OG announced on Tuesday (15 June) that North American Dota 2 superstar Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan has rejoined the team for the qualifiers of The International 10 (TI10).
SumaiL rejoins OG almost a year after he left the team to replace Anathan "ana" Pham, who had just announced his retirement from competitive Dota 2. The legendary carry player that led OG to back-to-back TI championships decided to step away from the game to "learn about and explore" other things in life.
"We’re more than delighted to have him on our side once again, as Sumail’s reputation is more than accurate. His kindness only matched by his commitment make him one of the most valuable assets a team can have. It’s always a pleasure for us to work with such a talented and hardworking player," OG said in a statement.
“Sumail has always been one of my favourite teammates and players. We are thrilled to have him back and I’m personally delighted to have him back in OG,” added OG CEO JMR Luna.
SumaiL notably first joined OG in January last year to replace ana, who took a break from competitive play at the time. During the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), SumaiL helped the team qualify for the ESL One Los Angeles Major 2020 before both the tournament and the circuit itself were cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.
At the time, SumaiL was unable to join the rest of OG in Europe as he was stuck in the United States due to international travel restrictions. While SumaiL was still able to play with OG online, his performance was understandably hampered by ping issues and contributed to the team's struggles. As a result, SumaiL left the team last July.
Following his time with OG, SumaiL had a brief stint with the CIS stack Just Error alongside the Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev, Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko, and Alexey "Solo" Berezin for EPIC League Season 2 at the end of 2020. However, the stack underperformed in the tournament and was disbanded shortly after, with SumaiL remaining inactive until the second season of the 2021 DPC.
SumaiL returned to competitive play in April as a stand-in for Team Liquid offlaner Samuel "Boxi" Svahn, who took a temporary break from competitive play "to be with his family." SumaiL helped Liquid finish in second place in Season 2 of the DPC's Western European regional league and earn a direct seed to the Group Stage of the WePlay AniMajor.
However, Liquid struggled mightily during the AniMajor and failed to qualify for the Playoffs. Boxi then returned to Liquid earlier this month, prompting SumaiL's departure from the team and paving the way for his eventual return to OG.
SumaiL — the youngest ever player to win the Aegis of Champions at TI5 with Evil Geniuses at just 16 years old — will be greatly needed by OG in their campaign for a third-straight TI championship. The team notably struggled all throughout the DPC and thus failed to secure a direct invite to TI10.
OG's last chance to qualify for TI10 will be through the regional qualifiers for Western Europe from 7 to 10 July. The team will be facing some stiff competition in the qualifier, such as Team Liquid and Team Nigma, the roster that previously played under the Liquid banner that OG defeated in the grand finals of TI9.
TI10 will be held in Stockholm, Sweden this August, featuring 18 of the best teams in the DPC battling for the right to claim the Aegis of Champions and the lion's share of a massive US$40 million prize pool. Twelve teams will be receiving direct invites to the event while six more will earn their spots through the regional qualifiers.
SumaiL will make his first appearance in his return to OG in ESL One Summer 2021, which will be held from 12 teams from Western Europe, Eastern Europe/CIS, North America, and Southeast Asia competing for their cut of a US$400,000 prize pool from 16 to 20 June.
OG Dota 2 roster:
Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan
Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen
Sébastien “Ceb” Debs
Martin "Saksa" Sazdov
Johan "N0tail" Sundstein
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