OG Dota 2's position 4 support player, Tommy "Taiga" Le, revealed on Thursday (25 May) that an ongoing battle with "anxiety and depression" has been the cause of his absence from the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season's Summer Tour regional league.
Taiga said in a message on his personal Discord server that he has been "having anxiety and depression for a while", which has caused his performances to be "very shaky" and prompted him to temporarily step away from competition.
"Sorry for keeping you guys in the dark, but I have been having anxiety and depression for a while, it just got worse after [The International 2022], I might seem like I'm fine but I really wasn't. That's why my performances [have] been very shaky," said Taiga.
OG's position 4 support added that he is currently undergoing therapy in an effort to return to pro play.
"I'm on therapy right now to get better, and it's been helping me to get back my drive and motivation to come back streaming and pubbing, it's not fully there yet but I'm taking steps towards healing," said Taiga.
OG first announced Taiga's absence back in 16 May due to a "private issue" and that Adam "Aramis" Moroz will be standing-in for him while he is away. OG have struggled during Taiga's absence, only managing a 1-2 record through the first week and a half of the Summer regional league for Western Europe.
It is worth noting that teams in the DPC can only play with a stand-in for up to four matches, with the fifth game prompting a disqualification.
OG's fourth and fifth matches of the Summer regional league will be on Friday (26 May) and next Monday (29 May) against Team Liquid and Gaimin Gladiators, respectively. The team has yet to give a timeline on Taiga's return.
False rumours surround Taiga's absence
Prior to Taiga's revelation that his absence was caused by anxiety and depression, there were rumours circulating from figures in the Eastern European Dota 2 scene that the player has been inactive due to involvement in match fixing.
Yaroslav "Limitless" Parshin claimed that Taiga was kicked from OG for betting on the team's matches. He alleged that Taiga had been intentionally feeding First Blood in OG's games and betting on that outcome.
Limitless himself was permanently banned from pro Dota 2 last December for account sharing and impersonating members of other teams while competing in the DPC.
Other figures in the Eastern European Dota 2 scene have echoed these apparently false rumours.
However, Dota 2 analyst Ben "Noxville" Steenhuisen has dispelled these rumours by posting stats that disproved Taiga was intentionally feeding First Blood.
According to Noxville, Taiga took nine First Bloods while only giving up four during OG's Top 6 run at the ESL One Berlin Major, second best among all players in the tournament.
Likewise, Taiga claimed three First Bloods while only giving up one during the Spring Tour regional league for Western Europe.