Ceb, N0tail and Others Talk About Whether Ceb Will Come Out of Retirement
Two-time The International (TI) champion Sebastian “Ceb” Debs spoke about the possibility of making a return to the professional Dota 2 scene. The French Dota 2 legend announced his retirement from the game back in 2021, after the conclusion of The International 2021 (TI10) where he suffered from an eye problem.
However, he made a triumphant return to the spotlight at the ESL One Stockholm 2022 Major, winning the tournament as a stand-in for OG. His last serious stint in pro-Dota 2 was as a stand-in at the PGL Arlington Major 2022 with OG. Currently, he plays with Old G in the Dota Pro Circuit Qualifiers but claims that it is not a “serious” team with major scrim sessions or bootcamps.
In a recent documentary film by Red Bull Gaming titled "," Ceb, people close to him, and others familiar with him talked about the end of his career and his potential return.
Ceb Returns as a Stand-In at the Stockholm Major in 2022
One of the major reasons why Ceb retired from competitive Dota 2 was his changing mindset. At the time of his retirement, he said, “The win-or-die mindset, which has driven the entirety of my career… I don’t have it in me anymore. I never commit to a team or to people unless I know I’m ready to give every drop of energy and every second of my time into it.”
But in 2022, after OG’s Mikhail "Misha" Agatov and coach Evgenii "Chuvash" Makarov failed to secure their visas for the ESL One Stockholm 2022 Major, Ceb returned as a stand-in with Johan "N0tail" Sundstein stepping in as the coach. Eventually, OG won the tournament and lifted the trophy as Ceb rallied the younger guns of the team to a Major victory.
Will Ceb Come Out of Retirement?
Commentator Owen “ODPixel” Davies expressed doubts about Ceb's retirement being permanent. “There’s always gonna be that chance that Ceb is going to be drawn back into the game because he knows, he knows now that he can take this break, he can go and retire, and then he can come back and win. I cannot imagine that he’ll ever be able to step away from that for too long,” he said confidently.
TSM’s Dota 2 coach David "MoonMeander" Tan also shared a similar sentiment and opined that Ceb cannot stay retired and that it was impossible.
OG Esports founder and Old G teammate N0tail, who has spent a lot of time with Ceb, said that it was really hard to get “Dota out of him.” He recalled how he was in a world of excitement after retiring but felt that Ceb missed Dota more than the others, especially the competitive aspect of the esport. Talking about Ceb’s potential return, N0tail joked, “Maybe after the [Ceb’s] marriage, things will change, I don’t know.”
Ceb’s long-time partner Fanny Courtade also jested while answering the looming question of whether Ceb will stop gaming. “I want to say no for the fans but I hope so. We’ll never know with Sebastian, there are always surprises that I can’t answer this question.”
While most of the people around Ceb are hopeful about his return to competitive gaming, the two-time TI champion said otherwise. He talked about how he came back to play in the Stockholm Major in 2022 but pointed out that it was a different scenario. He added, “The full-on, life or death, full commitment… no, no. I don’t think I am able to put that on the battlefield anymore, not on a regular basis.”