It happened. OG failed to qualify for the second Major of the Dota Pro Circuit, just as it failed to qualify for the first.
After failing to qualify for the Singapore Major, OG made a big roster change hoping to come back stronger in season 2. And for a while, their strategy seemed to have worked. The team started the tournament with an important victory against Brame. But then it quickly became obvious that something was not quite right. Alliance defeated them, Hellbear Smashers, the weakest team in the race, came close to upsetting them, and Tundra actually managed to beat them despite their best efforts to win.
What’s strange is the fact that OG defeated Team Secret in this tournament. But somehow, someway, still lost against much weaker teams like Liquid and Tundra.
The Bigger Risk
The bigger problem for OG is that they need to play a very unpleasant tiebreaker to avoid relegation. Their opponents will be Tundra and Brame, two teams that could easily beat them in a Bo1. Can you imagine? The two-time TI winners in the Lower Division. That would be an absolute disaster for OG.
Qualifying for The International 10
Now that they lost the chance to participate in the Major, OG will have to qualify for TI 10 by simply being the strongest team in Europe, apart from the competitors that will receive direct invites. And the situation looks dire, because both Nigma and Liquid are not yet in the top 12 and need to do well at the Major to get there. Nigma is ranked 19th while Liquid is ranked 14th. If they finish in the top 6, both of them are likely to make it. But if not, OG will have to win a very difficult qualifier.
It seems strange that a two-time TI winner may not have the opportunity to defend their Aegis of Champions. But in Dota 2, things like this happen all the time. Teams reach the top and then they fall back into mediocrity. Because the game changes and the competition is fierce.
Photo credit: Valve