It wasn’t pretty for OG, but should it have been?
OG’s full Dota 2 roster return has not been the dream restart the two-time The International champions were looking for. OG bowed out of the ESL One Birmingham Online tournament today after losing a one-sided series to Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-0.
OG’s lineup looked completely out of sorts throughout the series. N0tail and co. were outclassed over both games, while NiP’s surging form has been helped greatly by their core players’ performances.
The first game saw OG picking up a classic Io and Gyro combo, along with a Topson Tiny. It’s a combo that’s won them many a game, but the Aegis bearers weren’t ready for a fantastic Morphling showing from NiP’s Charlie Arat.
NiP’s carry was undisturbed for most of the game, and quickly became SumaiL’s greatest counter as he Morphed into the Gyrocopter and demolished his opponents.
Meanwhile, Topson’s Tiny was largely ineffectual. OG’s mid laner couldn’t quite get his rotations going, and while he did find kills on the supports, he often paid with his own life in the process.
Game two saw OG completely caught out by a Meepo pick. While N0tail had caught on that NiP would be drafting some sort of cheese with the Broodmother last ban, NiP were still able to secure one of Ondřej “Supream^” Štarha’s favored heroes in the Geomancer.
OG had gone for a polar opposite in terms of drafting, this time placing Topson on another one of his signature heroes, Arc Warden. It was an extremely farm heavy choice and while Topson kept himself near the top of the net worth, OG’s other heroes were ill-equipped to battle with Supream^’s Meepo. There were glimpses of OG’s phenomenal teamfight execution here and there, but it was barely enough.
In the end, Meepo reigned supreme. OG couldn’t muster the necessary defences to keep Supream^ out of their base, and when the basket of eggs they had stored in Topson broke, OG conceded.
NiP now stand 4-2 after their series victory, good for second best in Group B, and are guaranteed to go through to the playoffs. NiP are currently contending for a berth in the upper bracket but will have a tough matchup against top dog VP.Prodigy, who is currently undefeated through the ESL One Birmingham Online group stage.
OG have one last series to play in the tournament vs. Alliance, who has been steadily improving since s4’s come back to the organization. There’s nothing but pride to play for, but it could prove to be a morale booster to the currently dour OG.
While fans might be surprised at how poorly OG’s all-star roster seems to have been doing, this is technically the lineup’s first tournament together in their short history. The all-star lineup was assembled at the start of the year and had a dominant run through the ESL One Los Angeles Major qualifiers.
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellations of several Dota 2 events, both Topson and MidOne were initially unable to play with the squad online due to geographical differences, forcing N0tail to look elsewhere for alternatives.
MidOne eventually bit the bullet and started playing from Malaysia on horrendous ping and Topson has returned to Europe. It’s not been the prettiest of starts from OG, but history has told us that an in-form OG during the season just might be their own worst enemies when it came to TI performances.
OG did not win a single tournament in the midst of their two TI championship runs. With TI10 delayed indefinitely, fans might have to get used to seeing OG lose a lot more throughout the season.
For now, N0tail and squad are practically still a new lineup trying things out, and two of their players continue to play official matches with high ping. It’s not time to worry just yet, because it no longer seems quite right for any Dota 2 fan to count OG down and out.