Just a month ago, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs was sitting at home, doing “normal things’, playing some pubs, essentially living a life far away from the high-stakes world of Dota-2 and – by extension – esports betting.
Out of nowhere, he received an SOS call. Within days, he was inside the cauldron of high performance, looking to steer OG out of choppy waters as they had to make some quick fixes in the build up to ESL One Stockholm Major 2022.
Leading into the tournament, it became increasingly evident that OG wouldn’t have their successful captain-coach combination with them due to visa issues that arose from travel restrictions due to Covid. This wasn’t an ideal situation to be in. It can make or break a team. It certainly made OG, and we’re, of course, speaking from the benefit of hindsight. So what did they do to actually make themselves formidable?
Adapting to the Situation
They signed Sébastien “Ceb” Debs, who was to come in for team’s captain Mikhail “Misha” Agatov on the main roster. Then there was Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, on the mic behind the team as both Misha and head coach Evgenii “Chuvash” Makarov were unavailable. It had the potential to be disastrous from a performance point of view – after all, two of their biggest play makers were unavailable.
This was even more crucial because Misha and Chuvash had formed a fearsome combine that had just ensured the side had completed their DPC Western Europe Tour on a high. It needed a duo who had to come out of retirement to steer the side in a crisis, and they did so admirably to help OG win ESL One Major, Stockholm 2022, and in some style.
What makes their ESL One Major, Stockholm win even more special is the fact that Ceb and N0tail were returning to competitive sport for the first time in over a year. Their most-recent competitive outing was at The International in 2021, where OG couldn’t convert their streak into a hat trick of titles.
They were handed a defeat by Team Spirit in their lower bracket run as they went on to clinch the tournament. This meant, coming into ESL One Major, Stockholm 2022, they had to channel the defeat in a positive way, which they did.
OG empowered their young players, instead of allowing them to let Ceb play the off-line role knowing fully well the esports betting charts hardly favoured them. That wasn’t on their minds, however, and this strategy of keeping faith in their younger players paid off as Ammar “ATF” Al-Assaf delivered stunning takes on off-line heroes and builds. It’s not often that Arteezy is made obsolete, but ATF’s proficiency actually left him with little to do. This was the biggest sign of how the youngsters had come of age.
OG’s ESL One Stockholm Run
Early in the competition, OG were pushed into the lower bracket. This meant they had to take a longer route to the final. That wasn’t to be a problem. They went on a bull run, overcoming Boom Esports, Fnatic, Thunder Awaken, Gaimin Gladiators, Tundra Esports and, finally, TSM in the grand finale. It completed a circle of sorts because they had lost to TSM in the Upper bracket quarter-final.
When the two sides came head to head in the final, it was clear as per esports betting that TSM had the advantage. It was theirs to lose. However, OG showcased precise drafting and pin-point execution. TSM made a strong start and won the first game of the final fair and square. OG didn’t buckle under pressure, instead they methodically stuck to their plans and tweaked an approach that paid rich dividends.
The uptime crowning glory meant they are now tied with Team Secret and Virtus.pro for most titles. This was also some kind of validation of Ceb’s credentials. His first Major triumph came after competing across regions since 2011, and he was the first to achieve it as a replacement. It completed a massive circle in his career, one that is going to be impossible to forget in a hurry. For OG, ESL Stockholm Major 2022 will always be special for many reasons.