TI champions come to the rescue. Discussing Ana and Topson's move to T1

Alisa Barladyan
02 Sep 2022

Hot regional qualifiers are expected in Southeast Asia. The region's talents are training for the upcoming matches and learning the new patch. Both ambitious newcomers and the majors' winner will fight for a chance to qualify for The International.

Fnatic's early exit to the main event of the year in Singapore has increased the chances of all main contenders from Southeast Asia to win the qualifiers. T1 took advantage of that by inviting the legendary duo from the champion OG. Topson and ana will play for the team in qualifying games for The International. What made the duo of cores look so strong in OG? What is the shape of the midlaner and the carry right now? Will they become the heroes of the organization? Please read about it in our article.

Bet on Dota 2 with 1xBet

Ana has been known in the eSports world since 2016. This year, he first joined the OG roster at a very young age and helped the organization win the majors in Boston and Kyiv. Judging by True Sight, this is a player with tremendous potential but weak nerves. In the final of the last major against Virtus.pro Ceb literally reincarnated the young talent as the series progressed, and because of that, the squad managed to get key victories in the series. Already in 2018-2019, at The International tournaments, Anatan showed a prodigious level of play and became part of OG's success. At TI8, he squeezed the most out of hopeless situations on Spectre and gave an MVP-level game on the fifth map against PSG.LGD. After TI9, each player practiced his Io pool on carry heroes.

For Topson, LAN tournament history started at TI8. In his first tournament, Topias was the meta trendsetter of the tournament, making everyone copy Invoker with Meteor Hammer, while his Pugna and Monkey King were banned in the early stages so as not to face Finn on his signature heroes. As N0tail will say in a documentary about OG's performance at TI8, "the first thing I realized when I saw Topias was a Scandinavian with a typically quiet temper". After his triumph at The International, he was still referred to as the creator of meta. After he bought Diffusal Blade for Gyrocopter in the fourth map of the TI9 Grand Final, his opponents admired the Finnish midlaner's play. He practiced all heroes on center lanes in public matches, including gifted supports.

N0tail's team played fundamentally different styles throughout the two The International tournaments. At the 2018 event, the game was built around farming Anatan. The Aussie mostly played on hard-carries (Phantom Lancer, Spectre, Morphling) and collected up to a half of the whole team's farm. That version of OG could find a way out even from a hopeless situation. Topson took all the pressure from the laning stage and, if necessary, stood under the enemy's attacks in mid-game. The team waited for ana's peak form and turned the game in its favor in one or two crazy fights.

In 2019, OG's style changed radically to dominant. Now the team created pressure on the opponent from the early minutes, regardless of how they stood the lanes. Get behind T2 on the 10-minute mark? Easy. Trap the opponent in their base by the 15th minute? Sounds like a plan. In this tournament, Topias was more often on frontline roles, he could start early aggression from the mid-game stage and lock down the opponents at their Ancient with the help from N0tail and JerAx's supports. Anatan still collected a lot of gold from the map, but because of the early snowballing the Finnish midflaner stood out at TI9 as the main link of the team.

Has anything changed after two years? It's hard to judge due to the long absence of both from professional matches. Nevertheless, Topson turns every hero into a midlaner in public matches and tends to establish his dominance from early on. He is ranked among the top 20 players in the Southeast Asian leaderboard, which means he is in great playing shape. The situation is a little more complicated with the T1 carry. Anatan played as a stand-in for Team Liquid at the Dubai tournament and for RNG at the Arlington majos. Unfortunately, the Aussie's game didn't leave a great impression at those events. The 2022 game looked like a pale shadow of the formidable ana at TI8 and TI9. Selling items in the final series for the Chinese team against the Outsiders was a fatal mistake - by selling Monkey King Bar by mistake, he pushed himself away from buying Satanic and lost the map.

But the mistakes in the American major are a thing of the past, now Topias and Anatan have teamed up in T1 and are ready to make some noise in Southeast Asia.

Bet on Dota 2 with 1xBet

T1 had one of the best rosters of the 2021/2022 season. At TI10, the team inflicted one of the two defeats of PSG.LGD before the grand final, went out of the group to the upper bracket and finished in 7th-8th place. The team played with the amazing curry 23savage, who steadily helped his organization get through DPC leagues without mistakes. But after he left in February 2022, the roster began to have problems, and Gabbi's arrival at his position was no solution. T1 could have qualified for TI11 directly, but one replacement had a big impact on the results of the tag.

Apart from Topson and ana, there are also offlanerKuku and supports Xepher and Whitemon playing for T1. The third, fourth, and fifth position bunch have been inseparable for two and a half years. They played as part of Geek Fam in 2020 at regional tournaments, in 2021 they won at ESL One Summer against Virtus.pro with Nightfall and Save. The players' achievements confirm their level of play.

Will the new recruits match up with the backbone of the team? There is a chance for synergy. Under 23savage, T1 was playing to gain the critical mass of its first position player, and ana likes this style. For the Aussie to gain his critical mass, Topson will start creating space at the laning stage. Kuku can play more active heroes that don't require much net worth.

What gameplay aspects might the team have trouble with? First, T1's play directly depends on ana's form at regional qualifiers. The Aussie will be playing a hard-carry, and his play determines the result for the entire team. He, unlike 23savage, is not used to creating his own moments and increasing his net worth through frags. In T1's game a third farming hero will appear less often, and the emphasis will be on initiation.

Secondly, will the supports be able to keep up with Topias' tempo? The Finnish midlaner, with good laning, can constantly harass his opponents from the very first active runes, and all his team needs to do here is stay close and play your buttons. JerAx and N0tail set that tone in the OG themselves. In Southeast Asia, players in the fourth position like to farm, often picking Shadow Shaman, Rubick, and Hoodwink as the greedy supports.

Finally, Topson himself loves to experiment. He's just recently discovered the mid Dazzle, practiced 4x Wraith Band on Sniper, and plays Monkey King on different builds up to Radiance - his pool is endless, and his builds are insane. But it all works both in public games and in tournaments. OG's style allowed Topson to play as he sees fit and integrate his ideas into team strategies. However, the European team had N0tail sitting in the captain's chair and the genius Ceb helped him during the drafts. How are the players from Southeast Asia going to implement all of their midlaner's innovations? That remains to be seen.

Bet on Dota 2 with 1xBet

Teams from Southeast Asia are lucky to have one less strong competitor. Due to Valve's calculations, Fnatic went to TI11 instead of the Outsiders, which means that the region is guaranteed to field three teams. BOOM Esports secured their place with successful performances in regional DPC leagues during the season. Which team will be a real threat for T1 in the upcoming qualifiers?

The level of teams in Southeast Asia leaves a lot to be desired. In Division II, none of the teams can be expected to make a sensation. Their performance will likely end after the first series against the top teams. TNC Predator, once the region's strongest team, is now on that list. After disbanding the Philippine roster with Armel and Kuku, the organization failed to assemble a capable roster. It finished seventh in Division II in the summer and will start its way with open qualifiers next season.

From the top division, the fellow RSGs might pull some surprises. The organization entered the cyber sport discipline of Dota2 with a fully equipped international squad in March 2022. The team immediately made their way to the big leagues, and in the summer, in a hard fight for the major in Arlington, only to BOOM Esports, Fnatic and Talon Esports. There are no familiar faces in the roster, but Ohaiyo guides the players. The former dedicated Fnatic offlaner didn't survive the pizza party and was kicked from the roster in 2018. After that, he could not reboot his career as a player, so he joined RSG as a coach in the spring. His charges can put up a fight in every series, but there is little potential for them to qualify for the tournament in Singapore.

In the qualification matches for The International, players face enormous pressure; inexperienced cyber athletes don't reach their full potential at crucial moments due to the weight of responsibility. Experience is crucial at key stages, and Team SMG can be added to the list of real threats based on this criterion. The team didn't play its best in the regional leagues, staying out of the majors. The roster changed for the qualifiers - pieliedie and Raging Potato were replaced by poloson and iceiceice. The latter will need to prove his worth in the offlane, as the community thinks that the "triple ice" ruined the entire 2021/22 playing season for Puppey.

The biggest challenge for T1 will be meeting Talon Esports. The new 23savage's team has gone from the region's Division II to the major in six months. The best Southeast Asian carry is assisted by kpii, an experienced offlaner who fought in the finals of The International five years ago. The midlaner is Mikoto, who has rarely been praised since BOOM Esports, but he was one of the top three players in the DPC league last year according to Dotabuff. Q and Hyde, at the supporting positions, play a level above their counterparts in Southeast Asia.

Talon Esports played against strong teams at the PGL Arlinghton Major and ESL One Malaysia 2022 before the qualifiers. Despite being eliminated from the group stages, the team had the opportunity to play pracs against the top opponents from around the world and appreciate their meta. Talon Esports was the only team on the domestic stage to defeat the region's leader, BOOM Esports. For the upcoming games for the exit to The International in Singapore, the 23savage's lineup is the favorite. Apart from having some big names, they also have fresh experience playing against the best teams in the world.

Bet on Dota 2 with 1xBet

Despite Topias's reluctance to play in this region, this is where the stars might align favorably for him and Anatan. In Europe or the CIS there is going to be a meat-grinder among 4-6 teams, and the players on any team would have very little chance of reaching at least the "last chance" stage. In Southeast Asia, the players found an option with a tightly knit trio with plenty of experience on the international stage.

Even Valve sided with T1 and issued patch 7.32, in which they changed the heroes' landscape and balance of power. There is a huge field for Topias's experiments, which means that the rivals will be shocked by new inventions of the "Finnish professor". After his unsuccessful performance for RNG, we want to believe that ana will also find the strength to practice constantly and return to his perfect form. The new patch and Anatan's hard work will become two powerful tools for fighting in the domestic arena.

As things stand, T1 will fight Talon Esports and Team SMG for the last slot of the region into the group stage of TI. The lineup will likely finish in the top 3 of the qualifiers and get a chance to go to the play-in stage. A result lower than that would be considered a failure. Based on this, T1 has had a successful reshuffle and is already mentally preparing to travel to Singapore.

Bet on Dota 2 with 1xBet
OG has become an ESL One Malaysia champion. The tournament results
OG has become an ESL One Malaysia champion. The tournament results
Who will join "the bears' den"? Selecting candidates for the Virtus.pro coach vacancy
Who will join "the bears' den"? Selecting candidates for the Virtus.pro coach vacancy
The Chinese wall is down: a recap of the PGL Arlington Major 2022
The Chinese wall is down: a recap of the PGL Arlington Major 2022
Follow Telecom Asia Sport!
No Comments Yet! Be the first to share what you think!
This website uses cookies
This provides customers with a personalized experience and increases the efficiency of visiting the site, allowing us to provide the most efficient service. By using the website and accepting the terms of the policy, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with the terms of this policy.