Who doesn’t like an underdog story?
Last year, Dota 2 team Red Bull OG unexpectedly became champions at The International 2018 (also known as TI9, one of the biggest esports tournaments in the world). It was the ultimate underdog story, and unsurprisingly, it’s been adapted into a documentary.
Developed by the Emmy Award-winning Red Bull Media House, the documentary, titled ‘Against All Odds’, chronicles the rise, fall, and rising again of team OG from its humble beginnings to winning the TI9 in 2018.
It follows the journey and experiences of Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, Sébastien “Ceb” Debs, Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, Anathan “ana” Pham, Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, and coach Cristian “ppasarel” Banasean in their hard road that culminated in being crowned the champions at The International 2018. The reason why this is a big deal is because the team roster that achieved victory at TI9 was formed just three months before the tournament began, which means that they had to enter it the hard way (competing with thousands of other teams through open qualifiers just for a spot in TI9).
They also broke the historical record for winning teams in The International. A Western team won the first TI in 2011 while an Eastern team won the following year. This trend would continue until Red Bull OG broke the ‘curse’ in 2018 (an Eastern team should’ve won that year according to the trend).
We were lucky enough to catch a premiere screening of ‘Against All Odds’ alongside the Red Bull OG team in the flesh at Sunway University yesterday. As someone who’s not much of a Dota 2 fan, the overall tone of the documentary feels like other conventional sports documentaries you may have seen; inspiring and emotional.
The emotion comes from seeing how far the Red Bull OG team has come over the years, and the heated rivalry between fellow co-founders Tal “Fly” Aizik and Johan “Notail” Sundstein. While Notail is still a member of team OG (and the current captain), Fly has since left the team for Evil Geniuses.
Red Bull OG faced off against Evil Geniuses in the semi-finals of TI9, resulting in a harrowing three matches between both teams. Red Bull OG won two of the three matches, earning them a spot in upper bracket finals, completing Notail’s revenge against Fly for abandoning the team they formed together.
However, the documentary did feel a tad too long, running at just over one hour and twenty minutes long. Nevertheless, it’s a well-made documentary that captures all the blood, sweat and tears leading to Red Bull OG’s historic win at TI9.
Who doesn’t like an underdog story anyways? ‘Against All Odds’ is now available to watch for free on Red Bull TV now.
Check out pictures from the Against All Odds screening event at Sunway University below: