Ceb Explains Why China Hated OG at TI9
Sébastien "Ceb" Debs, former offlaner and a vital part of the legendary two-time The International (TI) winning OG squad, shared a captivating story during one of Janne "Gorgc" Stefanovski's TI12 watch parties. Ceb's anecdote shed light on an incident that transpired during TI9 in Shanghai, where OG found itself with an unexpected tag: The "villains" of Dota 2.
The two-time TI champion talked about the reason why China hated OG on stream, giving some behind-the-scenes tales from TI9.
Why Was OG Dubbed ‘the Villains’ at TI9?
Ceb recounted an unforgettable moment from TI9, specifically during OG’s game one showdown against LGD Gaming (formerly known as PSG.LGD) in Shanghai. He revealed that OG's performance in this prestigious tournament had stirred emotions among the local crowd, leading to the team being showered by a wave of criticism and "flame" from Chinese Dota fans.
According to Ceb, things took an intriguing turn during a media day event when a Chinese reporter posed a direct and puzzling question to OG. The reporter had inquired, "How does it feel to be the villain?" This question left OG bewildered, prompting the members to seek clarification, asking, "To be the what?"
Following this, Ceb explained the perspective held by many Chinese fans. The fans saw OG as the antagonist of the tournament, attributing this status to an incident from the previous year at TI8.
Ceb explained that the "villain" label stemmed from OG's victory at TI8, which had taken place during the so-called “Chinese year.” If you have been following Dota 2 esports and The International since its inception, you would recall how Western teams had won in odd years and Chinese teams in even years.
By this logic, a Chinese team should have won TI8 in 2018. However, it was OG that lifted the Aegis that year. After an electrifying five-game series, OG became the first non-Chinese team to hoist the Aegis on an even-numbered year. This victory led some Chinese fans to believe that OG had "stolen" the Aegis of Immortal from China.
The Aegis, the ultimate symbol of victory in Dota 2, is seen by many as a matter of great pride and national honor. For Chinese fans, OG's victory was considered a "theft." As TI9 unfolded in Shanghai, the crowd's sentiments were undeniably charged. The Chinese fans were seemingly ticked off as OG set foot in Shanghai to steal the coveted Aegis once again. The backlash against OG was a result of this passionate perspective.
Ceb said, “TI8 was a Chinese year and they considered that OG stole it [Aegis]. Now, we come to Shanghai to take it again from them, in their home. So that’s why they hated us so much.”
OG faced off against Team Liquid in the TI9 finals and emerged victorious. Following this, it became the only team to win two back-to-back TI championships.