Entertainment Australia’s most successful eSports athlete, Anathan Pham, retires at 21

Australia’s most successful eSports athlete, Anathan Pham, retires at 21

The world of competitive ESports is losing a high-earning Australian. Photo: AP
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Australia’s highest-earning eSports athlete has retired at the age of 21.

Anathan Pham, better known as ‘ana’, was a member of OG Esports Dota 2 team which was the first to win back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019 at the world’s richest eSports tournament, The International.

A high-school dropout at age 16, Melbourne-born Pham initially burst onto the gaming scene while playing as a stand-in for a Chinese Dota 2 team in 2016.

He was then picked up by OG Esports, who dominated the Dota 2 professional circuit from late 2016 to 2019.

Dota 2 is a multi-player online battle arena (MOBA) video game, played between two teams of five players and is popular worldwide.

During his career, Pham amassed more than $7.78 million in prize money in 25 tournaments.

His first win of The International in 2018 made Pham the 13th richest sportsperson in Australia for the year 2018-2019, earning that haul in under 10 days with the tournament victory.

Pham, who previously took a mental health break from gaming, said he was ready to start a new journey.

Dota has been the biggest part of my life for the longest time and I am starting to find and appreciate other things in life that I want to learn about and explore,” he said in a statement to OG’s website,

The International boasts the highest prize pool for any video game worldwide, with the 10th instalment to be played in Stockholm this year, with a total prize pool of US$40 million ($51 million).