OG get MinD_ControL, Kitrak as stand-ins for Berlin Major; DM, Chu, Misha denied visas

OG are the fourth team competing in the Berlin Major with a stand-in.

OG will be competing in the upcoming Berlin Major with MinD_ControL and Kitrak as stand-ins after DM, Chu, and Misha encountered visa issues. (Photos: Nigma Galaxy, Wind and Rain, OG, ESL)
OG will be competing in the upcoming Berlin Major with MinD_ControL and Kitrak as stand-ins after DM, Chu, and Misha encountered visa issues. (Photos: Nigma Galaxy, Wind and Rain, OG, ESL)

Western European Dota 2 powerhouse OG will be competing in the upcoming ESL One Berlin Major 2023 with Ivan "MinD_ControL" Ivanov and Kartik "Kitrak" Rathi as stand-ins after three of its members encountered visa issues.

OG said that offlaner Dmitry "DM" Dorokhin, team captain Evgenii "Chu" Makarov, and coach Mikhail "Misha" Agatov had their visa applications to Germany denied and thus may miss out on the Berlin Major.

"Prior to the end of Tour 2, when we were tossing and turning between possible relegation and an opportunity at attending the Major, we began filing our visa applications for DM, Misha, and Chu. As fate would have it, we defied the odds and secured a spot. We felt good about the process, especially being supported by ESL, to obtain visas," OG explained in a statement posted on Tuesday (25 April).

"DM returned to Moscow and his application was accepted almost instantly; and Misha and Chu were able to obtain appointments in Serbia. Everything seemed to be moving in the right direction, until last week when we found out that all three applications had been declined."

With DM, Chu, and Misha unable to join the team for the start of the Major — and possibly miss out on the tournament altogether — OG elected to get Nigma Galaxy's MinD_ControL and Old G's Kitrak as stand-ins.

"We are still working through appeals processes and other consulates to obtain visas prior to next week, however we need to be prepared for any options, or continued disappointments," said OG.

"We are hopeful that our players will join us later in the event, but in the meantime are grateful for both Kitrak and MC coming to our aid."

OG had a rough start to the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season, narrowly missing out on the Lima Major during the Winter Tour. As a result, 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. However, the team managed an incredible turnaround during the Spring Tour and qualified for the Berlin Major after they defeated Ooredoo Thunders in tiebreakers for Western Europe's fourth and final spot in the event.

With Western Europe remaining the most dominant region in the DPC, OG were seen as one of the stronger teams in the tournament alongside fellow representatives Lima Major champions Gaimin Gladiators, Team Liquid, and The International 11 (TI11) champions Tundra Esports.

But with OG hampered by visa issues and forced to compete with stand-ins, it remains to be seen how well the team can perform in a pivotal tournament like the Berlin Major.

OG is also not the only team forced to compete in the Major with a stand-in, being the fourth squad in the event to do so.

China's Team Aster also tapped Nigma Galaxy's Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan as a stand-in after they moved their own midlaner, Zhai "Xwy" Jingkai, to their inactive roster.

BetBoom Team's Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko also could not make it to Berlin, forcing the team to tap Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok as a stand-in and shifting Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko from the offlane to the carry role.

9 Pandas, formerly known as the ex-HellRaisers roster, got Darkside's Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosian as a stand-in after team captain Alexey "Solo" Berezin also encountered visa issues and might miss the 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. Those DPC points will go towards securing all-important direct invites to this year's iteration of The International, Dota 2's annual multimillion dollar world championship tournament.

For everything you need to know about the Berlin Major, check here.

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