N0tail and Fly with OG at the Epicenter 2018


Fly Shares His Thoughts About OG Drama on We Say Things Podcast

Rakshak Kathuria
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Fly discussed his ugly split with N0tail and OG in June 2018.
Fly noted that the way he left OG was not right and he understood being the target of criticism at the time but he added that the community continuing to label him as a "traitor" is not right.
Fly asked the community to hold themselves to higher standards and requested them to move on from the incident.

The infamous split between Tal "Fly" Aizik and Johan "N0tail" Sundstein at OG just weeks before The International 8 (TI8) has been one of the most talked about incidents in Dota 2 history.

Even though this goes back to June 2018, Fly's departure from OG is still about by the community. On the We Say Things podcast, recorded on 18th March 2022, Fly, who has kept a low profile about this incident for four years, opened up and shared his thoughts about it.

He acknowledged that the way he left OG was wrong and the criticism was legitimate at the time. But he felt that the way the community has dragged it over the years is not fair. Fly said that he has tried to move on from this incident, but the community has not and that repeatedly being labeled as a “traitor” for four years has chipped away at him.

Fly feels the community should move on from his OG-N0tail drama

N0tail and Fly, who had been best friends until the latter quit the team in 2018, played competitive Dota 2 together from 2012 until 2018, barring a small phase in 2015. In 2018, OG had suddenly lost Fly and Gustav "s4" Magnusson to Evil Geniuses.

It was a poor way to leave the team, Fly, who hasn't spoken much about the incident in the years since it happened, said in the We Say Things, podcast, and he regrets how he handled it. “The way I left the team, I handled the situation poorly and I definitely regret how I handled it but I did learn from it and grew a lot as a person,” he said.

In the wake of Fly and s4's untimely departure, OG was left scrambling for two players with just weeks to go before TI8 and days to go for the China Dota 2 Supermajor. The team had to withdraw from the China Dota 2 Supermajor but managed to find players in time for TI8. In response to this series of events, Fly, for his history with N0tail, had faced backlash from the community.

Despite the criticism the community at the time of the incident leveled at him, Fly said that the way it has continued to be a talking point for fun is not right. “I think because I have been competing at this level for so long and I am fortunate to have this platform I want to address something we are kind of familiar with - there’s a line between criticism of a player’s actions at the time and dragging it out years later for fun,” he said.

Fly continues to give interviews and compete as part of his love of the game, but he does feel affected by the way the community has chipped away at him for four years. He said that the community should strive to reach a higher standard and be just as excited for the game without being harmful.

It’s been about four years since this happened and I have tried to move on but these sort of things the community just won’t move on from. I compete in this game because I love it. I do interviews because I still want to engage with this community but repeatedly being labeled as a “traitor” for every match or interview over four years kind of chips away at you. So I think we need to set the bar higher for ourselves and our community. This isn’t about which team you are cheering for or what players you are a fan of. We can be passionate without being harmful."

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Both N0tail and Fly both experienced considerable success after their split. N0tail’s OG won both TI8 and TI9, while Fly's Evil Geniuses, despite failing to win a TI or a Major, had multiple Top 3 finishes in TIs and Majors.

Both players are no longer competing actively. Following his move to OG's inactive roster, N0tail has taken on the role of a mentor for the new squad, while Fly, following a stint in Southeast Asia at the start of this season with Talon, recently had a tenure as a coach for TSM.

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As a passionate Dota 2 fan for eight years, Rakshak has indulged himself completely in its esports circuit for the past two years as a professional. In addition to covering major news developments, he takes a keen interest in understanding team strengths and player personalities.

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