OG replace Pajkatt with iLTW ahead of Minor

Dota 2

After a 2018 that was barely believable, OG Esports are having a challenging start to 2019. The team that won TI8 is no more, and their attempts to replace mid player Anathan ‘ana’ Pham have so far not been fruitful, with first pick Per Anders ‘Pajkatt’ Olsson Lille leaving the team yesterday, January 3rd. His replacement will be Igor 'iLTW' Filatov, who will need to hit the ground running with the Bucharest Minor just around the corner.

Early speculation is that iLTW is a placeholder for the team, with the statement saying he is 'standing in' while they try and find a long-term replacement for ana, but with OG's history of developing talent it may well be that iLTW gets a chance to become a full time OG player if he makes a good early impression. Formerly of Team Spirit, iLTW will need to step up to make the grade though, with this comfortably the highest level he's ever played at.

Team chemistry

After winning TI8 in Canada last year, OG were catapulted into the spotlight, with massive praise heaped on all five members, and particularly Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein, the player credited with finding ana in the first place. In terms of Pajkatt’s release, OG released a statement on Facebook, explaining that the move had nothing to do with the player’s in-game skill.

Instead, the organisation have cited team chemistry as the reason for their decision, although fan reactions to the move at the time it was announced were fairly subdued, with some going as far as to call it ‘underwhelming’. It is tough for the player, who went from OpTic to the TI champions, but will not even get to play the minor with OG after this decision was taken. Below is an excerpt from their Facebook post, where OG confirm it was about personalities, and not pure skill.

We brought in Pajkatt. He is a very mechanically gifted player, a great DotA mind but also a truly professional team member.
During the weeks following his addition to our DotA 2 roster, we faced chemistry issues.

We realized there was not enough space in OG for Pajkatt to express his full potential. His profile, at the end of the way, no matter how excellent it is, did not match.

Team chemistry is a very complex matter, and regardless of how competent an individual is, sometimes the puzzle just doesn’t come together.

With just a few days before the start of the minor, this could be a turbulent time for OG, but their TI win was built on similar foundations and the group seems to thrive under pressure, which is a fantastic personality trait in any competitive scene. With NiP in play at the minor, they’ll also receive a stern test in the early stages of their new form, which will give us a great idea of their overall potential.

Tim MastersTim joined Luckbox as an editor in 2018, having previously spent time at GosuGamers, EsportsHeaven and other sites. He currently is not at his desk.