Ceb Explains Why SumaiL Was the Missing Piece in Replacing Ana
The International (TI10)'s Western Europe (WEU) qualifier was Sébastien "Ceb" Debs and OG's first big win after a string of subpar performances during the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2021. The two-time TI champions had been having difficulties with the carry role as they initially played the season with Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng, then with Anathan "ana" Pham, and finally with Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan. At the end of the day, OG looked the best with SumaiL and booked a spot at TI10. The team’s mainstay offlaner, Ceb, in a conversation with a French newspaper, L'Équipe, explained why SumaiL was the missing piece in this carry puzzle. Ceb compared SumaiL and Ana’s circumstances to show why the former had a better result with them this time around.
Ceb talks about ana and SumaiL's recruitment in the DPC 2021
OG had been looking lackluster this past year and this DPC 2021 season. The team missed out on the first Major and then missed out on the second, along with barely avoiding relegation to the Lower Division. This result was due to a number of factors, including the pandemic, location issues, a lack of stakes, and the absence of TI10, as Ceb noted.
“We had a very complicated year. There was a combination of unfavorable circumstances, but this is becoming a recurring pattern from which we must draw conclusions," said Ceb speaking to L'Équipe. "The Covid crisis, the geographical situation of some of our players, the lack of stakes, the absence of The International in 2020, tournaments that follow one another and look the same... There was a loss of motivation, a crossing of the desert that we wanted to compensate with changes. They didn't pay off. The difficult results created other problems: confidence, even burn-outs for some,” he added.
OG parted ways with MidOne in March 2021 after playing with him for nearly 14 months. The team then decided to bring ana back. Ana had previously taken a break from competitive Dota 2 but returned to the squad to help it achieve success. However, this time, it did not work out as OG had hoped.
Ceb explained that Ana was not initially sure if he wanted to play competitively. Despite their effort, their alliance did not succeed this time, and they parted ways.
Commenting on OG's recruitment of ana, Ceb reportedly stated: “We tried to bring back ana (Anatham Pham), who was part of the winning adventures in 2018 and 2019 at TI), but it was more romantic than anything else... He was thinking about it, but he was wondering if he was able to give as much as he used to, if he would get the desire back. We went to get him, we helped him make the decision and in retrospect it was a mistake because it takes too much effort.”
In time, OG recruited SumaiL, who had just left Team Liquid after a stand-in stint. With him, OG put up one of its best performances of the year at TI10's WEU qualifier, which led to the team's spot at TI10.
“Finally, there was an alignment of the planets: SumaiL (Syed Sumail Hassan) came back in different conditions than at the beginning of the pandemic, he could join us physically. He too feeds off the pressure, he steps up when the stakes get higher. He was the missing piece. And then we stumbled so much that we also had something to prove to ourselves,” said Ceb to L'Équipe.
Note: Translations were made via Deepl and as such may contain errors.
In the grand finals, OG had beaten Tundra Esports 3-2 to win TI10's WEU qualifier. At the moment, no Dota 2 tournaments are lined up for the two time TI champions. A couple of months are still left until TI10 takes place in Bucharest, Romania, from 7th-17th Oct, 2021.