Last year’s Dota 2 The International was monumental. Imagine getting betrayed by one of your best friends, your team ends up in disarray, picking last-minute replacements and still win the Aegis of the Immortal. OG’s win proves that anyone with the passion and dedication to win can break any barriers.
The International had this coincidental tradition of a Western team winning every odd-numbered tournament and an Eastern team winning every even-numbered one.
OG’s TI win broke that with sick “Yolo” plays and picks. With this year’s centerstage being held in Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai, China. Will this be the year of China? Or will another western team take home the Aegis? Let’s look at a few teams that could possibly win this year.
Let’s start with the team most favored in winning this year’s International. Winning the Chongqing Major and 3 out of the 4 ESL major this year, and with the chameleon-like drafting of Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, the shifting 3 and 4 position of Zai and YapzOr, their calm and collected safelane carry Nisha and, one of the most selfless mid laners out there, MidOne. I would say this team has the deepest hero pool this season.
Will Puppey be the 1st TI two-timer or will Team Secret succumb to the tension and be another repeat of the Sunglass incident at TI 5?
Failing to qualify the 1st major of this season, Team Liquid looked rusty and tired, a far cry from the once-successful roster who won TI 7. A quick and last-minute roster change happened, Matumbaman out and W33 in. W33 known for unconventional mid-picks with high risk and reward plays which is a contrast of Matumbaman’s steady and safe picks. This would be good for Miracle, though, as it can take him away from the spotlight and create space for him to carry the team since he is still the cornerstone of everything Liquid.
The quick revision might cause problems for other teams but not Liquid having one of the best players, Miracle, in their roster and 4 other mechanically gifted players, W33, Mind Control, GH and Captain KuroKy.
Last years Dota 2 TI runner-up and one of China’s top team PSG, LGD has not made any roster change this season. They have played well this season, losing only to high-ranked teams. Somnus ‘M or Maybe has shown inconsistency this year, possibly still shaken up after their loss to OG. He took a break in the middle of the season in hopes to return to peak form, missing only one major. It speaks to the caliber of this team because LGD was still able to finish top 5 even without their star mid player. They would definitely need Maybe in top form since he rarely loses mid lane.
If there is anyone who can challenge Team Secret on their TI run, it’s VP. Beating Secret in a couple of games in some majors. VP has been synonymous of making great teams look silly, forcing them to make crucial mistakes each game. With their early snowballing tactic, VP has pushed other teams to play on their style of early aggression. What’s amazing is that this has been ongoing for two seasons and no one has been able to catch up. Armed with their new logo for this TI changing the polar bear to a panda.
Vici started this season in an underwhelming fashion but with the addition of the veteran ROTK and bringing some players from their young developmental team, has immediately seen changes The momentum from Vici Gaming’s late-season victories could carry them to a high placement, perhaps even first place, at TI9. They won two of the last three Majors in the year, peaking in the later half of the season. Now the question will be whether they peaked too soon or if they’ll be able to translate those victories into a strong finish this TI.
The Dark Hors
The Filipino phoenix has gone through major changes this season. With the addition of a new coach, the “Heen” adjustment on TNC’s game has been very evident. Even knocking LGD. PSG the previous Epicenter Major. If you don’t believe that this team is a dark horse on winning TI, let me remind you of TI 6 against 2-time Major winner (at that time) OG.
Hey, they did it last year, so why not do it again? Their roster is now complete since Ana took a break during the start of the season. OG can still win it with their weird picks but impeccable timing in clashes.
Over to You
Statistics have always been a reliable source for some major wins in DOTA, indicating these teams have the highest possibilities of success but hey this is Dota, as they say, numbers don’t lie but misplays can still happen. The outcome is uncertain until someone calls GG.
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Let us know what you think about this year’s Dota 2 TI, leave a comment below.