After a fraught and frightening year of Dota, OG Esports finally booked their place at The International 9 with a win over Evil Geniuses. The defending TI champions were on the brink of elimination from the EPICENTER Major when they faced up against the NA giants, but eventually secured a 1-0 win over EG to ensure their points tally was sufficient for an invite to the big show. They are joined by Keen Gaming, who also secured TI9 qualification in Moscow.
WATCH OG vs Team Secret live at EPICENTER Major
That achievement isn’t as impressive as it might sound in context, with EG playing like strangers at this event and dropping games to every man and their dog. The managed to beat Infamous, but then dropped a series to the new Team Liquid, before going down 0-2 to Gambit and 0-1 to an OG playing with their coach as stand-in. Quite why an elimination match is best-of 1 we don’t understand, but hey, it’s Dota 2!
Ironically, it was LGD, OG's defeated TI8 opponents, who helped them make it to China with a win over Forward Gaming, which will have been bittersweet for Ame, Somnus and the rest. On the other hand, you'd have to believe the Chinese team would be confident if they played OG again today, or in the TI9 finals, just based off their form this season.
Limping over the line
When you consider the season OG have had since they won TI, they had to achieve surprisingly little at this event to make sure of a place in Shanghai, seemingly gaining more points for participation than anything else. Since winning TI8, they haven’t won a single T1 event, with their best runs coming at Minors, but that is the way for Dota at the moment if you can afford to attend a lot of events.
It’s hard to totally write off a team with as much talent as OG have, and they proved that on Wednesday morning in Moscow with a game one win over a strange Team Secret draft. This was made even more odd by the fact OG were playing without Johan ‘NoTail’ Sundstein due to illness, but then Dota is an odd game, and Secret have no reason to show anything at this point with their TI spot secure and many tournament titles already under their collective belt for the season.
Their attendance in China is a good thing for the esport, however they end up performing, as it means fans of OG won’t be able to discredit the eventual winner if it isn’t back-to-back titles for Ceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeb and co. The chances of OG winning in 2018 weren’t exactly high either, and as they showed vs Secret this Wednesday, you can never write this team off regardless of their circumstances, so neutrals should be happy they’ve made it too.