OG Dota 2 continued its history of success this weekend, with a 3-1 victory over TSM in the grand final of ESL’s Stockholm major. The victory gave OG its fifth major title and the first major win for OG in over five years.
However, this major win was with a large number of new faces. Ammar “AMMAR_THE_F” Al-Assaf, Artem “Yuragi” Golubiev, and Bozhidar “bzm” Bogdanov were all upcoming new talent signed by OG, with bzm and ATF only 17 years old. The roster was rounded out by experienced player Tommy “Taiga” Le, and Sébastien “Ceb” Debs, who was standing in for captain Mikhail “Misha” Agatov.
TSM upset OG earlier in the tournament, knocking OG down to the lower bracket with a 2-0 performance. But, OG ran the entire lower bracket, winning 6 series in a row to take an unlikely win. OG dominated the competition in the lower bracket with a 13-2 record, only losing two games against six different opponents.
The win puts OG third in the Dota Pro Circuit Standings, with 1140 points. The only teams ahead of them are China’s PSG.LGD and NA’s TSM, as both teams have fared better in their regional leagues than OG.
STOCKHOLM MAJOR CHAMPIONS. pic.twitter.com/ArUCyg8xHe
— OG 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 (@OGesports) May 22, 2022
Ammar The MVP
Despite only being 17 years of age, ATF had an incredible performance throughout the Stockholm Major. The offlaner was a threat with any hero he played, and defined the style of play that other teams followed.
The key aspect of his play this tournament was his ability to play as a third core, rather than a tanky support. Ammar loves to build carry items on his heroes, allowing him to output just as much damage as his cores. While Ammar made sure to build items like blink dagger for teamfights, he always farmed enough gold to enable himself to carry games.
Ammar was such a threat to teams on his signature Timbersaw and Razor that both were constantly first-phase banned. This allowed OG to pick up signature picks like Ceb’s Windranger or Taiga’s Enigma to dominate their games.
Ammar played so well in their lower bracket run that all of TSM’s bans were against his heroes. But, even when most of his heroes were banned out, Ammar was still able to reach deep into his hero pool and carry games. In game 2 of the grand final, TSM banned five of Ammar’s heroes in the draft, but he still had a fantastic game on his Night Stalker.
All of OG has a very impressive showing in the grand final, but Ammar’s ability to draft and play at his level at a young age gives him a very bright future in OG.
The New Kings of NA
Coming in, TSM did not look like a team that could take it all. First, due to COVID-19 issues, they had to play with a stand-in mid laner, and move their current mid laner to offlane. Second, they were a second-seed team from North America, a region that has historically fallen to Europe and China’s best. Because of these factors, TSM were predicted by some to take an early exit.
But, TSM defied those expectations, and defeated three straight West-European teams to claim a grand final spot. With their 2nd place finish, the NA squad has earned $100,000 and 610 DPC points, securing them a spot at The International 11.
The team showed some potential at The International 10 as Team Undying, but fell out of the tournament early with a 13-16th finish. The entire roster stuck together and improved, and were picked up by TSM just before they won NA’s regional finals over Evil Geniuses.
Only three months later, the team has already made themselves a Tier 1 contender. With their second-place finish in a Major, it seems that TSM still haven’t reached their peak.
DOTA 2 STOCKHOLM MAJOR RUNNER-UPS.
From debuting as TSM FTX a mere three months ago to taking the second spot on a Major podium. We couldn't be prouder of our boys, congrats on the amazing run! pic.twitter.com/kB2RLgoVyC
— TSM FTX (@TSM) May 22, 2022
With the Major just finishing up this weekend, Tour 3 of the 2021/2022 DPC will start in a few weeks. The action will lead up to the second Major of the season, taking place in Arlington, Texas.