There are few players in Dota 2 that’s reached the prestige and popularity that Anathan “ana” Pham has. The 22-year old player is best known as the former carry player OG Esports, the only organization in the game’s long history to achieve two back-to-back The International titles, back in 2018 and 2019.
Now, with TI season fast approaching once again, ana seeks to reclaim another title with another squad, T1. ana will reunite with Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, his former teammate in OG for another chance at an Aegis. ana and T1 will compete in the TI11 Southeast Asian Qualifiers for a chance at an invite to the prestigious event as the squad missed out on securing enough DPC points.
One of the things ana is best known for besides his in-game skill is his tendency to skip out on playing the Dota 2 professional season, instead making appearances on big LAN events like Dota 2 Majors and The International itself. Recently, ana has shared some controversial thoughts on Dota 2’s current professional format, elaborating on why he tends to skip out on the DPC.
In an interview with Jaxon.gg, ana has called the Dota Pro Circuit, more commonly known as the DPC, as “terrible” and “useless.” When asked on his reasons for returning to the scene via the Qualifiers, here’s what he had to say:
Partly because the DPC is terrible, and I wouldn’t consider playing anything else other than TI and some third-party tournaments for fun unless they changed it.Anathan “ana” Pham
The interview also makes note of the fact that ana usually disappears during the DPC season, only to resurface once Qualifiers for The International comes around. He says:
Yeah, what’s the point of playing useless DPC when you can just spend a fraction of time on qualifiers, if it works, great, and if not then it doesn’t matter.Anathan “ana” Pham
While his words may seem a bit harsh, there are certainly some who would agree that Valve and its implementation of the DPC is a bit taxing overall. The current format separates teams by regions with three Tours. Teams accumulate points based on their performances in each Tour, with the best teams in Division 1 being allotted the most. Points are also given during the accompanying Major tournaments in each Tour, and at the end of it all twelve of the top-scoring teams across all three Tours will secure a direct invite to The International.
Some players have noted that the DPC tends to run very long, with the current format running for up to six weeks. It’s worth noting that besides the twelve top teams, Valve also holds Regional Qualifiers for six more slots to The International. While this is certainly more cutthroat compared to the DPC, it’s also less straining overall as it’s played in a span of days rather than weeks. In this International, Valve also brought back the Last Chance Qualifiers, where two of the runners-up from each Regional Qualifiers will have one final chance to compete for two more slots at TI. Combining all these things, DPC points seem to matter less and less in the long run, as there are those who are willing to just let it ride and duke it out in the Regional Qualifiers.
ana and T1 will compete at the Dota 2 TI11 Regional Qualifiers on September 13 to 17. OG, ana’s old squad which consists of an entirely new roster, managed to secure a direct invite to TI by placing second overall in the 2022 DPC.
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