Dota 2: OG complete incredible comeback to qualify for Berlin Major

OG punched their ticket to Berlin despite having a 1-4 record midway through Week 2 of the Western European regional league.

OG came back from a 1-4 start in the Western European regional league and qualified for the Berlin Major. (Photo: OG)
OG came back from a 1-4 start in the Western European regional league and qualified for the Berlin Major. (Photo: OG)

Western European Dota 2 powerhouse OG have completed one of the most incredible turnarounds of the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season after they qualified for the upcoming Berlin Major despite an abysmal 1-4 start in the Spring Tour regional league for Western Europe.

This season has been a rough one for OG, as they ended the Winter Tour by narrowly missing out on the Lima Major.

Looking to reignite the spark, the team had captain Mikhail "Misha" Agatov and coach Evgenii "Chu" Makarov swap roles for the Spring Tour.

Despite the roster change, OG looked to have an even worse performance in this Tour as they had a league-worst 1-4 record midway through Week 2 of competition.

OG were swept by The International 11 (TI11) champions Tundra Esports, Team Liquid, and Lima Major champions Gaimin Gladiators. Their only win at that point was against former Division II squad Ooredoo Thunders, though it would prove crucial later in the competition.

But with their backs against the wall, OG were finally able to flip the switch and mount a comeback. They scored three-straight 2-0 sweeps over Monaspa, Nigma Galaxy, and Entity to finish the Tour with a 3-4 record.

That put OG in a tie with Ooredoo Thunders for fourth place in the league and, more importantly, the final spot for Western Europe in the Berlin Major. Both teams then faced off in a best-of-three tiebreaker on Monday (3 April).

There was a lot at stake in this match aside from the spot in the Berlin Major.

For OG, a victory would prove they still belonged in the upper echelons of Western Europe and, by extension, remained one of the best teams in the world. For Ooredoo Thunders, winning would get them to their first Major after years of grinding in the DPC's lower tiers.

Both teams traded hard-fought wins to start out the series, forcing them to a do-or-die game three. Despite being the less-experienced squad, Ooredoo Thunders were in control from the get-go and looked to be in position to punch their ticket to Berlin.

However, OG showed incredible resilience as they stalled things out into the late game. It all came to a head at the 50-minute mark, where both teams clashed for control of Roshan.

Ooredoo Thunders scored a crucial pick off on Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev's Drow Ranger, who quickly bought back and rejoined the fight. But he got jumped once again and was on the verge of dying without buyback, which would have meant OG's defeat.

However, a clutch Primal Roar from Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin's Beastmaster allowed Yuragi to stay alive on a sliver of health and help OG teamwipe Ooredoo Thunders and force them all to use buybacks.

With all the momentum on the world on their side, OG took control of the map and scored pickoffs that eventually allowed them to secure the tiebreaker after a grueling 54 minutes.

DM: OG only at "60% of our full power"

In the post-match interview, DM credited his team's experience and composure as the key to their victory in that high-pressure game three.

"Actually game three felt really rough for us at some point, I think we missed opportunities in the early-to-mid game, I'd say. But at some point I think we just played with a whole mind and we knew what decisions should be made," said DM.

"I think that's what led us to victory in this game."

OG's offlaner also revealed that the team's turnaround was partly caused by a shift in his role in the team's strategy, where he stopped playing a more sacrificial type of offlaner and instead used a more varied pool of heroes that fulfilled whatever needs their drafts had.

"To be honest, at some point I was giving too much sacrifice to my personal gameplay at the start of the season. Then I actually recognized the way I wanna play is to be on my hero and become a full core at some point. I think it's just more efficient for the team," said DM.

DM also seemed to throw shots at former OG offlaner and now Nigma Galaxy carry Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf after both players exchanged trash talk in a pub match prior to the tiebreakers.

"I could play any hero in Dota. Like, any. I can also play my best heroes and I can have a much better impact on them, instead of griefing my team's game on just some random heroes," said DM, seemingly dissing ATF's relatively small hero pool.

And now that OG is headed for the Berlin Major, DM said the team has yet to reach their full potential and could only get better from here.

"I think our power level at the moment is about 60%, we got a really big amount of stuff to work on. But already things are being figured out and they are working out, and it really empowers our team," said DM.

"I think every loss gives us a lot, and every win gives us a lot also because Misha is also discussing the mistakes we made, the heroes which we can stick to, and we are growing with every game. So yeah, we are at 60 per cent of our full power."

OG will be joining Team Liquid, Tundra Esports, and Gaimin Gladiators as Western Europe's four representatives at the Berlin Major.

The Berlin Major will take place from 26 April to 7 May and will feature 18 of the best teams in the DPC battling for their share of the US$500,000 prize pool and 2,700 DPC point pool.

OG Dota 2 roster:

  1. Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev

  2. Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov

  3. Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin

  4. Tommy "Taige" Le

  5. Evgenii "Chu" Makarov

  6. Mikhail "Misha" Agatov (coach)

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