Dota 2‘ sThe International is a standout esports tournament each year that it is held. With the biggest prize pool out of any major esport event, it has cemented itself as one of the most prestigious competitions in the world. Over the last few days, 18 teams competed to see where they would fall at the main event in TI8, with teams being seeded into the upper bracket, lower bracket, or being eliminated entirely before the main event even begins. We have all of those results, and more, for you.
To start things off, these 18 teams were split into two group, and each team played every single team in their group in a best of 2 series. The top 4 of each group got a spot at the start of the winner’s bracket at the main event, while the 4 teams below that, while not eliminated, would instead begin on the losers side of the bracket. In addition, the bottom team of each group would end up being sent home without even playing on the main stage. Each game counted, and each group had tiebreakers because these results came down to the literal wire.
Group A consisted of TI7 winners Team Liquid, as well as Evil Geniuses, PSG.LGD, OG, Fnatic, VGJ.Thunder, Mineski, Winstrike Team, and Invictus Gaming. As predicted, the consistent Team Liquid showed why they were the winners of the previous International, and finished at the top of their group. While they did drop a total of three games, they were the only team in the entire tournament to not flat out lose a best of 2 series. Following close behind was Evil Geniuses, who only lost a series to Team Liquid, and dropped a game to Invictus Gaming. Speaking of Invictus Gaming, their lackluster performance, along with Winstrike Team, landed them both at the bottom of their group stage, and they were tied for last.
As a result, the two teams played a best of 3 tie breaker to see who would be moving on to the main stage from the loser’s bracket. Winstrike ended up winning the series 2-0 to send Invictus Gaming home. Both PSG.LGD and OG also managed secured their spots in the winners bracket, and Fnatic, VGJ.Thunder, Mineski, and of course Winstrike team all kept their tournament lives alive, although they will now have to play through the loser’s bracket.
One of the best plays to come out of Group A came from Evil Geniuses vs Team Liquid. During the final moments of Game 2 of their group stage games, Liquid showed why they are truly one of the best teams in the world. While pushing up high ground in an attempt to close out their game, Team Liquid’s MinD_ContRoL pulled off one of the most masterful textbook baits to end the game. After taking a set of barracks, Team Liquid began to back off, but MinD_ContRoL, who played as one of the carries during the game, made the choice to teleport in vision of Evil Geniuses. Since Evil Geniuses were behind, a kill on Team Liquid’s carry could have been a useful source of gold and experience. However, this teleport was a bait, and caused quite a few heroes from EG to approach MinD_ContRoL, setting them all up for an impressive and immediate counter-initiation from Team Liquid. Because of this play, Team Liquid were able to kill off most of EG’s heroes, and as a result, pick up a second win in their best of 2 series.
Meanwhile, Group B consisted of VGJ.Storm, Virtus.pro, Team Secret, Optic Gaming, Newbee, TNC Predator, Team Serenity, Vici Gaming, and Pain Gaming. There was a lot of stiff competition from this stage, but one of the most surprising results came from VGJ.Storm, the American team that came through the qualifiers. They put on an impressive showing, taking the top spot in their group without dropping more than 4 games, 2 of which came from one of the favorites to take the whole tournament, Virtus.pro (who just barely came in second behind VGJ.Storm). In addition, Team Secret came in 3rd in Group B, and Optic Gaming came out at 4th. Coming in at the bottom four was Newbee, TNC Predator, Team Serenity, and Vici Gaming. Unfortunately, Pain Gaming, one of the fan favorite teams, was eliminated during the group stage, and were not able to pull out some crucial wins to keep their tournament life alive.
However, despite all of this, one of the most impressive games came from Pain Gaming vs Team Secret, where w33 played an insane Invoker game. Things went absolutely perfect for w33, and he began to snowball after getting pick after pick across the entire map. Although there were some snags that stopped his momentum, Pain Gaming managed to eek by to take a game off of the strong Team Secret.
One of the biggest comebacks did not come in the form of a single game, but rather, in the form of an amazing group stage comeback of a lifetime for Optic Gaming. On the second to last day, Optic Gaming was at the bottom of their group, and it looked like they might even be knocked out, despite having a strong performance leading up to The International 8. With their backs against the wall, they defeated both Pain Gaming and Vici Gaming 2-0 to bring them up from possible elimination. Their journey wasn’t done there, however. There was a three-way tie for 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Optic had to face off against Newbee in the tie breaker, and winning their game meant possibly securing a spot in the upper bracket. They managed to pull out an impressive victory, and after all the tie breakers were played, Optic found themselves in the winners bracket after many thought that they would be eliminated before the main stage.
Although Team Liquid, PSG.LGD, VGJ.Thunder, Mineski, Virtus.pro, Team Secret, Vici Gaming, Newbee, and VGJ.Thunder received direct invites to this event, only half of these invited teams (Team Liquid, PSG.LGD, Virtus.pro, and Team Secret) were able to prove their mettle in the group stages in order to make it to the winner’s bracket. While the tournament is currently stacked, and it is hard to tell which team will claim the Aegis of the Immortal this year, favorites to win include Virtus.pro, PSG.LGD, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses.
Although no games will be played for the next day, The International 8 will once again pick up on August 20 at 10AM PT/1PM ET. The rest of the games will be played at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver in front of a massive live audience. You can tune into these exciting games over on The International’s official Twitch channel.