Following OG’s victory in the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major qualifiers, Sébastien “Ceb/7ckngMad” Debs sat down with the biggest French sports daily newspaper, L’ÉQUIPE and talked about the team’s struggles in The International 2018 aftermath, the excitement of finally being back and what a Dota 2 Major in Paris, France means to him.
“I waited for a tournament of this caliber to be held in France for years,” Ceb said. “The planets begin to lineup. Anathan “ana” Pham is back and we finally qualify for a Major and it’s in Paris. During the qualifier we felt like we have partially recovered the momentum from before our victory at The International. Without ana, we didn’t manage to create the synergy we had with him. Now that he is back, OG is back”, he explained to L’ÉQUIPE.
Asked about the team performance in the past six months and why it didn’t work out for them with Per Anders ‘Pajkatt’ Olsson and Igor ‘ILTW’ Filatov standing in, Ceb said it had a lot to do with the individual players’ mental block: “I feel like us four were playing on the same level, but Pajkatt and iLTW ran into a psychological block. They got stuck in their mid, probably because they were thinking that they were playing with the world champions. They felt guilty after every loss, paralyzed. We tried to make them feel more free, but it did not work out. That said, we take the experience as a positive thing. It pushed us to our limits.”
With ana back, OG are now fully reunited and Ceb emphasized once again on the fact that it was never a question of if he would continue to play competitively or not. “Ana just needed more time than us. We knew he would come back, but we needed him to tell us that he was mentally ready to do it. To return is simple. To go back completely into the game is something else,” explained the TI8 Champion.
Ceb was asked by L’ÉQUIPE how does anyone find the motivation to play after winning a TI and he bluntly said that it’s not a matter of motivation but rather of character and how a victory like that can mess up with your mind. “One of the big challenges following a victory at The International is to remain humble. But this humility was imposed on us because we played without ana and we experienced many disappointments. We did not dominate the professional scene after this title. But somehow it’s a good thing. Mentally, we rebuilt a carapace,” he explained.
OG are set to play tomorrow, April 13 against the Open AI in San Francisco before going to a few weeks boot camp for the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major. Asked by L’ÉQUIPE about who he thinks will win the matchup versus AI, Ceb said: “we talked about it for a long time. I lost track of how many debates we had between us about it. Some think that the AI can’t beat the best teams, others are convinced that it is possible for AI to win. We can’t wait to see what happens!”