Dota 2: A motivated ana persuaded Topson to join T1, try for TI11

·Contributor
·4-min read
Topson, two-time The International champion and former OG midlaner, will have to go through the Southeast Asian regional qualifier to make it to The International 11. (Photo: EPICENTER/Epic Esports Events)
Topson, two-time The International champion and former OG midlaner, will have to go through the Southeast Asian regional qualifier to make it to The International 11. (Photo: EPICENTER/Epic Esports Events)

Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen, two-time The International (TI) champion and former OG midlaner, revealed that it was his former OG teammate, Anathan "ana" Pham, who motivated him to return to competitive play and try to qualify for The International 11 (TI11) with T1.

Topson explained how he and ana made things happen in Episode 34 of the OG's Monkey Business Show podcast, hosted by OG CEO JMR Luna.

After only placing 7th-8th with OG at TI10, Topson took a break from the competitive scene to spend time with his family in Malaysia and focus on streaming.

After taking almost a year off and with the TI11 qualifiers coming up, Topson and ana joined T1 to try to claim the Aegis of Champions for a third time.

Topson: 'If Ana is motivated to push for things, we're going.'

Topson revealed that his original plan for 2022 didn't focus on attending TI11, as he wasn't sure he'd be able to find a team in time.

"I came to Finland, I was like 'maybe I'll find a team' and I didn't really try to push it too much I guess and, well if I don't find anything decent, I can just wait for next year you know, I guess it might be better that way. Just take it easy," said Topson.

However an old friend came to Topson's rescue, as ana asked him to play together again.

"Ana reached out to me and he was like, 'Oh are you looking to play? Are you looking for a team for the qualifiers?'," Topson explained.

"I was like, yeah maybe, if you wanna play, if you have something in mind, I'm down to go."

There will be a total of 30 teams flying to Singapore for TI11, with 12 teams receiving a direct invite.

Six more spots will be given to the winners of the regional qualifiers from each of the six regions in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).

The second and third-placed teams from each regional qualifier will have a second chance to qualify for TI11 through the new Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ), which will award the last two spots in the tournament.

Why in Southeast Asia?

Deciding which region to play in was an important decision for Topson and ana, and they weighed the pros and cons of each region before settling on Southeast Asia.

"Ana was just like asking EU, NA, SEA, and I was just like, EU is pretty hard to find a decent team and the qualifiers are really hard. And NA, I don't really wanna go there," said Topson.

"Then he was like 'China' and I was like 'I don't wanna go to China,' and then 'SEA?' and I was like, 'yeah, SEA could do it, SEA could be a good one'."

Not only was ana responsible for motivating Topson to return to the scene, but he even picked the team they would join and used his connections to make it happen.

"Ana had contacts with T1, also he has a friend there [Park "March" Tae-won] as a coach and all that. I guess ana was the one who was kind of pushing for it at first and I was like, 'yeah let's go.' If ana is motivated to push for things, we're going," said Topson.

T1 will make their debut with Topson and ana on the new squad at the Southeast Asian regional qualifiers, which begin on 3 September.

It will be Topson's first competitive game in almost a year, and Dota 2 fans can't wait to see the former OG player back in the game.

TI11 is this year's iteration of Dota 2's marquee million-dollar world championship tournament. It will be hosted in Singapore in October, featuring a revamped format with 30 participating teams and a new LCQ.

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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