Posted 30th August 2018 By: Derpina
Esports News – The International 8 saw an unexpected turn of events this season. OG Esports, the underdog of Dota Pro Circuit series, won the finals and defeated the heavily favored teams along the way. With all the tough positions and obstacles they’ve conquered, it’s equally important to recognize the team’s MVP who contributed to the success of the team: Anathan ‘ana’ Pham.
You’ve probably never heard of Anathan before TI8, an 18-year-old rookie gamer from Australia who helped OG bag the biggest prize pool in esports history. He initially entered the world of competitive gaming in Australia but decided to play for Melbourne and Shanghai in 2015 to widen his connections and to continue his pursuit in becoming a professional Dota 2 player.
In Shanghai, Anathan joined the Chinese Dota Elite Community (CDEC) in-house league to compete against other highly-rated Chinese players. The opportunity to play for China forced him to drop out of high school and fully devote his time to Dota.
In the professional scene, Antahan took the first steps of his Dota 2 career by joining Invictus Gaming in March 2016 as a substitute player for Luo “Ferrari_430” Feichi. Under the team, his most notable accomplishment was defeating NewBee in the grand finals of National Electronic Arena (NEA) 2016. But shortly after The International 6, Anathan left Invictus Gaming to join the newly established team of OG Esports.
With his new team to support him in 2017, Anathan won his first ever tournament with OG at Elimination Mode Season 2 and later won his first ever Valve-sponsored premier event by beating Ad Finem 3-1 in the grand finals of The Boston Major.
OG’s momentum stayed consistent from 2017 and 2018, but it was still not enough to list them down as one of the heavy favorites. The team executed exemplary performances at Dota Pit League Season 5, StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3, and Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017. Anathan then had a chance take his second major at Kiev. But all in all, it was a rough series for everyone after staying low as the underdogs at The Manila Masters, EPICENTER 2017, and The International 7.
Anathan announced that he would be taking a break from the competitive scene after this series of failures. Fresh from the break, he later joined Echo International in early 2018 and returned to OG in early June where he finally bagged his MVP Award at The International 8.
The most notable characteristic of Anathan in the grand finals was his ability to stay alive at crucial times. Shockingly, he can cool down with just 132 health left and several damages over time. He buys back and respawns at the right time without giving up crucial opportunities. In the penultimate round, he managed to grab the bounty for a little extra gold and hit Doppleganger to buy his team an extra time before dying. According to analysts, this genuine problem-solving ability proves that Anathan is destined to be the MVP.
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