs
Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
Johan “N0tail” Sundstein
Written by KrajnikT
Tit Krajnik (KrajnikT) is an esports writer for onlineesports.com, where he reports news, features and writes other content related to the players, teams, industry and the esports scene as a whole.
He has previously worked as a news and betting-related articles writer in the "traditional" sports scene but later opted to turn his attention to esports, where he managed to combine his love for video games and the growing esports industry with his work.
Krajnik has started his journey as an esports writer by covering Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, which he also played since its launch, but later broaden his skill-set to include other major esports titles including Dota 2, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow 6 Siege and Call of Duty.