OG has officially become the most successful Dota 2 team in the world thanks to their 2 consecutive The International victories. From being called fluke winners in 2018, they are now the best team in the world, arguably the strongest The International winners of all time.

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OG has won 2 Aegis of Champion

Here are a few things we can learn from them, as Esports athletes and as Dota 2 players:

1. Healing is power

The International 2019 saw a surge of healing heroes in the meta: Enchantress, IO, Abaddon, Alchemist, Chen, Omni, Juggernaut. OG was especially good with those heroes as their playstyle revolved around keeping all the members alive during team fights. The longer each member stayed, the stronger they could fight.

Overwhelming heal was the key to OG's victory in many matches

Moreover, healing heroes were exceptionally strong in the meta. Enchantress in the hand of Sébastien “Ceb”Debs would lay waste to the opponent’s safe lane while sustaining decent farm to become the tanky front. Chen and Abaddon under the control of Johan “N0tail” Sundstein would heal up and cover his core heroes to secure their laning resources.

Even if OG don’t add healing heroes to their draft, they will build healing items like Spirit Vessel, Mekanism, or Pipe Of Insight. They would want to make sure everyone could stay alive and casting, doing their best in team fights. Tanky front coupled with healing backline will ensure their success in team fights.

2. Everything can work

That is one great quote from Big Daddy N0tail when he was still early in his Dota 2 career. Dota 2 is beautiful for its versatility and unique combination. One hero can work wonder in some certain situations. Our job is to find the best place to put the hero to good use.

For example, when going against Fnatic in the group stage, OG last picked Earth Spirit for Topias Miikka “Topson” Taavitsainen. Against the strong lineup of Fnatic with lots of magic and physical burst, OG needed a strong midlaner who possessed both disable and durability. Earth Spirit was the perfect choice for that last pick and it worked out well.

Another outstanding meta OG discovered was with IO carry. In the match against NiP in the group stage, OG introduced the IO carry meta into the scene. IO was almost exclusively played as a dedicated support hero whose job was to tether with another core hero. However, OG built up a lineup around IO with outstanding healing and damage output with Aghanim’s Scepter. It worked miracles and yielded a 100% winrate for OG every time ana got the chance to play IO as a carry.

3. Confidence is the key

OG played The International 2019 with the same lineup as in 2018. They had built up a decent amount of trust with each other, forming a team of friendship. After all, Dota 2 is a game of teamwork and you need 100% confidence in your teammates to fully commit.

Moreover, OG tended to draft the best heroes in the hands of their players. For example, they always try to get the best carry hero for their superstar carry player, ana. With Ember Spirit, Slark, and IO in hand, ana did a great job of the carry role. OG also prioritized signature heroes for their midlaner Topson. With confidence, Topson has displayed an entirely different performance this year. He was pretty comfortable against the best mid players like Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan or Lu “Maybe” Yao.

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Topson has evolved well from Flopson in 2018 into Godson 2019

4. Predict the outcome, prepare for the worst

OG was always one step ahead of their opponents. They had always calculated everything before going into the match. After the draft phase, they planned well for their laning and mid game stage. Everyone knew their job and fulfilled their task just in time.

For example, in the last match against Team Liquid in the grand finals, OG picked IO as carry for ana. With the early advantage from Chen in the hand of Kuro Salehi “Kuroky” Takhasomi, Team Liquid quickly took down the Roshan at the minute 18 mark. They quickly tore down OG’s tier2 top tower and got ready for the high ground push. They sieged OG’s top tower at minute 20.

OG had already calculated everything and planned it beforehand to fight back. Ana’s IO went straight for the Helm of Dominator and Aghanim’s scepter. He finished it just right at minute mark 19. Ceb’s Timbersaw quickly went for Guardian Greave for extra healing against the Team Liquid’s siege.

The turning point of the match, OG crushed Team Liquid to win the series

One interesting thing about OG was the pickup item choice for Topson’s Gyrocopter. Diffusal Blade was somewhat an unconventional item for a hero like Gyrocopter. Yet he went straight for if after Drum of Endurance to burn mana off Amer “Miracle-“ Al-Barkawi ‘s BristleBack. That totally nullified the tanky front of Team Liquid as well as the main source of damage.

Without mana, Miracle couldn’t do anything much and eventually fell down under the sheer force of OG. The plan OG made worked perfectly. They won the last game against Team Liquid to become The International 2019 Champion.

5. A means to an end

OG has known this well more than any team in the world. In a match where resources are scarce, someone has to sacrifice themselves for the sake of others. Someone has to do the “dirty work” to make sure other people reach the target. In Dota 2, it is called “create space”.

N0tail was often the one who worked so hard to make sure his teammates can farm well. He often played hard support heroes and draw the opponent’s attention away while ana can farm safely. In the match against Fnatic where OG lost the lane desperately, N0tail had to run around to draw both Fnatic’s supports away while ana got some level and farm up to recover.

With both supports far away, the Timber player could not kill IO and let ana get free level with exp which was the key to OG ‘s comeback later into the game. N0tail played the role of a support, meaning thing could get nasty with him sometimes, but he accepted it as part of the game. It was all for the ultimate victory. Fear not the death nor humiliation, victory is the only thing we are looking for in the game.

After all, OG was the worthy champion of The International 2019 with their performance far ahead of everyone. The two-time TI champions have shown us how beautiful Dota 2 can be and why it is so much loved among the Esports community.