OGs comeback to win DOTA 2s TI8 Against The Odds


Red Bull Gaming


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[CALM MUSIC PLAYING] JOHAN SUNDSTEIN:Back then, we went into it with a mentality that friendship will win in the end. But at one point in your life something's going to change. Change always happens. ANATHAN PHAM:When I first started, it was really hard. I think I was inexperienced, like, even in life. I didn't know myself. SEBASTIEN DEBS:In hindsight, that was an incredible turning point. I didn't realize how big it was, but now looking back at it, this changed my life. JESSE VAINIKKA:It's hard to believe how much things change. It changed into something that nobody would ever expect. [CALM MUSIC CONTINUES PLAYING] TAL AIZIK:One of the things I've learned is that actually I appreciate my teammates, my friends. I appreciate the people who are around me. Without these people, I think it would've been a completely different story. [CROWD CHEERS] ANNOUNCER 1:OG! Game Five! One last game! ANNOUNCER 2:At its heart, this is a story about when games got serious. There's 25 million dollars on the line, the largest prize pool in esports history. We've got 20,000 fans here in the arena, millions following from their homes. It seems impossible for this team to take home a championship. A team ranked dead last by the majority of pundits. What do we think about OG making it this far? They weren't even the same team a couple months ago. OG have had such a miracle run. ANNOUNCER 5: Even when they're behind, you always have that feeling like it's never over. It's never over. The ultimate underdog story The story could end here and it could be a fairytale. But this is a story about something much more than a game. OG! Because when the stakes are this high and the odds are against you you find out who your true friends are. [CALM MUSIC PLAYING] JOHAN: My name is Johan Sundstein. My nickname is N0tail. I play competitive esports. Me and Tal, we go way back. Hello, everyone. He was my first teammate like, inside and outside of the game. I have a question for all the viewers. What do you think about this hair? Yeah. He's not too sure about that. It was a close bond. It's like brothers. I can't, like, look at your hair and feel serious about it. I can't. There's nothing wrong with my hair. Be careful. I might gash you. [LAUGHS] [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] OWEN DAVIES:N0tail and Fly, you could ask anyone in esports... This is the ultimate friendship. These are two guys that have just stuck with one another, thick and thin throughout different rosters, different years, different teams even. The way me and Tal met was in a public game. We were playing almost every day, like either practicing or just pubbing or whatever. So, we ended up talking a lot all the time. You know, he's like a brother to me. JOHAN:When we started, we didn't really know the esports scene was going to be a thing. It was just us playing games and we got kind of thrown into what was this whole movement. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 2:We are here live at Gamescom 2011 in beautiful Cologne. It is the International Championships. 1.6 million dollar prize pool. [ALL CHEERING] We've got some of the world's best teams here in Dota. They're handing out a tournament prize of 1.6 million dollars. GORDON BELLAMY:TI which is short for "The International" is the biggest competition in Dota 2, which is one of the most popular esports in the world. [ALL CONTINUE CHEERING] Every single competitive Dota player wants TI above all else. JORIEN VAN DER HEIJDEN: The first international, it was 1.6 million dollar prize pool, which had never been done. It was revolutionary. Before TI there was almost nothing in terms of career viability with esports. PETER RUBIN: Esports, in the earliest days, started with Donkey Kong tournaments and Space Invaders tournaments, just to see who could get the highest score. Being paid at all for winning a tournament was crazy. PETER:But with the rise of The International, you had this sort of apical shift. DAVID WHARTON:When you talk about The International, it's a really big deal. The super bowl of pro gaming, the biggest tournament. A prize pool of millions of dollars and each year it's increased, it's got bigger and bigger. And the more money, the bigger the stage. [ALL CHEERING] GORDON BELLAMY: The people you see playing at The International are the best in esport and that's because Dota 2 is a game with lots of nuance and detail to play. ANNOUNCER 2:Joking here. JORIEN:It's a game of high skill, high focus. Make no mistake. It's not just about skill. It's about how you play together. This is a team game. JORIEN:The goal is to destroy the enemy's Ancient which is the main structure in the base. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] Dota 2 is a five on five game of capture the flag. OWEN DAVIES:You spend the game building up the power of your heroes which are selected before the game in a draft sequence. With over a hundred different heroes, each hero having different abilities, there are seemingly infinite combinations that make each game as unique as possible and one of the reasons why so many people around the world love to follow Dota 2. DAVID WHARTON: It's growing so fast. You have no idea how far it will go, how big it can get. [CHEERING] PHOTOGRAPHER: Tilt your head slightly, good, that's it. JOHAN: Our first international was TI3. PHOTOGRAPHER: I need to get a picture of all five of you. JOHAN:It was in 2013 and we were playing under the name Fnatic at the time. PHOTOGRAPHER: Get as close as you can, please. JOHAN: I remember we were so stoked. We've been working for a year now to get here. It's been a really long ride and like, it means so much. TI, you know? That's like... PHOTOGRAPHER: Closer. Then you came a long way. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 1: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2013 International. [CROWD CHEERING AND WHISTLING] JOHAN:Going to America, playing in front of a crowd. This is our chance to prove that we could be the best. It was intense, like, it was on a whole other level. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 2: And he's going in. Say hello to my missile blade Smash and bash! Bring 'em down fast! Two more fall and GG. Fnatic are guaranteed a top eight finish at The International 2013. GG, Game over. They've made top eight at The International. A huge win. Fnatic, I think they're capable of winning against any team. ANNOUNCER: We're rooting for Fnatic. JOHAN: We started high, but then, yeah, you play somebody that's been doing this for a long time and, oh, boy. ANNOUNCER 2: We have to remember Fnatic, this is their first TI appearance. They are already a top eight. It's a great performance, but Fnatic going up against Orange, we do say Orange are the favorites. ANNOUNCER 1: Orange versus Fnatic. ANNOUNCER 6:My bet is on Orange, they will take this bottom rack and there is nothing that Fnatic could do to stop them. Double kill for Mushi. Buyback by Doxia, buyback, and Mushi! Triple ultra and GG. JOHAN: We got put in our place. ANNOUNCER 6:Fnatic have been eliminated by the Malaysians. Orange will advance themselves forward. JOHAN: Back then we were not ready. [CHATTER] JOHAN:After TI3, we did have a serious talk and after every TI, there's a lot of roster shuffles. You know, the grass is always greener, I want to play with different players, things like this. But we thought experience matters, we learned together. This will do us good for the next TI. PLAYER 1: Gonna be another Q now. PLAYER 2: Okay. JORIEN: If you make it to TI... Before you get to play in front of the crowd in the arena, you have to play group stages, and you do that from a hotel room. There's a chance you will never make it out of that hotel room. JOHAN: Could have maybe gotten a kill but that's it. MALE INTERVIEWER 1:Here with N0tail, this tournament, you know, it didn't go the way you guys wanted it to go. What do you think the reasons were? All in all I think there's been a bunch of things coming to this disappointing result and there's not so much we could've done about it. I think we did try our best still. AUSTIN: Despite working an entire year, they couldn't even get out of the group stage. ANNOUNCER 7:Yes, we are here for what could be the very last game of our grand final 2014. JOHAN: Losing this one, the way we did, all that is stuck in your head is you're out. It's over. ANNOUNCER 6:They take the victory against B.G. JOHAN: Somebody else is going to win. ANNOUNCER 6: Over five million won by... JOHAN: And it's not going to be you. And it's a really hard pill to swallow. There were some issues before this TI and everybody in Fnatic, they were ready to burn some bridges that they weren't ready to burn a year before. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] [CROWD CHEERING] AUSTIN:After TI4, Fly and N0tail found themselves on a new team, and in their minds, this is going to be a superstar roster. Team Secret, we did feel like a super team, but then there was this StarLadder Tournament. ANNOUNCER 8: And it's onto the throne. They got Secret by the jugular and they take home... But we ended up losing and that hit us really hard. And after that, I kind of saw it coming. AUSTIN:With just months to the next TI, Fly and N0tail found themselves kicked from the very team they had just joined. They were forced to join different teams. JOHAN:Shit, man, I... this is really not what I wanted to happen. This is not how I meant for things to go down. CASEY: Hi. Casey. Good to see you again. TAL: Casey. Hi. Good to see you. CASEY: Thanks for doing this. TAL: No problem. Just going to get you all mic'ed up. MALE INTERVIEWER 2: Cameras rolling. N0tail, take one. So, we're just going to start with some basic questions. What are your biggest strengths as a team? compLexity. We're kind of an underdog. We're a very new team. We're only together for about three months. MALE INTERVIEWER 2: What role do you play right now, currently? Right now, I play support for Cloud9. What about team Fnatic? You guys seemed to scatter a little bit. Are you still in contact with a lot of those guys? TAL: Mostly N0tail. He's a really good friend of mine. We've been playing together ever since I've been playing competitive. Obviously, N0tail's here. I saw him and we were having a fun time. But I miss being together as a team. JOHAN:Every good Dota team understands the phrase, "a good teammate." The perfect team would have these sort of traits, like kindness, and, you know, empathy. Dota is a team game. It is not about you. It's about everyone around you. [CROWD CHEERING] MALE INTERVIEWER 2:Do your teammates understand this, too? JOHAN:I've tried to talk to my teammates about these things. They don't view them the same way as I do at all, but I've been very happy playing for them and I'm very excited going into the TI with Cloud9. MALE INTERVIEWER 2: Awesome. ANNOUNCER 9:That's it. Cloud9 call it GG. They know they are so far behind they will give up their position here at The International. BG Gaming will move forward. ANNOUNCER 10: Natus against compLexity. There are no buybacks on the four dead heroes of compLexity. And GG, compLexity will be eliminated from The International five. ANNOUNCER 11:Yes, the lights have gone out on compLexity's year for The International in 2015. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] [WAVES CRASHING] TAL:Ever since I was a kid I always...I hated losing. I hated losing so much, but I also loved competing. I always thought, maybe I would go into like, being a fighter like my dad. I was very good at judo and jujitsu and all these things I did. I was very talented. You know, I wanted to make my dad happy to, you know, be strong for him, to win things, to kind of compete. [CALM MUSIC PLAYING] It's something that's always been with me whatever I do. Losing is kind of not an option. [CALM MUSIC CONTINUES PLAYING] JOHAN:After a TI5 failure, personally, I was probably at an all-time low. There was one night I ended up vomiting and I thought about every loss, and every time I thought about a loss, I felt even worse. And it just kept going throughout the whole night. I think that was probably the sickest I felt in my whole life. I was ready to call it quits. But then I had a talk with Tal about playing together again. TAL:Myself and N0tail, we know each other very well. You know, we're friends, where you rely on each other, we lean on each other. JOHAN:And we decided to go into this together to make it, make it as friends, make it as a team, do something new. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] TAL:Team OG was formed by myself and N0tail. The big idea behind OG is a mindset of friendship, but also want to win. JOHAN: It's a mix of hunger, talent, atmosphere, team dynamic. This is what matters. We just want to do things right, like, do things our way. OWEN DAVIES:They were going to create a team from the ground up just finding three like-minded individuals. Historically, in esports the elite teams will pick up fresh talent from the tier two and tier three teams. It was highly unusual to pluck amateur talent from the broader public. I never thought that anyone's going to come talk to me because I was a pub player. JOHAN:Miracle, I looked at his game play and he completely carried the game. KEVIN: Pub players play public matches. It's in this like, casual at-home environment playing with nobody watching. So, Miracle was a player that had limited competitive experience. But this was the guy that I really wanted to play with. TAL:And then I brought Moon over from compLexity. I knew he'd fit our style. And the last one was Cr1t. Fuck you, Moon. TAL:He was always around, never really on a top team, but he shared a similar mindset as us. And I'm the captain. I try to, you know, be the pillar for everyone. You have to have five players who are on the same page. GORDON:I think it's the oldest tale in sports. You can buy speed, you can buy height, you can buy strength. You can't buy trust. You can't buy communication. But you need all five in order to win a championship. [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 2:Live here in Frankfurt, the first ever Major. As the popularity of Dota 2 grew, the sheer volume of those competing meant the sport could sustain a season of high profile competitions leading up to TI. After TI5, Valve introduced a new competitive system in Dota 2. It was called Majors. ANNOUNCER 8:Who will be claimed the champion? JORIEN:Three million dollar on the line for Major and implications of getting an invite to TI if you would win a Major. OWEN DAVIES:N0tail and Fly's team, a band of unlikely individuals that had never really had any crazy amount of success previously in Dota 2. They were the underdogs coming into the first Major. Nobody expected anything. ANNOUNCER 8:OG have done it! They will be crowned the champions of the first ever Dota 2 Major, live here, in Frankfurt. JORIEN:The power couple was reunited once again and it seemed like they could do anything. CROWD: OG! OG! OG! OG! TAL:It's so amazing. We're winning and everyone's cheering OG. There's nothing better than that. ANNOUNCER:OG! CROWD: OG! OG! OG! OG! [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] GORDON:This is a first generation of a new type of athlete and these esports athletes are coming into incredibly high pressure situations immediately. JORIEN:Playing in front of 20,000 people, in front of millions online, and for millions of dollars, is big. DAVID:When you look at the really big time high-level teams they are looking for any competitive edge they can find. JOHAN:Around that time, all these Majors and big prize pools, it was super intense. It was like a pressure cooker and so a couple of teams started getting coaches. PETER RUBIN:So, finding a coach in conventional sports you get someone who was a star player in a previous generation, or just maybe a good player who had a really good mind for the game. In esports you don't really have a previous generation of star. So, where do you get your coach? SEBASTIEN DEBS:Beginning of 2016, I was living in Paris. I was actually focusing on future life plans. I mean, university, college, all these things. [CALM MUSIC PLAYING] And at that point I hadn't played competitive for three years or something. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 8: This is when it gets real! Counter Logic Gaming going up against MTW, the guys from France. SEBASTIEN:My nickname is Effing Mad my real name is Sébastien Debs. I love the game, obviously. I wanted to be the best but I was really far from it. TI2, yeah, I competed. ANNOUNCER 8:Fucking Mad! He wants the blackhole. He picks up... SEBASTIEN:But my team was like bottom tier of the tournament. ANNOUNCER 8:MTW are the first team to be eliminated from The International 2012. SEBASTIEN: The sacrifices were too heavy. I think I was kind of losing myself. I had put everything aside for Dota and it just came back and kind of hit me in the face. [CALM MUSIC PLAYING] And then I got a message through Twitter. OG heard that I wasn't an active player anymore and wanted to see if I would be interested to coach them. My first reaction was that I didn't want to because I had given up on Dota pretty much. JOHAN:Sébastien, he had played on a lot of different teams. I know Sébastien was working really hard, but he was caught in these teams that couldn't really make it. SEBASTIEN:I was watching a lot of Dota still because I mean, I'm very passionate about the game. JOHAN: The way he spoke about the game you could tell it wasn't just passion, it was brains, and this is kind of what we saw. OG, I had watched almost all their games at the Frankfurt Major, maybe all of them. This was a team that was playing already on the highest levels. Like, these guys are champion material. This coaching thing, it was a very unique opportunity. You might not get this chance again, so seize it. Next thing you know, I'm on a plane to the Manila Major. ANNOUNCER 2: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Manila Major. [CROWD CHEERING] JOHAN:The idea of a coach, we kind of did it because it was just like what other teams were doing. I wouldn't say forced, but a tiny bit forced. [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 1:Welcome on stage, OG! JOHAN:I definitely didn't realize the potential of Sébastien's role in the team until Manila Major. ANNOUNCER 12: N0tail trying to lock down Matumbaman, finish him off. The wolf will fall. OG getting the core kill but the... JOHAN:He told us what the other team is going to do and it was one hundred percent on point. Draft. -Ooh! -That's a new hero. JOHAN:Game play... ANNOUNCER 12:N0tail. He'll engage forward Miracle there with the BKB... Basically like their strategy. ANNOUNCER 12: OG are doing it. Liquid, they can't withstand the punishment. JOHAN:We had the team. We just felt ourselves like, we were just feeding off each other. ANNOUNCER 12:OG are The Manila Major champions! The Manila Major... It was incredible. A huge shout out to our coach Ceb. This would have never happened without him. Sébastien, great job to him. ANNOUNCER 12: Yeah. GORDON:Part of the value of winning a championship is who you win it with. OG, they were known for their teamwork and communication. That was the anchor. You win together, you lose together. You want to create this feeling that everybody has each other's back. OWEN DAVIES:Everyone else was switching people in and out but OG were able to stay as a unit and it was paying off. They were winning major tournaments and going into that year's International, they were pitted to be the team to take the championship title at TI6. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 2: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The International 2016... WOMAN 1: Whoo! Good. Who's ready? Who's ready? MAN 1: The teams are arriving, the players, the fans are hyped and we're all here waiting for The International to start. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 14: OG up against MVP. What a terrific series to kick off The International 2016. SEBASTIEN:For TI6, our chances were obviously great. I think we were feeling really good. ANNOUNCER 15: OG entering the key arena. SEBASTIEN:We were considered as like one of the best teams, if not the best team, in the world. ANNOUNCER 16:Starting from the Frankfurt Major and then Manila they really cemented... They are the top team right now. They are absolutely the team that everybody's looking to take down. JOHAN:We were seat one, so much hype around us. SEBASTIEN: Anything but top three would be like, a huge disappointment. ANNOUNCER 17: OG definitely proved. that they are ready to try to have a five-on-five. ANNOUNCER 18:Miracle now stifling - dagger QO! He rips apart Miracle! Double kill inside. They're pounding OG. ANNOUNCER 17: Almost an impossible ask for OG to come back from this. ANNOUNCER 18:QO jumps down, he finds Miracle! ANNOUNCER 17: Holding Miracle there... GG! Well played. MVP have trashed the two-time major winners, the guys who were hoping to put a TI win under their belt. They may have to do it through the lower bracket. They have a longer journey... SEBASTIEN:OG TI6 was one of the best teams that ever played Dota, but the mindset that we had going into games, of course, it impacts the Dota part. We are going to return to a lower bracket now. JOHAN: We went into this TI like, I think we felt the highest amount of pressure that we have ever felt before. ANNOUNCER 19: We do have two teams, who if they lose now are done for another year. Which is not where OG thought they'd be, let alone where we all thought they'd be. MAN 2:Most Dota tournaments, if you lose in the upper bracket, you still have a chance to make a run to the finals through the lower bracket. PETER RUBIN: Double elimination, it's about being able to take a beating and maybe come back. ANNOUNCER 14: It is time for TNC versus OG. JOHAN:We all knew that we were so good. We were so good. But we were definitely playing not to lose. [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 14: We almost hit the hour mark, as TNC, they'll enter the mid. Do they go for a GG push? Yup, they are! They're attacking the tier four towers and are ready to jump forward. Cr1t, he needs help now! That wall, will it be enough? Kuku still there in the corner, Miracle, too. They're coming right back to it. They're going for the kill. And TNC have done it. Two time Major winners, you are gone! [CROWD CHEERING] [SIGHS] ANNOUNCER 21:OG eliminated on day number two of TI6, something that I would never imagine myself hearing. ANNOUNCER 14: I cannot believe it. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] SEBASTIEN:Your whole life is about that tournament. When it ends, I don't think you quite accept it. The brain just doesn't process the fact that it's over. You can't really believe it. It's like, there's no way we did all this. It's like a blackout. You know, the mountain that you're supposed to climb, it just keeps getting higher and trickier. Like from the beginning of the season you look at something so tall and so hard to get up, and you don't know how to do it. You don't even know where to begin. You feel so small, like, and helpless. After TI6, we were able to dodge the roster shuffle. MoonMeander was not a good fit for me as a player and Cr1t, he had other avenues he wanted to seek, like he has for a long time wanted to play with EG and some of the players on EG, and I think when Miracle saw, you know, the team like falling apart, he also looked at something that looked a lot nicer than trying to rebuild this. OWEN DAVIES:But the N0tail-Fly duo, it doesn't break. These two want to just continue and build a new team with them two at the core of it. Right out of the gate, they added top tier talent. KEVIN: They got S4 from another team, very, very talented former TI winner. ANNOUNCER 22: The Alliance just won! Won! You know, everybody remembers when Alliance won TI3. [CROWD CHEERING] Just another day in Finland. Getting JerAx made sense. I'm about to make the biggest mistake of my life. JORIEN:He was the best four position during that time. Hello. I'm going. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] SEBASTIEN:Having JerAx join was super hype. He's incredibly good at the game. You're very confident, but you're also humble about it. I think it's a very Finnish thing in the end. If you win TI, can you be a little excited? -Will you brag a little bit then? -Yeah. [LAUGHS] You can do better than that. Come on. Yeah. And then they picked up Ana. Ana was like, "What?" [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] ANATHAN PHAM: So, I was born in Melbourne. I lived here with two of my sisters and one of my brother and my mom. And I pretty much lived here my whole life until I went pro with Dota. They got the... this Australian kid. OWEN DAVIES:He was a bit of a shot in the dark. People didn't know what to expect from Ana. He was complete unknown. He came out of nowhere. ANATHAN:I was just playing pubs every day. I was a bit, not cocky, but like, actually I was cocky. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] We went through with the roster and like finalized it and JerAx and S4, there was no doubt in our mind, but Ana? I kind of went out on a limb. ANATHAN:Like I just play like, whatever I want to play and like, it's like so easy, like, I don't know how to say it. He'd never really played consistently on a top team. But, Ana, like, I mean, he was truly talented. We saw it really quickly. The way he approached the game, it wasn't influenced by other players' play-style. It wasn't influenced by how people think, it wasn't influenced by anything. It was pure. It was kind of a risk in a way but from my perspective first conversation with Ana, Ana said, "Let's go win some Majors." And there was an "s" there, you know? So, one was not enough. There's that insane confidence in him. "Let's go win some Majors." [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 1: Welcome onstage OG. JOHAN:Going into Boston Major with this new roster, we felt really good. We felt really confident. SEBASTIEN:But even then, the rebuilding from a two-man roster and you're going to have to prove it, just like you're nobody. MALE INTERVIEWER 3:How are you feeling about this tournament? I think there's no team here that can beat us in a best of five. The Fly and N0tail brothers have been kind of holding hands through it all, but I mean, the team has undergone some real shuffles. MALE INTERVIEWER 3:JerAx, he's an interesting character. Can you hold a conversation with him? JOHAN:JerAx, he would dictate the tempo of the game. He's like a dog that's chasing a ball, but you can't really see the ball. You're just trying to run after the dog who is running after the ball. ANNOUNCER 23: Gets kicked back by JerAx. My position, it's more of like a roaming type. Mostly, I'm just moving around the map and disabling enemies. ANNOUNCER 23:Looking to kill off the Rubik spies and he's going to be able to do it. And it's very crucial that I'm left to do my thing. ANNOUNCER 2: He's sitting there saying, "Let me do my own thing." And they're seeing the results. Who's to stop him? ANNOUNCER 23: Cornered again by JerAx, jumps forward with the boulder smash. OG. No joke, they've won three Majors. It's an incredible thing. JOHAN:Boston Major was the third Major we won. The roster had changed, but the one thing that was consistent was me and Tal. It felt like nothing could stop us. SEBASTIEN:This team, this roster felt so, so good. JerAx, we knew how good he was as a player, right? Ana was the opposite. Ana had incredible potential, flashes of brilliance, but Kiev, Kiev made him a different player. ANNOUNCER 24:Welcome to the Kiev Major, the last Major before we head to The International of 2017. [CROWD CHEERING] JOHAN:Kiev Major for Ana, it showed like, what kind of a player he is. ANNOUNCER 2:It's committed and Ana feels it's the opportunity. JOHAN:He doesn't really think of the things that can go bad. He thinks about what he can do and then he goes for it. No hesitation. I'm just going to run in and fuck with them, you know. That is the best way to play and Ana, he had it inside of him. ANNOUNCER 2: Ana with a double kill! I think joining OG was the best day of my life. JOHAN: Ah! ANATHAN: [LAUGHING] The fact that I was given a chance. ANNOUNCER 2:This could be the enchilada right now! Ana focusing on the racks... ANATHAN:Before Kiev Major, I didn't know if I was up to the challenge. ANNOUNCER 2:But they just don't have the damage to repel OG. OG will be claimed, four-time Dota 2 Major winners, here in Kiev. JESSE:Kiev Major, it was really a shock when we won. I always thought VP was a really, really good team. Taking a win from them, you really want to celebrate. FEMALE INTERVIEWER 3:At the Boston Major, N0tail said, "Nobody can beat OG in a best of five." Three was incredible. Four, I think, I mean, it's even more so. ANNOUNCER 2: What comes after legend? TAL:We just hit like, a stride where we really found what's good for us. [CROWD CHEERING] SEBASTIEN:When the highest level of Dota is played, when every little detail is thought through, it's something that is beautiful in the sense that I've never found this in anything else in my life. JESSE:Kiev Major, we found our strengths and, Sébastien really brought us together as a team. He's like one of the players and he deserves the moment to celebrate with us. [ALL CHEERING] OWEN DAVIES:So at this point, OG with N0tail and Fly, four Majors, it's an achievement that I don't think we'll ever see anyone be able to reach again in the world of Dota 2. JOHAN:I did feel like a big sense of achievement, you know, "Wow, four tournaments." A lot of people were telling me nobody has done this before. This is way better than winning a TI. This to me wasn't really the truth. I always looked at TI as being worth more than anything. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] WOMEN IN COSTUMES: Welcome to The International. ANNOUNCER 26: The International Seven. Nearly 24 million dollar prize pool with for the first time, eight figures for first place. Ten million goes to the winner. JORIEN: OG was already writing history with winning four Majors at that point. Next up, The International. SEBASTIEN:Going into TI7, we knew that we were good enough to perform really well at that tournament. [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 27: There we go! OG taking on LGD. A lot of eyes are on them, of course. Yet, we didn't have the results we expected. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 28:They're going to bring them down! Chewing through Ana. LGD outlasting OG here. We just didn't adapt well enough. We didn't play well enough. ANNOUNCER 28: LGD they do it again. Three deaths for Ana early in this middle wave. You know, from a Dota 2 point of view, it was catastrophic. ANNOUNCER 28:And N0tail's next. No buybacks on three. The end is nigh. ANNOUNCER 29:GG ANNOUNCER 28:LGD slay the beast! They move on. SEBASTIEN: We got completely outplayed and just dumpstered by a better team. [CROWD CHEERING] SPECTATORS: LGD! LGD! LGD! LGD! ANNOUNCER 28: It's a bitter pill to swallow for OG, for their fans, four-time Major champions, but it's just something about TI that OG just can't seem to get it together. It sucked. It really sucked to lose another one. It sucks, you know? It sucks to lose. Everybody knows that. MALE INTERVIEWER 4: Thank you, Fly. I appreciate you taking the time. KEVIN:Fly and N0tail, they have all these incredible accomplishments, but the capstone for every player is winning TI. And for OG, another TI unsuccessful. It's really shitty to say, but you got to win TI. AUSTIN:As Dota got bigger, The International got bigger. The prize money got bigger. The stakes got higher and as the stakes got higher, the pressure intensified on OG in every single way. And they simply weren't stepping up to it. OWEN DAVIES:Fans started to question what is it about OG that seems to stop them from being able to have success at an International? I mean, I don't know. I, to be honest, I don't know what makes you able to come into TI as a favorite and then still win. I-I think it's incredibly hard. What is it that we're doing wrong? Why is it that we're not able to become the team that can win this title? So, yeah, I mean, to be honest, I don't know. JESSE:There was problems of like, being too emotional in the games. We were kind of like, shattered, I would say. JOHAN:You can only take so much, right? Like, every time you go for TI and every time you lose, every punch feels different. After TI7, there was a bit of fatigue, especially in Ana. SEBASTIEN:People can get really, really harsh, even towards a 17-year-old boy that is thousands of miles away from home. And it happens very often in Dota and that's what it was with Ana, I mean, he was getting a lot of flack. A lot of players, they just break because of it. ANATHAN:I think I was quite weak mentally. I was just like, young and, I mean, after TI7, I would hear about what the haters would say and, it affected me. JOHAN:If I had to go through what he had gone through at the age of 17, I think I would've crumbled way before he did. SEBASTIEN: Everyone's talented in the game, but not everybody has a good mindset. You have to be strong. If you want to be the absolute best, you have to be mentally stronger than everyone else. It's so easy for people to just crumble when they start losing. ANATHAN: It's just one tournament, but you screw it up once and like, it's gone. It's a lot of pressure and I didn't really enjoy that pressure. JOHAN:After TI7, Ana, he wasn't ready to keep going. MAN 3:Time to get into our draw very shortly for game number two for OG... After TI7, after they lose Ana, OG, they just, they seem lost. MAN 4:Fly, though, is going to stay calm and collected. He's been in this... KEVIN:They found this player, Resolution. He'd been playing amazing at TI7, so OG, they grabbed him, they threw him in their team, but then for the rest of the year they played utterly mediocre. MAN 6:There's the GG, good luck cord by Fly... JORIEN: They fall flat in qualifiers. They fall flat in tournaments. KEVIN:Ever since then OG has not been consistent. They're just not having any success. Over time, because they won so much and were so dominant, it's only natural that watching OG flounder a little bit, definitely, was enjoyable for some people. MAN 7:Not much you can say about OG, really. They got dominated in the second game. MAN 8:It was definitely a tough game to watch. MAN 7: Yeah. Very tough indeed. JESSE:When you lose a lot, you also lose trust. Things get hectic. And you can have a conversation and then suddenly it's an argument and suddenly the argument makes distrust. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] JOHAN:Sometimes bad weeks can turn into bad months, and by the time we got to Birmingham, it was definitely a downward spiral. ANNOUNCER 29:Raise the roof here in Birmingham. It's OG! [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 30:This N0tail-Fly duo, 905 career wins. You know the next closest is over 200 behind. JOHAN:I felt that something was in the air. On the side of OG, you've got S4... JOHAN:Gustav and Tal, they were talking more with each other, talking about some of the problems we were having in the team. The team was starting to be a bit dysfunctional. ANNOUNCER 31: On the road to title, N0tail jumps in trying to kill him, but he just... JOHAN:Evidence is there, nobody really wants to acknowledge it. But some kind of outside pressure definitely got in. ANNOUNCER 31: And OG, this is the last hurrah. [CROWD CHEERING] JOHAN:Birmingham. We flunked out. MAN 9:All of a sudden, OG just falling apart there. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] We lose, and then we go back to the hotel. JOHAN:It's raining. It's thunder outside. It's like electricity is in the air. And, well, we just got called into a room and I learned that two players are leaving, and one of them is my best friend. Tal and S4, they're going to EG. JORIEN:S4 leaving? Sure, I could understand that. But Fly? Leaving OG? He's not just the captain, he owns part of the team. His girlfriend is the manager of the team. It would tear the team apart if he would leave. It was a huge shock, like, we for sure didn't see it coming. JOHAN:Not much was said. I think max three sentences were spoken in that room. Then they left. We spent eight years together and now it's over. That was how that happened. JESSE:Tal leaving is a captain leaving. He was always there for you when you needed, so you don't expect it at all. SEBASTIEN:I just trusted him, as simple as that. I just trusted him. He was the captain. That means something. At least to us. JOHAN:I always thought me and Tal, something so strong, how can it break? This was probably the shittiest moment ever. SEBASTIEN:The second he learned that Fly was leaving, his face changed. -It was like, you know? CHARLIE DEBS: Yeah. SEBASTIEN: He started surviving. You know what I mean? Like, it's like the face of a guy that is like, surviving. [SOMBER MUSIC CONTINUES PLAYING] Dota has given me so much. When I'm really sad or when things aren't looking so good, I just join a Dota game with all the rest and it's all back to that, just playing the Dota game. It is done in the wrong way, you know? Like, without the respect that you deserve as a friend. SEBASTIEN:We just all were staring at each other and it was like, "Okay, guys. What's next?" And then obviously what would have been next is Jesse goes to Finland and I go to France. Johan goes to Denmark and we just like, grieve what happened. JOHAN:It was almost as if each of us were looking at the other waiting for that person to crack and say, "I can't. I'm out. I'm going home." Either one of us could have probably just ended it all right then and there and it would have brought the other two with them, but we only had each other and we were there for each other. SEBASTIEN: I was like, "Hey, guys. I think it's a really bad idea that we go our separate ways. I think you guys should come to Paris. You know, I don't really know what we're going to do there, but we're just going to be together for each other and we're going to talk about what we should do." JOHAN:I always believed that the hardest choices in life are the right ones. The ones that are easy are usually the wrong ones. And in this case, there was only one right choice and it was the hardest one by far. It was to rebuild. So forming a team three months before TI and having a shot at winning TI? No, not happening. For TI8, we were going to have to take risks. We needed soldiers, we needed people that were ready to listen and ready to play. Three months left till The International. If somebody was good enough to be on a team, they were already on a team. SEBASTIEN: So I scout players a lot online. I spend a lot of time playing pubs and there was this guy. I get frustrated when I get outplayed, you know, and when I get outplayed it usually means that the guy's pretty good at the game. MAN 11:I'm going to focus on up and coming talent who, in the future, will have maybe some more spotlight. And I remember being really frustrated playing against him, so as soon as we got a spot, I definitely thought of the guy but the majority was like, "Who the hell is Topson?" Yeah, we might be able to call him and find out for ourselves. Topson, you there? Topson, I learned quickly that he was, well, similar to other Scandinavians, maybe a bit more reserved. I mean, everybody's good at something and for me, it's playing Dota. MAN 11:How many pubs do you play on average a day? It's around ten to 15, like that. Fifteen is pretty hard core. I'm going to give you this. Playing games with your friends is very different from playing in a competitive environment. SEBASTIEN:It's a risk, but that guy was like extremely underrated and he was, as far as I was concerned, one of the best players outside of the pro scene. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] The next logical choice for us was Ana. JOHAN:Ana hadn't played for a long time. We knew Ana though. We knew how powerful he was as a player. JORIEN:Ana coming back, I mean, people at that point were like, "Probably the last person still available. Sure, why not?" ANATHAN:After TI7, I felt really drained. I went back home and I just thought about, like, the year. Having a break, there was a lot of self-reflecting, like, I guess I grew up. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] AUSTIN:But, there was still one spot left to fill. This was, perhaps, the most interesting choice of all. JOHAN:The real question is: Why not Sébastien as a player instead of a coach? I'm happy when we achieve the highest level. That's the only thing that matters to me. If I have to coach then I'll be coaching. But Johan really wanted me to play. Sébastien is somebody that talks about the game and understands the game. I thought he was the best. It was a huge challenge, I mean, I had never played at that level. [UPBEAT MUSIC CONTINUES PLAYING] So, what can you say, can you guide us? No? And suddenly they like, needed a coach and I was like, "Okay, man." SEBASTIEN:It's not like that. I trust him, and then we needed a manager. I hate being the camera guy. JOHAN:I mean, I considered them all my brothers, but here we had a literal brother of Sébastien. Charlie was there for us. The idea for me was help them as much as I can. JOHAN:Our boat caught fire during Birmingham, the ship was sinking, everything was shit, like we probably had half a ship, but we managed to save it somehow. And made it into the most beautiful ship ever and, yeah, I had to be the captain. JORIEN:So, new team, and coming into TI8 they did not get a direct invite. There was only one route for them, open qualifiers. AUSTIN:In 2018, there were over 5,000 teams competing from home for just ten open spots at TI8. Anybody can play in these and it's do-or-die matches. CHARLIE DEBS: How's the house? -It's pretty good. Open qualifiers can be incredibly brutal. SEBASTIEN: You have to play a lot of games. It's a whole different challenge. It's about staying focused and it's about looking at every game one by one. But, uh, at the end of the day our understanding of the game was ahead of these teams. OG, they make it through the open qualifiers, make it through the regional qualifiers. But they still might not even get to play on the main stage. JORIEN:Eighteen teams from across the world make it to TI8 and of those 18 teams, only 16 will play on the main stage. ANNOUNCER 32: Even this fight here, they over dive on the enchantress. They throw a lot... SEBASTIEN:The group stage started off not very good for us. MAN 12:OG! What did you expect out of that? SEBASTIEN: We went one win, five losses. We were almost bottom of the group. It forced us to start reflecting. We had a long talk as a group. The thing that often happens is, you learn a lot about your opponent, but if you forget who you are along the way, you're going to lose no matter what. We decided we are ourselves when we're together, win or lose, we do it together. ANNOUNCER 33: Tornado comes out and that's enough to finish Mount... Ceb get the marauder as well and that's it! GG is the call! SEBASTIEN:Started winning pretty much every single series. ANNOUNCER 33: GG called yet again. OG, doing it big here in the group stages. SEBASTIEN: From the bottom of the group, we made it all the way to the upper brackets. OG going to the main stage. It's good to be back. JOHAN:TI main stage. We wanted so bad to just wake up and play those games. Regardless of the result, we just wanted to play those games. [CALM MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 34: The opening ceremony! I'm going to get goose bumps! ANNOUNCER 35: Every TI, I'm like, "Oh, yeah, it's another TI." And then I get here I'm like, "It's as magical as ever." ANNOUNCER 34: It is, isn't it? ANNOUNCER 2: We've got six days with the best Dota 2 teams in the world, 25 million dollars in total, the top team taking away 11 million of that. The largest esport prize pool in history. [CROWD CHEERING] For the fans. Without you, guys, none of this is possible. Can we hear from the fans, please! [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 1: The moment is once again at hand for the chance to wage battle on the world's biggest stage! Please, give a warm welcome to the finest Dota teams in the world. Veterans and newcomers alike. ANNOUNCER 2: The third iteration of OG. ANNOUNCER 1: Old rivalries rekindled. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 1: Capture the fire and the glory. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] The battle begins! [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 36:We start with the explosive VGJ.Storm coming in against OG. ANNOUNCER 37:VGJ.Storm, they've had a fantastic season. They have to be the favorites here. ANNOUNCER 37:There's a lot more pressure on OG right now. ANNOUNCER 36: Ana's got some experience here. And obviously Ceb's got a ton of experience, as has N0tail and JerAx as well, but what about Topson in there? What's going through his mind right now? First TI, big, big stage. SEBASTIEN:Going to TI main stage for the first time, it's a different pressure. This Topson story has got me just tingling. It's so ridiculous. He's got 3K in his bank account and he's stepping into TI, playing for 11 million. It's just absurd. TOPIAS:You see all the Dota players, the biggest fans, just gather for this one event that you, yourself, have been watching for all the years and now you're actually right there in the middle of it. It's unreal. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] JOHAN:His first international tournament on a high level, I can't put myself in his shoes. I have no idea what that must feel like. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 39: They got to be careful. There's a lot of damage coming in with the hurled boulders. First game was really rough. ANNOUNCER 39: Ana now on the run trying to get the heck out of here, but they are isolated. They are killed. We played from behind almost the entire game. ANNOUNCER 39:To stay away from the damage coming out... SEBASTIEN:But it ended up the fighting spirit of everybody on the team was like, through the roof. Ana, specifically, the way he played, he showed an immense amount of confidence. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] He went for like, really big plays knowing that we got his back. And I realize, that guy, that guy's feeling great. ANNOUNCER 39: You can start to feel something building here for OG. KEVIN:The previous year at TI7, it seemed like Ana, he was the one that was playing inconsistently, not doing well, getting the most heat from the public. And now all of a sudden, people started looking back and being like, "Maybe Ana was the magic to their team." ANNOUNCER 39: Ana taking the tier three tower, now moving on to the other barracks. How quickly things change. ANATHAN:I was playing my best. [CHUCKLES] [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] SEBASTIEN:We all got a lot of momentum from that first game against VGJ. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] Best placement that that organization has ever had at The International. Can you believe it? SEBASTIEN:And game two was pretty much us riding the momentum, and then just like not giving them a chance. ANNOUNCER 39: OG on in the upper bracket. ANNOUNCER 5: Unbelievable performance for a team that feels like they just formed. Showing up here on the main stage and taking down VGJ.STORM that's looked like one of the best teams in the tournament. ANNOUNCER 39:Looking at OG and how they played today, do you think that momentum is going to carry on? ANNOUNCER 4: It's definitely possible. But the next round is going to be very, very tough for them. Destiny had it in for us. It just... it had to happen. What are your thoughts on facing OG and some of your old pals? And it did happen. Obviously, there's been some history there. So, I'm just going to focus on the game. Doesn't matter who I play. [CROWD CHEERING] I treat it the same way. ANNOUNCER 2:The chase for the Aegis of Champions continues here in Vancouver. Welcome back to day number three. The ultimate semifinal upper bracket between two teams who know each other far too well for their own good. OG versus EG. I love me some spicy stuff and OG versus EG is probably the spiciest match of the entire TI. ANNOUNCER 2:Yeah. It's nothing to do with the players and I'm sure they'll be perfect gentlemen and they'll be sportsmen-like. The hype around the EG-OG match was incredible, you know, a classic sports story. The grudge match. The rivalry. It's a rivalry, right? It's a bit of drama. ANNOUNCER 4:There's some stuff to talk about there. ANNOUNCER 39:Some stuff? I mean, there's a lot of things to talk about there. ANNOUNCER 2: There's no more iconic duo in the history of Dota 2 than N0tail and Fly as a player combo, and to see them break up... OG, they're the ones who kind of got left on their own to scramble to find these last minute replacements. They bring in Ana, they bring in Topson. They just had their leadership leave the team. They're motivated to get some revenge. FEMALE INTERVIEWER 4: Why did you leave OG? The team hasn't worked for a long time. I felt like this is really a team I could win with as opposed to the previous team where I felt like we kind of hit a dead end. And yeah, I want to win, and I want to do it with teammates I believe in. JOHAN:When Tal says that he didn't believe in the team anymore and that it wasn't going to work, I know for a fact there was more to it than just that, and let's just leave it at that. SEBASTIEN:No matter what I think about them and what they have done to me, I'm just looking at the Dota part and they were playing incredibly well and they were a very scary team to go against. ANNOUNCER 40: I think it's fair to say that EG are the favorites going into this They looked super good in the group stage. They looked really convincing in their first upper bracket match. EG is one of the absolute strongest teams here. GORDON:EG was highly favored, but it depends on what you favor, right? I think a lot of people's heart was with the story of OG, even if their minds were with EG. ANNOUNCER 1: OG versus Evil Geniuses. SEBASTIEN:But again, against EG, the upper bracket semifinal, our strategy was to force them to pick heroes that they weren't used to playing. I didn't want them to live in their comfort zone at all. I wanted to force them to just think on the spot. ANNOUNCER 41:With the traditional set up for the kill, nice micro there from N0tail as to be expected. What really stands out was specifically Topson, I mean, he has to play against Sumail. Sumail is definitely very confident in himself. Sumail, what's your motivation? -Money. -Money? Yeah. Definitely. He did win TI when he was 16. He's had these long periods where he was genuinely the best player in the game and everybody knew it. I'm the best at it, but I can also make money out of it. So, it's just a bonus. And Topson was gonna have to play against that guy, right? It should be a really rough game for Topson. ANNOUNCER 42: Oh! Sumail outplays Topson. But he didn't get affected by it at all. He actually played extremely well. ANNOUNCER 42: S4 getting solo killed there by Topson. And now looking to Fly, Topson finds the double kill and... He went on and just like, destroyed the game. ANNOUNCER 42: Tornado, Topson he's back, Topson with the save! He was moving straight up alone. ANNOUNCER 42:Capture the black hole to the corner for Topson, straight up to the line and he takes him out. He didn't have to say much. There was always somebody dead from the enemy team. ANNOUNCER 42:Might as well, GG is called and game won. I let my playing do the talking. ANNOUNCER 43: Topson definitely coming out strong on that invoker. [CROWD CHEERING] JOHAN: I think we did a pretty good job of winning in a good way. Winning in a way that also damaged their mentality. ANNOUNCER 42:In a serious way, I think a lot of people expected to see something quite fantastic from EG. OG absolutely crushed it, 32 minutes in, 18K, the pressure, the speed that they could play at, it just never got to a point where Sumail or Arteezy could really offer much in the fight. They were always playing from behind because of how well OG kept the pressure up. ANNOUNCER 44:Yup. Pretty much. OG currently leads 1-0 in this best of three to try to remain in a secure top three spot. ANNOUNCER 1:Game two. ANNOUNCER 44: Can they keep it up in game two? [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] Game two, we got off to a good start. ANNOUNCER 44:Sumail, trying to back away. There's N0tail, he gets the kill. [CROWD CHEERING] Sixteen minutes in or something it's like we're stomping them. ANNOUNCER 44:Ceb, he's ready for round two. The question is, are Evil Geniuses? JOHAN: Game two was a pretty good game if you look at the first 20 minutes. And then it stopped being good. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] SEBASTIEN:The fact that we beat them once just means that they're as dangerous as a wounded wild beast, you know? Like, it's going to try to kill you as soon as it gets the chance. ANNOUNCER 44:Topson on top, charge out straight away to get the go-through as well. The shards will come down to hold Sumail back, but it's not enough to save Topson. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] We let our guard down. ANNOUNCER 44: The Ancient exposed, GG is called and EG... ANNOUNCER 45:What a comeback! ANNOUNCER 44:...take the series to a game three. I'm kind of worried for OG for the third game. ANNOUNCER 47:Can they win? SEBASTIEN: They were better game two. They just outclassed us in every single aspect of the game. ANNOUNCER 48:I'm expecting some much bigger plays from Sumail. ANNOUNCER 44: With how strong they started, it just all shattered. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 44: This game determines which team gets to secure a top three spot here at The International. SEBASTIEN:Game three, from the very beginning they were in charge. ANNOUNCER 44: Starting to get messy now for OG, it was a 3K lead, now for EG. SEBASTIEN:EG was a lot about controlling the map. It's a very structured and thought through play style. It's really good though. So, it's really hard to get out of it, like we're talking, we were just trying to survive that game. ANNOUNCER 44: Pressure is hard felt by Sumail! Topson is dead. You need the five players to be aware of what they're doing in order to break it, right? This time, Topson didn't carry us. ANNOUNCER 44:Take it down inside to Sumail again. Double kill. JOHAN:I think Sumail got really angry after that first game. ANNOUNCER 44:Sumail comes in for the triple kill! Sumail another ultra-kill. Back-to-back ultra-kills for Sumail. Back for round two, they have lost Fly, EG. At that point, the game had spun out of control. ANNOUNCER 44:Sumail into the combo finds himself N0tail. OG they just have to get themselves the hell out of here. ANNOUNCER 44: They cannot stand anyway. JOHAN: They had us in a chokehold. But we somehow escaped this chokehold. ANNOUNCER 44: Can they get it anymore? [CROWD CHEERING] We clawed our way back. ANNOUNCER 44:Absolutely doing it the buybacks there from OG. We ended up forcing them to play a game they did not want to play. And they started slowly, slowly playing into our hands, which ended up turning the tide completely. ANNOUNCER 44: Ana still alive, put down Sumail, double kill for Ana. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] It's OG looking to close things up. Going to the Ancient. OG wins the series 2-1! JOHAN:I remember hitting my keyboard so hard that the keys fell off. ANNOUNCER 44:...OG moving one step closer to The Aegis. SEBASTIEN:I mean, Johan had the look I've seen him have... you could tell, it was about what had happened. I felt extremely angry. I felt really happy. I felt really sad. I felt like I wasn't really in control of anything. It was just everything coming back to me. The whole Birmingham situation, what the feeling was in the room when we got the news, how things were handled. Everything just came back to me after we won. ANNOUNCER 44: OG against all odds were able to bring this game back around. ANNOUNCER 49:What unbelievable comebacks we had. JOHAN:Shaking his hand being the winner, it was very gratifying. ANNOUNCER 49: OG with the fortitude to stick through it after... ANNOUNCER 44:Whoa! Oh, the look there from N0tail. Revenge and anger, it's not the healthiest emotions. But right after we walked off stage, Sébastien snapped me out of it. SEBASTIEN:These guys didn't believe in you. They thought you were not worth their time and now not only you proved them wrong, it's like you're better than them. FEMALE INTERVIEWER 5:OG came into TI as the underdogs. You are now guaranteed top three. SEBASTIEN:Sounds like a dream. Or like it doesn't sound like reality. We have faced so many failures in the past, that we're not ashamed of. We're proud of them. That's what made us. ANNOUNCER 2: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the penultimate day. We have just five teams remaining. By the end of today, we will know who the grand finalists will be. Let's welcome team OG! Making it to the upper bracket finals, they are ready the face their opponent, PSG.LGD. LGD had had very impressive recent tournament results. ANNOUNCER 4:LGD's round of the last few tournaments, they've won two Majors very close to the end of the season. ANNOUNCER 2: I'm on the LGD hype train. My bracket says LGD. It said LGD from the beginning of the very tournament. JORIEN:Their squad was the Chinese Chosen One. They looked strong. They had a good strategy. They had their star player. They had all the ingredients to win at TI. Most analysts thought this team, there was no chance for OG. ANNOUNCER 4:We have the top teams in the Dota scene. And OG, which is maybe the surprise. ANNOUNCER 3:What do we think about OG making it this far? They weren't even the same team a couple months ago. ANNOUNCER 4: OG have had such a miracle run. I mean, it is. It's an absolute remarkable run. You know, even if they don't end up doing so great at the end of it all, they defeated their nemesis already, right? SEBASTIEN: Game one against LGD, it's like, we have been looking at them destroy other teams and now we have to play against them. A lot of LGD fans. Are they still around? [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 50: Hearing the roar from the crowd every time LGD is mentioned has to put a little bit of intimidation onto OG. These guys were here to win the tournament. But we're so passionate about the game that once the game starts, we just dive into the game. ANNOUNCER 51: Ceb is just all by himself able to tank through everything. There's no LGD, there's no OG, there's no TI. It's just about the game that is in front of you and you have to win it. ANNOUNCER 51: That's double kill to OG. SEBASTIEN: Now we're spamming in Chinese instead of spamming in English. We're feeling great. We think it's really funny and we're having fun. ANNOUNCER 51: Unstoppable Enchantress. SEBASTIEN: We were in control of the game. ANNOUNCER 51: They just eliminate Ame. ANNOUNCER 52:So OG defeating one of LGD's best strategies in game number one. DAVID:When you're an underdog, that can really help you to play more freely and be more successful. But if you start thinking about winning, that's where you run into trouble. ANNOUNCER 51: This game should be over. There's too many heroes down. Topson and - Ceb! SEBASTIEN:They're a great team and we knew that. We knew they were here to crush us if they could. ANNOUNCER 51:A triple kill sends LGD into a deciding game against OG! Game two's done, and they won it. But you just like set your focus on what matters, what's in front of you, and that's game three. ANNOUNCER 1:Game three! [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] [CROWD CHEERING] So, they're tied 1-1. If OG can win this game three, they are in the Grand Finals. JOHAN:Game three versus LGD. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] They're making good moves. They're picking us off. ANNOUNCER 51: And the pressure will continue. SEBASTIEN:Game three... ANNOUNCER 51:It's going from bad to worse for him. I remember we were just getting slaughtered. They're just opening us right, left and center. ANNOUNCER 51:N0tail under the tower. And FY can do no wrong. JOHAN: LGD they have a good opening to actually pull us out of the game but they go for the throne. ANNOUNCER 51:LGD want this now! JOHAN:They basically try to win right then and there and that was a big mistake. They weren't patient. They couldn't wait. SEBASTIEN:Like, "Oh, this is ours for sure. Let's just grab it." But it wasn't the time to grab it. There's no way this is going to work. And we started to counter their play. ANNOUNCER 51:There's the slash! There's the duck, JerAx! This guy's an NBA all-star! Topson is there. They push forward. They gather control. LGD with four heroes who do not have buyback! OG, they are going to push. Topson, he showed up in a huge way. ANNOUNCER 51:Topson and JerAx start coming through the mid. Topson was talking about how his hands were shaking like, the amount of adrenaline. TOPIAS:Tried to focus on clicking the Ancient. The Ancient, the Ancient... ANNOUNCER 51:LGD! My, how the tables have turned! KEVIN:A few months before, Topson was sitting at home a very unknown, unproven pub player. And now he's dominating the winner bracket at TI. ANNOUNCER 51: LGD has nothing left! TOPIAS:I just felt so powerful in that moment. It was a really great feeling. ANNOUNCER 53: Call it the craziest game in the whole tournament that we've had so far. ANNOUNCER 51: OG, they have reached their first TI Grand Final. Holy shit! You're going to the Grand Final. A year ago right now if someone had told you that you would be playing in the Grand Final of TI8, would you have believed them? No. No. No way. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 2: Ladies and gentlemen, our final day is upon us. I can feel the excitement inside the arena. SEBASTIEN:We're gonna play the TI Grand Finals. I'll be a player in the TI Grand Finals. That's just, that sounded unreal. JOHAN: It's been a lifelong dream for me to get to the finals of TI. I've always wanted to just get there. We were so excited to play those finals. ALL: OG! OG! OG! OG! ANNOUNCER 54: The Grand Finals of TI8. We kick it off with OG battling all the way through the upper bracket defying all odds and all predictions. SEBASTIEN:The bad guy dies at the end of the movie, you think it's the end, but it's not. ANNOUNCER 54: And it's none other than a rematch against PSG.LGD. [CROWD CHEERING] LGD had to fight their way back to the top bracket. LGD ended up battling through Evil Geniuses. ANNOUNCER 54: LGD smelled blood. EG trying to stem the bleeding. PSG.LGD are moving on to the Grand Finals. They crush EG 2-0. [CROWD CHEERING] Shout out to LGD for playing such a good game. Good luck to you, guys. JOHAN:LGD, they were not done. They were coming. They were coming for more. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER 1:PSG.LGD! KEVIN:OG was able to beat LGD in a close best of three, but when you have to rematch again in a best of five, everything goes out the window. ANNOUNCER 5: Most likely outcome for me is probably LGD winning by three to one. Going up against LGD again in a best of five, there's some of the doubters online would've still said, "OG, this lineup cannot win a best of five. They cannot win a Grand Finals." ANNOUNCER 5: It almost feels like we're looking at a matchup of heart and then closer to machine perfection on LGD, right? And I mean, LGD had to carry that pressure and pride for the whole Chinese scene. There's been one reoccurring theme for every International and it's been the East versus West. West won the first, East won the second. And ever since then, it's been taking turns. We had it in the back of our heads, we heard it around us, because people talk about it. We're a Chinese team in an even year and it's the eighth year, by the way, which is very lucky in China. MAN 13:And then I was like, "Do you think this year is Chinese year?" And Johan, he was like, "No, don't think like that." And I was like, "Come on, man. Ana is a little bit Chinese." [LAUGHS] JOHAN: We were fine either way. If the curse was real, then it's on our side, you know? ANNOUNCER 55: On the control. JerAx straight in. Everybody's too late. Somnus finds no time... KEVIN: Going into the Grand Finals, OG is comfortable with their strategy. They know that their best hero is Ana's Spectre and they're able to dominate LGD again in game one with that hero. It was like one of the really bloodbath kind of games where both the teams really want to fight, but there was just no way they could fight us in this game. ANNOUNCER 55:OG! The first game lineup, it was amazing. Woo! ANNOUNCER 56: What teamwork by OG. Every little thing coming together. OG one game up at the start of this best of five ANNOUNCER 57:LGD coming in looking so much more dominant. ANNOUNCER 58:Oh, my God! The fact that we beat them once, doesn't mean it's going to get easier. JOHAN:We never got our foot in this game. ANNOUNCER 2:...there in third, Ceb's trying to get out of it, but he's not going to make it. ANNOUNCER 59: They tried whatever they could to get some advantages in lane, but PSG.LGD just not letting a beat go. ANNOUNCER 2:It's just looking almost impossible for OG to come back into this game. SEBASTIEN: We tried our best, honestly. We really tried but we just couldn't. ANNOUNCER 60:PSG.LGD seems to have the momentum now. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 1:Game three! ANNOUNCER 61: 1-1 in a best of five for the Grand Finals here at TI8. JOHAN: Dota is a very complex game. Part of Dota is to try to anticipate what your opponent is going to do. I didn't think that they would have a really good plan. And a matter of fact, I still don't think that their plan should've worked, but it ended up working. ANNOUNCER 62:They'll get the Aegis out of his hands. They do lose. Again, the Aegis, can they get them a second time for the team? JOHAN:The things that should've worked for us, didn't work for us. It's Dota. Shit happens. Obviously, this is a rough loss. ANNOUNCER 62: 2-1 now for PSG.LGD. This series just heating up now. ANNOUNCER 4:I'd say a couple of OG players need to step it up. They're making those clutch mid to late game plays, but they can't, they need those individuals to step up, whether it's Ana, Topson. ANNOUNCER 63:They can play a lot better. We've seen it from OG. So, they're not out of this series. KEVIN:If you're in the biggest match of your life and you're down 2-1 and you're one game away from losing, you can't freak out, you can't play worse. Don't let the nerves get to you. JORIEN: Not everybody is able to deal with the amount of pressure. Everything is tested. But N0tail, he has the motivation. He has the drive. He has the experience. He knows what to do to get the best out of his squad. ANNOUNCER 63: Game number four, as PSG.LGD leads the series 2-1. When you're down 2-1 your back's really up against the wall, it's very easy to succumb to some kind of pressure. ANNOUNCER 64: LGD, they're warmed up, right? They're a team that wants it. The crowd, I think, is driving them on too. -You hear them. ANNOUNCER 65: Absolutely. ANNOUNCER 4:Every time LGD wins a fight, they're chanting. They're chanting LGD. They're chanting and shouting the lines and LGD's going to just make them look worse because of how amazing they are. JOHAN: You know, one more game of Dota, like, that was maybe going to be it, but we were going to enjoy it, you know? We went through shit together. Well, Chinese year, though. -Chinese year. -Yeah. Now it's time to see if the curse is real. OWEN DAVIES:OG now, one game away from losing in this Grand Final. JOHAN:It looked like we had no chances. It looked like we were going to lose. It looked really bad. OWEN DAVIES:OG, now, truly has to fight back. It's not just about the momentum anymore. They are behind. [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] You have to believe in your guts that it's not over. Because obviously, everything around you is telling you it's over. ANNOUNCER 66: That's twice in the series that xNova just comes out of nowhere. SEBASTIEN:The crowd is cheering against you, it keeps getting harder, you know, you lost one fight, two fights. ANNOUNCER 66: Still Ana holding onto that... SEBASTIEN:You feel like shit. You feel like it's impossible. OWEN DAVIES:Really want to force this to come back here. ANNOUNCER 66: It's now up to Topson. Stay focused, guys. OWEN DAVIES:Another tier three tower pulling incredibly hard. SEBASTIEN:You have to believe it's fate. Trust your teammates. OWEN DAVIES:There's the buyback, the cataclysm isn't enough to do anything... SEBASTIEN:Trust in your team, your ability to turn situations around. Get ready for the fight. [CROWD CHEERING] SEBASTIEN:And that very moment is the turning point. Don't break, that's when you pass the test. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] What Sébastien said in the game is like, "Don't worry, guys. I'm going to carry this game. I just need some time." This is my game, boys. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] JORIEN:Then you got ODPixel commentating the match. When you hear a guy that normally talks super fast just stop and shout one word "Ceb!" OWEN DAVIES:Ceb! He gets the call! I see Ceb making the play, I think about this beautiful French man and all I want to do is shout his name. Three dead now on LGD... Fight! SEBASTIEN:I got the chance to prove myself. ANNOUNCER 67:He hasn't played in a TI since TI2 and now he's back in the Grand Finals of all places. It's been such an incredible journey for him. When it really matters he came out strong and I'm really impressed by his performance. SEBASTIEN:Before this TI, I had almost given up as a player. When I met Johan and OG, it's just crazy, this changed my life. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING] JOHAN:If you're LGD and you watch that, like, you must be thinking that God's not on your side or something. OWEN DAVIES:OG, hitting the Ancient! Hitting the Ancient! OWEN DAVIES: We are going to a game five. ANNOUNCER 68:There we have it, OG coming up tying it up 2-2. ANNOUNCER 5: I'm just glad I'm still alive. That's all I can say after that game. My heart was actually really pounding during those last, I don't know, 20 minutes? That's probably the game of the tournament for me. Unbelievable how OG somehow seems to end up in every game of the tournament then they make the next one and the next one. This is, in and of itself, already a miracle story. I mean, this squad left in shatters and then they come back and now they're top two. I mean, the story could end here and it could be a fairytale. [CROWD CHEERING] [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] SEBASTIEN:We felt really hyped, like, "Guys, this is game five of the freaking TI Grand Final." JOHAN:It was just the energy that we had, like really good energy. The electricity was in the air, but there was nothing bad about it. SEBASTIEN: I think we're already probably there and you should be proud of yourselves. We earned five game, sorry, game four, so let's fucking enjoy it and do it together. Lose together, win together, slay together, slay together, and stay together. How crazy is it that we're going to get the chance to play that game. They're just super happy to play together and super happy to be on the stage and they just enjoy every game. MAN 15:Everyone's ready for another close match and OG opens up with a really unusual pick. JOHAN:Me and Sébastien started talking about the draft for the game five and like, favorite heroes of all time, signature heroes. What hero am I going to play to try to win TI? JOHAN:I was personally very confident on Prophet. PROPHET: I speak for the trees. JOHAN:JerAx, he was like, "I want Rubik." RUBIK: Rubik. SEBASTIEN:JerAx was feeling it. He was liking it. Sébastien, for a very long time has been Magnus. MAGNUS: Behold the horn of Magnus. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, I want to play Magnus. This is it. JOHAN: For Ana, it's always been Ember. EMBER: Ember Spirit. It was like a risky sort of pick, but yeah, I just felt it. JOHAN:And as for Topson, he ended up playing Zeus. ZEUS: Zeus. The priority was not to get what would have been perfect, the priority was to get what would make us happy and make us enjoy that game and play it as well as we could play it. We kind of YOLOed it in hindsight. ALL: Go, team! OWEN DAVIES:They've managed to obtain five heroes that all players are incredibly comfortable on, but at the same time, you shouldn't be able to win with these heroes. Can they really do the impossible and destroy LGD, the strongest team in China, when there's 25 million dollars on the line? [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] GAME CHARACTER: First blood. ANNOUNCER 71: PSG.LGD gets that first blood. SEBASTIEN: Whatever we try, they counter. Whatever we do, they anticipate. ANNOUNCER 71: Is N0tail also in trouble? SEBASTIEN:We give it our best but it's just not good enough. ANNOUNCER 71:He's turned up and he'll be able to take down Ana. Ana, kill after kill. It was a bit rough, I'll be honest. ANNOUNCER 71:JerAx, another casualty for OG, as... But we just played our hearts out. [CROWD CHEERING] Keep trying, we keep fighting. We keep feeding each other energy, confidence. ANNOUNCER 71: They're confident knowing Ceb, can sit there on the high ground ready for... SEBASTIEN: Suddenly JerAx turned... Go! Go! Go! Into like a whole different beast. He was screaming. No, this guy. No, this guy. Yo, yo, yo. SEBASTIEN: I've never heard him scream. JOHAN:If he had been a wild dog off a leash, he turned into like a racetrack dog that was going ham. ANNOUNCER 71: It's OG. They fight through. Guys! It was unreal. We're playing the TI Grand final. ANNOUNCER 71: He'll go down as well. JESSE: Guys. It was almost like we were playing drunk party pubs or something. It was crazy, man. ANNOUNCER 71:He chased him down, they get through tier one. JESSE: I think that was one of the most enjoyable games for me to play. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] Things can go so wrong and then still so right. ANNOUNCER 71:OG! OG! And they just crumbled. ANNOUNCER 71:They have done it. TOPIAS: Yeah! ANNOUNCER 71:The power of flowers and friendship. [CROWD CHEERING] Have done it here, ladies and gentlemen. Your grand champions of TI8. It's OG. Can you believe it? OG, a team tipped by some as... [SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING] [SCOFFS] [SNIFFS] [CHUCKLES] Unreal. That was freaking unreal. [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] Best moment of my life. Go get the Aegis. It's yours. [CROWD CHEERING] What we achieved together through something bigger than us is something that some people pursue for a lifetime and that thing will keep us going. Wherever that takes us. JESSE:I think we built something really great. I think all this needs is friendship and a little bit of care from everybody. JOHAN:We got way more than we could have ever asked for. [CROWD APPLAUDING] My family was there. That's one of the stars that aligned. It was the first time they came to see me play. ANNOUNCER 72: And somehow they did it. WOMAN 3:What an incredible run. All six of them. All six of them. [CALM MUSIC PLAYING] I was playing video games. It's very simple. [CROWD CHEERING] ANNOUNCER 72:And that's what it's for. That right there. This is OG's moment. [CROWD CONTINUES CHEERING]