From Dota Addiction to World Champion

Anathan Pham, or better known as nickname Ana, is one of the players from OG Team; the team that just raised Aegis a few days ago at The International 2018.

His journey to carve his name on Aegis is indeed not easy. So many challenges exist on the road to a successful career in esports, starting from the disapproval of his parents, being made a substitute player by Invictus Gaming, and many more before finally winning TI8.

og ti8 champions
Image Courtesy: @wykrhm

How about that trip? How did you start your career as a competitive player in the realm of Dota 2? This is the full story.

Playing Dota 2 for the First Time

When Ana started playing Dota 2, she was very addicted. He can play for 10 hours every day, non-stop. Not a few times his mother often reminded him not to keep playing because he could play until the night and didn’t wake up for school the next day.

Ana herself doesn’t want to go to school. He tried several times to run away from school and play Dota instead. His mother had also tried to stop him by setting a password for the computer he was using. However, Ana is always looking for ways to get the password, for example by recording the password typed by her mother.

ana mother
Image Courtesy: Valve

By playing continuously, Ana’s abilities continue to improve and she increasingly wants to play professionally. According to him, even if he lost, he knew that he could do better next time.

Playing in the CDEC League, Moving to Shanghai, and Mother’s Opposition

To pursue her dream of becoming a professional player, Ana finally decided to move from Melbourne, her hometown, to Shanghai, to play in CDEC in-house League.

For those who don’t know the CDEC in-house League is a league organized by the CDEC organization, which is joined by some of the best players from China. It is from this league that it was formed CDEC Gaming, a team made up of the best young players from the league.

Back to Ana’s story, in short, she wanted to move to Shanghai to play in the league, but her mother opposed the decision at first. With help from his brother, Alan Pham, they managed to convince Ana’s mother to let him move to Shanghai.

In an Ana profile video made by Valve in 2017, when her mother is asked about her reason for allowing Ana to move to Shanghai, the answer is because Shanghai is her hometown – to also see if Ana really has the talent to play professionally.

Invitation to Invictus Gaming, Champion of NEA 2016, and made a backup player

After playing for some time in the CDEC in-house League, Ana finally got an offer from Invictus Gaming (IG) to play on their team. As someone who has never played competitively and immediately received an offer from a big team like IG, Ana naturally accepted the offer.

Related Article: Revival’s Special: Chat Together with Parents from xccurate and f0rsakeN

With the full support of her siblings and the consent of her parents, Ana joined Invictus Gaming. One of the main reasons Ana was invited to play on IG is because Ferrari_430, an IG Mid-Laner player who has been joining since 2011, decided to deactivate in January 2016 but remains on the team.

ana ig
Image Courtesy: @mintyblue

Therefore, Ana finally joined IG in March 2016. However, after announcing that Ferrari_430 would be a non-active player, she suddenly decided to come back and play, replacing Ana. As a result, Ana was only a substitute player for most of her time at IG.

Related article: [TI8 Team Profile] Without Fly, the Potential New Face of the OG Team at The International 8!

Fortunately, she played in a big event with IG, namely the National Electronic Arena (NEA) which was held in 2016. It was at this event that Ana was able to show her abilities as a player, and since then many people have started to know Ana.

The event was attended by 4 major teams in China, namely CDEC Gaming, Newbee, Newbee Young, and Invictus Gaming. The four teams made it through the qualifying round and finally secured a slot in the event which had a prize pool of 1,300,000 RMB.

Ana Nea 2016
Image Courtesy: China Daily

On the round Main Event, IG doesn’t lose though. The first series found him with CDEC, where IG managed to win by a score of 2-0. After that, they also managed to beat Newbee with a score of 2-0 and made IG become the champion of the event.

Because Ana was rarely given the opportunity to play on the IG roster and also internal problems with the team’s management, Ana finally decided to join another team – and that other team was the starting point of Ana’s success in her esports career.


Fortunately, the misfortune is briefly over for Ana. But he had to face a big challenge: playing in place of Miracle-. Continue to the second page, OK!