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OG Esports announced, on June 15, that Syed “Sumail” Hassan would be replacing the recently retired Anathan “Ana” Pham. Ana announced his retirement on June 14, leaving a space to be filled on the team.

This will not be Sumail’s first stint on OG. He played for the team from January to July of 2020. The best result that Sumail had on OG was a second-place finish at the Blast Bounty Hunt minor. Sumail then left the team after the tournament and was replaced by Sebastian “Ceb” debs.

Before Sumail’s joining OG, he had been temporarily standing in for Team Liquid. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Team Liquid’s original Offlaner Samuel “Boxi” Svahn had to take an extended leave for the 2021 season. With Sumail standing in, the team was able to do quite well, finishing second in the European Dota Pro Circuit (DPC). However, Sumail was not able to carry Team Liquid through the Kyiv Animajor, as the team fell early on in the group stage.

Sumail replaces Ana: regionals await

At this point in the season, the free agent Sumail was the only option left for OG. OG must play the European regional qualifiers in order to qualify for a spot in the International. In order to earn the direct invite, OG will have to fight through teams like Team Nigma, Team Liquid and Tundra Esports. While OG were close to relegation this season, it would not be a surprise to see them suddenly perform well; they seem to do so before every International.

Will OG be able to recapture the magic and make it into the International? Or, will this be another time that the previous winner wont make it to the tournament?