T1 to Play With Topson and ana in TI11 SEA Qualifiers
Former OG superstars and back-to-back The International (TI) champions Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen and Anathan "ana" Pham have joined T1's Dota 2 lineup, confirming the wild rumours of their reunion. In an official announcement made after teasers of the two players’ signature heroes were posted on Facebook, T1 revealed that Topson will serve as a stand-in while ana will be the team’s newest member ahead of the all-important TI11 Southeast Asia (SEA) qualifier. The duo replace Karl "Karl" Baldovino and Kim "Gabbi" Santos, who parted ways with T1 recently after a disappointing Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2021-22 season.
Topson joins as a stand-in for T1 while ana becomes the team’s newest player
“We'd like to officially welcome the newest addition to our #DOTA2 roster, @TopsonDota (stand-in) & @anadota99,” tweeted T1, asking for support from the fans.
The following players make up T1's Dota 2 roster after this huge announcement.
Anathan "ana" Pham
Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen (stand-in)
Carlo "Kuku" Palad
Kenny "Xepher" Deo
Matthew "Whitemon" Filemon
In the wake of Karl and Gabbi's departures, there were speculations that Topson and Ana would join T1, both of whom had recently shown an interest in returning to competitive Dota 2. Nevertheless, Topson's clarification that he wanted to play in the European region because it's most competitive removed much substance from this rumor.
As things stand, Topson has seemingly changed his mind. SEA will be his new home for the near future along with his former ally ana with whom he had already expressed an interest in combining forces previously.
Ana, while Topson has been absent from competitive Dota 2 since TI10 back in October 2021, has been grinding lately and has had stand-in stints with Team Liquid and Royal Never Give Up at tournaments this year. T1's announcement finally cementes his intention to come out of retirement and return to the pro Dota 2 scene.
A heartening message was sent by OG to its former players in response to T1's announcement. “Jerseys can change, but their friendship won't. We cannot wait to see you grow under new colors, and to hopefully see you both at TI,” OG wrote.
In light of these former OG pros' skill and reputation, T1's roster has been bolstered ahead of the qualifier for TI11. The addition of Topson and ana, who have mainly played in Europe, will likely lead to a significant change in the team’s playstyle. Fans will have to wait for the TI11 SEA qualifier in September to watch the new T1 squad in action as the team will not be competing in the upcoming Dota 2 Invitational Series HatYai Thailand 2022 where all other top SEA teams will be taking part in a LAN tournament.