Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen has joined Dota 2 squad T1 in their pursuit of a third TI title. That isn’t all. He’s brought Anathan “ana” Pham along with him. The two are standing in for the team.
While this roster change has not yet been officially registered on the DPC Registration portal, T1 has announced it via its official Twitter account. You can also watch Topson’s official announcement in Episode 34 of OG’s Monkey Business Show, which is embedded below:
As exciting as this news is for Topson and Ana fans everywhere, they’re in for a tough climb. When it comes to Dota 2 gameplay, SEA has some of the most aggressive teams. If they want to go to The International, they’ll have to beat out 14 other teams in the region.
Fortunately for T1, BOOM Esports and Fnatic have received direct invites to the tournament, reducing the number of teams to two. As previously stated, it will not be easy. Talon Esports and Team SMG are still present and should not be underestimated.
The good news is that Topson and Ana will have time to practice with the team. The Regional Qualifiers are set to take place on September 3. Furthermore, an update is scheduled to be released prior to the Qualifiers, indicating upcoming changes to the meta.
Of the two players, it’s safe to say that Topson will most likely make the adjustments faster. It’s because he’s been playing Dota 2 as a player again, albeit not competitively, in SEA. He’s familiar with the gameplay and may have even played in pubs with his new teammates.
Ana, on the other hand, is a different story. Prior to T1, he returned to competitive play as a stand-in for two different teams, with mixed results. He competed with Team Liquid at the Riyadh Masters, finishing 9th-10th. He was a member of Royal Never Give Up, which finished 9th-12th in the Arlington Major. Hopefully, he’ll be able to improve his performance with T1, particularly with Topson.