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Against The Odds Is A Great Re-Telling Of OG’s Fairytale Run At The International 2018
Red Bull has released a new documentary on the Dota 2 team they are sponsoring, OG, and their fairytale run at The International 2018. That year saw the biggest roster shakeup for the team, and due to that, had to go through the tough rigamarole of the open qualifiers just to be able to participate in Dota’s biggest tournament.
And then went all the way to win it for the first time.
We attended an exclusive screening held here in Sunway University for the documentary Against All Odds, sitting in a hall together with a wave of OG fans who can’t stop screaming “Ceeeeeeeb” from time to time, and the stars of the documentary themselves. OG were bootcamping in Malaysia as preparation for this year’s International, held at Shanghai begin which just ended.
Fans would expect a great retelling of that miraculous run that no one ever expected to happen. This is as big of a fairytale as Leicester City’s Premier League win in football. Or Brawn GP emerging from the ashes of Honda to win Formula One’s 2009 season. But it will also make anyone out there watching this understand why people love Dota, and its esports scene so much.
The crux of the documentary details the relationship between N0tail and Fly. We jumped back to 2011 as we see the two, playing for Fnatic at the time, and how their relationship as friends blossomed. We see them split ways after The International 3 in 2013, playing with various teams before meeting up again to form OG. A team where the pair are at the center, and Fly the captain.
By portraying the early beginnings of the N0tail-Fly ship, it hurts so much more when the real story really begins, when Fly decides to abandon ship as the team is in shambles, alongside another player s4, and join rival teams Evil Genuises (EG). OG had the best performance winning Dota Majors but the as years past, TI has always alluded them, which sparked the move. Though it is implied there was more at play- the impregnable friendship had turned into a fierce rivalry. Bad blood was definitely spilled.
It’s Not Just A Game
But in-between the story, there are bits that help introduce Dota, enough explantation for the average joe can understand what the game is in a broad sense and follow along with OG’s story. Footage of the fans and crowd in the tournament venues are aplenty, to show how a big deal Dota is for these fans. The documentary is not too focused on the nitty-gritty of the great plays that swing a match, but rather the mentality, and the emotion, of the players involved.
Something anyone watching can immediately resonate to.
It’s an inspiring documentary. Aside from n0tail, the rest of OG- which has yet to have a roster change since winning TI- also got the spotlight as well. How Ceb went from struggling player to coach and then back as a player again. How unknown Australian ana struggled with his performance, and backlash from fans, but then come back to play with the team that gave him a shot to play professionally. And how the astute Topson was the wildcard player OG needed. And what made them strong is the power of friendship, and having a good time playing Dota together.
Even if you never know any of these top players, Against The Odds will make you invested to witness the many ups and downs the team went through before pulling off the tournament run of their lives. At the end of the day, just like with normal sports, it’s seeing these individuals’ journey to greatness is what makes Dota esports so compelling.
Aside from ana’s short break post-The International 2018, the same roster remained- a big deal in esports where player transfers run rampant. The same roster won The International 2019 yesterday, making them the first team to secure a back-to-back The International win, and highest earners in esports.
You can watch the Against All Odds on Red Bull TV.