TI10 Group Stage Results
After winning the two Dota 2 majors this year, the Chinese teams have been keeping up their performance at The International 10. Over the past week, the 18 teams at the event went through an exhausting 4-day marathon to determine the seeds for the playoff stages, and 3 out of 5 Chinese squads have made it to the upper bracket. This event looks like their best chance to win another The International, especially since they haven't won one since Wings lifted the Aegis back in 2016 (some of their members are in PSG.LGD right now). Here's how the teams performed:
Nothing too out of the ordinary here except Evil Geniuses flopping hard in the group stages. After reaching the grand finals of the last two majors, there were high expectations for NA's finest to perform at this event. They went 9-7 but all they needed was a single win to make it a 3-way tie with OG and T1 for an upper bracket slot. Unfortunately, on the final day of Groups, they couldn't wipe Undying and now have to continue the tournament from the Lower Bracket. Do they have what it takes to overcome Elephant in a best-of-one? We'll just have to wait and see.
Thanks to Thunder Predator doing terribly in Group A, it wasn't too hard for the other teams to make it here. In Group B, the elimination slot was only determined on the final day, and unfortunately, it was SG Esports who had a chance to enter the lower bracket but they lost both of their series. We were shocked by are the performances of Alliance and Quincy Crew - despite them doing well in the regional DPC, they've yet to display the skill that got them to TI in the first place.
Team Undying surprised everybody and were only a win away from securing the upper bracket (similar to EG). Fnatic, on the other hand, were wildly inconsistent - they pulled out 2-0 wins against Team Secret, yet lost 0-2 to SG Esports. Nobody knows which form will show up at the playoffs, but SEA fans are hoping for the former. Team Aster has been struggling at the event with a sick mid player, which is unfortunate (especially after grinding so hard to make it). beastcoast performed as expected, finishing middle of the pack, even managing a 2-0 over Secret. Being the last SA team at the event, they'll have all the support of the fans from the region - hopefully, it'll be enough for the players to pull off another top 8 finish at TI.
Elephant - with the team struggling to even make it to the event in the first place, it wasn't strange to see them finish in the lower bracket. However, they are still a team of superstars, so people do expect something from them. Perhaps it'll be another underdog tale for the squad. First, they'll have to take out Evil Geniuses.
In the upper bracket, we have the very dominant Invictus Gaming (who only lost two games) against Team Spirit (who went 0-4 on the first day and 1-1 on the second). Based on IG's performance so far, it's unlikely they'll be knocked out by Spirit, but these teams have yet to face off before, there's definitely potential for an upset.
Next up we have Team Secret vs OG - for the first time ever, these teams will be facing off at The International. Both teams have been impressive during the Group Stage, so it's definitely going to be one of the most hyped matches at the event. History has shown OG to be invincible during their Upper Bracket runs in the past two TIs, but this year their roster is different, and they barely made it to this one. On the other hand, Team Secret has remained extremely consistent and won almost every single third party tournament they competed in. The question to ask will be, "are both teams in 'TI form'?" If the answer is yes, it won't be difficult to predict the outcome.
PSG.LGD vs T1 - the heavy favourites vs SEA pride. The Chinese titans only dropped a single game in the group stage against Team Secret and stomped everybody else. They showed incredible form and resilience, winning some games where they were behind (rarely) but mostly just beat their opponents senseless. Based on their performance over the past few months, they're on another level when it comes to drafting, strategy and execution, and if they keep this up, it's an easy Aegis for them. T1 are one of the two SEA representatives this year. While they had a shaky start to the group stage, losing all their matches on day 1, like Team Spirit, they managed to recover and secured themselves an upper bracket slot in the end (thank you, Team Undying). In the past, T1 has lost every encounter with PSG.LGD which means it'll be unlikely to win this one but there's something magical about TI that allows underdog stories to happen. If they do, it's going to be one of the biggest upsets of all time, and if they don't, life goes on as normal. That being said, T1 does have the potential to claw out of the lower bracket.
Virtus Pro - for once they've managed to play well "offline". Perhaps isolation was what they needed. These highly-skilled youngbloods are thirsty for a place amongst the greats but have a very experienced and stable team in their way - the venerable Vici Gaming. However, if the teams are going to be playing on the main stage, it will be VG's game to lose. Let's see if VP can shake off LAN nerves.