Topson at OG's bootcamp in 2021


Topson Reveals How Ana Convinced Him to Join T1

Ammar Aryani
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Topson and Ana have joined T1, replacing the core duo of Gabbi and Karl for the upcoming TI11 SEA Regional Qualifiers.
Shortly after T1’s announcement went live, Topson spoke on his decision to join the SEA team on OG’s Monkey Business podcast, alongside OG’s CEO JMR Luna.
Topson noted that it was Ana who contacted him to see if he was interested in finding a team together to play with in the Regional Qualifiers.

After the departure of Karl "Karl" Baldovino and Kim "Gabbi" Santos, T1 were active in the transfer window looking for players that would give them the best chance of helping them qualify for The International 2022 (TI11). Earlier today, T1 announced the arrival of former OG superstars and back to back TI champions Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen and Anathan "ana" Pham to its regional qualifier roster after teasing the duo’s arrival on Facebook.

Shortly after the announcement, OG’s podcast, Monkey Business released an episode that focused on Topson and ana’s move to T1. In it, Topson,– who will be serving as a stand-in for T1 during TI11’s Southeast Asia (SEA) Regional Qualifiers, explained his decision to join the team alongside ana.

Topson Explains His Decision to Join T1 for the SEA Regional Qualifiers.

To the surprise of many, T1 announced the arrival of Topson and Ana to their roster for the upcoming SEA Regional Qualifiers, after teasing their signature heroes on its Facebook page hours before the announcement. Topson previously announced that he is making his return to competitive Dota 2 scene after an eight month break, with OG’s approval for him to explore other opportunities ahead of TI11. The twenty-four year old mid laner took a break following the conclusion of The International 10 to spend time with his family, as well as live streaming in both Europe and SEA Dota 2 servers.

At first, Topson’s move to T1 was more of a rumor as the mid laner made it clear in OG’s Road to The International with BMW featuring himself that he wishes to compete in the Western European scene as he sees it as the strongest region there is at the moment.

However, on OG’s Monkey Business newest podcast episode Topson explains his decision to join T1 as well as the backstory of how the move happened in the first place. “At first, I came back to Finland to find a team for the TI qualifiers but I didn’t really try hard to find a team so I thought if I can’t find a decent team, I’ll just wait until after TI11.” said Topson.

[Relevant section begins at [1:14:05]

Topson went on to say that ana, his former teammate at OG reached out to him asking if he’s looking for a team ahead of the TI11 Regional Qualifiers. “If you have something in mind, I’m down.” said Topson after ana's proposal about finding a team. “EU is really hard to find a decent team, same goes for its qualifiers. North America (NA), I don’t want to go there, China, I don’t want to go there as well. As for SEA, SEA could work.” he added when he explained his discussion with ana regarding the region they both wanted to play in.

Topson then went on to explain that ana went to T1 to negotiate as the latter had contacts with Park "March" Tae-won, the coach of T1 as well. "Ana was the one who was kind of pushing for it at first. I was like, yeah let's go. If ana is motivated to push for things, I am like dude we're going," he added.

Ana was also coordinating with OG CEO JMR Luna for the paperwork regarding Topson’s move to T1. JMR Luna noted that he would only agree to let the move happen if both Topson and ana are committed to play together in the Regional Qualifiers as the negotiations were mixed up between OG’s and T1’s representatives. Topson also noted that ana might have not joined T1, if the former was not joining the team as well.

Finally, Topson expressed his excitement to join T1 ahead of their bootcamp in Singapore for the TI11 SEA Regional Qualifiers, as he revealed that he has been watching T1’s performances in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) the whole season and its struggles with the emergence of Talon Esports and the powerhouses of Boom Esports and Fnatic.

“I’ve watched T1 during the DPC season, they were good before but now they are struggling. I don’t know. The players are good but it is more about building chemistry with the other players in T1 to actually become a team, and hopefully go through the qualifiers and become the best SEA team at least and go to TI.” said Topson.

For T1 fans, they can look forward to seeing Topson and ana play alongside T1 for the duration of the TI11 SEA Regional Qualifiers starting on 3rd September.

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Ammar is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. When he's not covering Dota 2 tournaments, he enjoys streaming or watching other esports titles like Valorant or LoL.

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