OG announced on Tuesday (15 June) that Anathan "ana" Pham, their legendary carry player who led them to back-to-back The International (TI) championships, has retired from playing competitive Dota 2.
The 21-year old said in a statement that he has was already considering retirement for some time and that he now wanted to "learn about and explore" other things in life.
"The past few years have been an incredible journey and it is finally time for me to say that I’ll be stepping away from Dota. I have been on the fence about this for a while now but am ready to move on to a new chapter in my life. Long story short, Dota has been the biggest part of my life for the longest time and I am starting to find and appreciate other things in life that I want to learn about and explore," said ana.
Prior to announcing his retirement, ana returned to OG's active roster back in April for Season 2 of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).
However, OG failed to qualify for the recently-concluded WePlay AniMajor and thus could not secure a direct invite to The International 10 (TI10) in Stockholm, Sweden this August.
OG still have a chance to qualify for TI10 through the regional qualifiers for Europe from 7 to 10 July. However, the team will have to do it without one of their legends.
"The OG squad has been incredibly understanding and accommodating and I feel that this decision is the best for not only myself but the team as well. I have learned so much both inside of Dota and outside of the game with OG," said ana.
"This organisation will always feel like home to me. This game will always hold a special place in my heart and I am immensely grateful to the Dota community and the people I have met along the way. I also want to add a special thanks to my family and friends."
On Wednesday, OG announced that North American Dota 2 superstar Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan had rejoined the team for the qualifiers of The International 10 (TI10).
Despite only having a relatively short professional career of roughly five years, ana is one of the most accomplished players in all of Dota. As a member of OG, he won two Majors in 2016 and 2017 as well as back-to-back TI championships in 2018 and 2019.
Ana is also ranked third in esportsearnings.com's list of highest-earning esports players of all time with over US$6 million in winnings to his name. Ana and his OG teammates notably occupy the first five spots in that list.
Ana is now the second member of the legendary OG line-up that won TI8 and TI9 to retire, joining legendary support player Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka, who retired in January last year.
A legendary career
Ana started playing Dota in his home country of Australia but tried to kickstart his professional career by dropping out of high school and moving to China in 2015.
After a year of playing in Chinese in-house leagues to make himself known, ana's professional career began in earnest when he joined Invictus Gaming (IG) in March 2016 as a substitute for legendary midlaner Luo "Ferrari_430" Feichi.
Ana proved his worth by standing-in for Ferrari_430 and helping IG win a local Chinese tournament, National Electronic Arena 2016, against Newbee, one of the strongest teams in China at the time.
Ana left IG due to conflicts with the organisation's management and joined OG for the first time in August 2016. During his first stint with OG, ana helped the team win back-to-back Major championships at the Boston Major in December 2016 and the Kiev Major in April 2017. Following a Top 8 finish at TI7, ana parted ways with OG and took a break from competitive play.
After the sudden departures of Gustav "s4" Magnusson and Tal "Fly" Aizik in May 2018 left OG without enough players to qualify for TI8, ana rejoined the team in June. He then helped the team qualify for the tournament through the open qualifiers, where they would go on a legendary Cinderella run to their first Aegis of Champions.
Ana shined in OG's legendary showdown in the grand finals against PSG.LGD, where his excellent play with Phantom Lancer in game four and Ember Spirit in game five fuelled his team to victory.
Following their victory at TI8, ana took another break from competitive play and left OG in November. He rejoined OG for the second time in March 2019 just in time for TI9.
Ana was once again instrumental in his team's return to the grandest stage in all of Dota, where they absolutely dominated the competition en route to making history as the first-ever team to claim back-to-back TI championships.
In OG's storied battle against Team Liquid in the TI9 grand finals, ana played excellently on Ember Spirit in game two then Faceless Void in game four before pulling out his fearsome carry Io to seal the championship in game four.
Ana announced he was taking another break from competitive play in January last year, eventually returning to OG to play in the second season of the 2021 DPC before announcing his retirement.
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