The International 10 Group Stage Preview

Posted by George Wong on October 6, 2021

Tomorrow's the day for Dota 2 fans all around the world - the long-delayed The International 10 will finally begin! After over a year of waiting, with only a handful of international events in between, we get to see all the top teams in the world duke it out for the Aegis of the Immortal and a cut of the USD 40 million prize pool. But before we get there, the teams will have to go through a gruelling group stage first.

Announced earlier today, here are the groups for TI10:

Group A

  • Alliance
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Invictus Gaming
  • OG
  • T1
  • Team Aster
  • Team Undying
  • Thunder Predator
  • Virtus.pro

Right off the bat, the groups look pretty balanced, with favourites on both sides. Group A has EG, IG and T1 as contenders for finishing top in the group. It's going to be fun to watch the EG vs IG rematch, perhaps we'll get another "?" moment. The kings of regional tournaments, Alliance, VP and Aster are in the group, so it'll be interesting to see which of their forms show up since they've floundered at every Major so far.

OG is another team that's difficult to place - their last tournament was the TI10 EU qualifier. There was a minor kerfuffle over Ceb's eye surgery situation, but fortunately for the squad, he is fit to play. That being said, this will be the first international tournament they'll face together in their current form but it shouldn't be an issue for them, with how experienced the players are. Looking at their competition in Group A, they should have no issues making it out to the playoffs.

Team Undying are going to be one of the teams to look out for. They'll be flying under most people's radars since the only time we've seen them compete internationally was at the OGA Dota PIT Invitational last month where they bombed out at 7/8th place. But there's a reason they're consistently finishing at the top in smaller NA tournaments, so there's a chance for them to shine at Bucharest.

Thunder Predator pulled out the best performance of their lives at the Singapore Major, with a near-flawless group stage and 2-0'ing Aster and VP during the playoffs. They definitely have the chops to not crash out of the group stage.

Group B

  • beastcoast
  • Elephant
  • Fnatic
  • Quincy Crew
  • SG esports
  • Team Secret
  • Team Spirit
  • Vici Gaming

Group B is a bit easier to read - we've got PSG.LGD, Team Secret, Team Spirit and Vici Gaming as the heavy favourites. They should be able to top the groups without much trouble. Quincy Crew will also be another strong contender for the top spot or at least finishing in the middle. All these teams have been consistent throughout the year and have had plenty of experience in the past Majors and at previous tournaments.

beastcoast are a wild card - they've been strong enough to qualify to TI but they didn't attend the Singapore Major, bombed out of the Animajor and ESL One Fall 2021. It feels like the team has stagnated while the rest of the scene improved. If the team can pull together fresh drafts and not overly rely on K1 to carry them all the time, they can probably make it out of groups. However, if nothing has changed since then, they're going to have a tough time.

SG esports haven't been to a notable tournament since the Kiev Major in 2017, so it's going to be the first time we see how the current iteration performs on the big stage. It took them some time to get here and it'll be a shame if they were eliminated from the groups. Based on what we know about SA Dota, it's unpredictable and anything can happen but SG along with beastcoast are probably the most likely to be eliminated from the group stage.

Elephant - made up of mostly ex-PSG.LGD and Vici Gaming players, this star-studded roster failed to perform for most of the year and only qualified to TI after all the strong teams from China were already directly invited. After a year of struggling, they've finally earned a chance to shine and hopefully, we'll get to see it at this tournament. Somnus` M and fy have come so close to clutching the Aegis in the past, they're definitely not going to let that opportunity slip by again.

After some last-minute roster changes just before the TI10 SEA qualifiers, Fnatic managed to win the final spot for the region and have been looking pretty steady. While they have no issues against other SEA teams, the team will have a lot to prove versus the rest of the world. Is the addition of new blood, Deth, enough to give the SEA veterans the spark they need to pop off at TI? Keep an eye on Fnatic, we think they have the potential to surprise us.

The group stages for The International start tomorrow, 7th October at 3 PM, and will run until Sunday, 10th October. There are going to be 4 matches on at the same time, so be prepared for a lot of Dota 2 to watch! Catch the action live on eGG Network, Twitch, Dota2.com or in-game. More info.


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