Dubbed the “Royal Return” by the team, SumaiL’s journey back to OG to replace the departing ana may be the star’s biggest challenge yet.
After less than a day of speculation, OG’s replacement for Anathan "ana" Pham has been revealed as none other than Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan. OG broke the news on the morning of June 15th, less than 24 hours after the announcement of ana’s departure.
History Repeats Itself
The move reminded many of the way that SumaiL was first introduced as a member of OG in 2020. In the wake of the Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka and Sébastien "Ceb" Debs announcing their retirements, SumaiL was revealed as the new carry for OG on January 28th, 2020. Ultimately, issues with the global pandemic would see SumaiL league the Dota 2 organisation just six months later.
SumaiL would resurface as a stand-in for Team Liquid in 2021. There, he helped TL secure their spot at the AniMajor as Samuel "Boxi" Svahn took time off to spend with his family. This temporary spot would end after the Major, leaving SumaiL teamless again. His return to OG ends a near year-long absence from that squad.
Over the years, SumaiL, the youngest ever player to win The International, has struggled to settle into a roster. Since his initial run with Evil Geniuses, he's not been a part of a team for more than six months. Despite his prodigy-level skill, alleged behind the scenes issues have seemingly prevented him from staying with one team. On OG, SumaiL looked to have found a home with like-minded individuals. Unfortunately, the pandemic meant he was unable to compete with his team and eventually parted ways.
With his return, OG now looks towards qualifying for TI10. OG, who’ve cast themselves once again as the embattled underdogs, have a steep road to follow. They’ll face the likes of Team Liquid, rivals Team Nigma, and squads like Brame and Tundra, who won’t be pushovers.
Ultimately, a heavy burden will fall on SumaiL as the primary carry of OG. For a team on the hunt for its third-consecutive TI title, nothing short of perfection will do.