Group Stage Announced for the Dota 2 TI10
The largest prize-pool in esports history is up for grabs for the Dota 2 TI10, where eighteen teams compete to find out who is the best in the world and the right to hold the Aegis of Champions above their head. While the event has experienced some hiccups due to the Covid-19 situation in Romania, such as Valve refunding tickets to TI10 attendees, it seems that the tournament is well on its way to begin as the Dota 2 TI10 group stage was announced in the wee hours of the morning today.
A Decade of Champions: Group Stages at Dota 2’s TI10
In a news post on the official Dota 2 blog, Valve announced which teams will be facing each other during the initial group stage of TI10. Two groups of nine teams will play against each other in a full round-robin format, with each team playing a total of two games in their matches against their opponents.
The top four teams of each group advance to the winner’s bracket of TI10’s main event, the next four teams will qualify for the lower bracket of the main event, and teams finishing last in their groups will be eliminated from TI10.
The groups for TI10 are as follows:
- Invictus Gaming
- Team Aster
- Evil Geniuses
- Thunder Predator
Group A definitely contains most of the favorite western teams likely to win TI10. As the two-time, back to back winners of The International 2018 and 2019, OG definitely have a target painted on their back despite their rather quiet 2020-2021 season.
Evil Geniuses remain one of the top teams in the world and will have to contend against Virtus.pro, who are ranked third in the world in terms of DPC points. Invictus Gaming and Team Aster’s expected performance may be influenced by their recent Covid-19 diagnosis, but this shouldn’t prevent teams from underestimating both of these teams as they’re coming from perhaps the strongest region in Dota 2 right now.
The definitive dark horses of Group A are Undying and Thunder Predator, with Thunder Predator carrying the hopes and dreams of Peru on their back and the potential to surprise teams unfamiliar with their playstyle. Undying consists of a team of international talent that have come together to compete at the greatest Dota 2 event of the year without the financial and logistical support of an organization, which really speaks to their origin as a scrappy team that’s pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.
- Vici Gaming
- Quincy Crew
- Team Spirit
- Team Secret
- SG Esports
Group B definitely feels like it’s PSG.LGD versus the world. PSG.LGD are the likely favorites to win TI10, but this prediction repeats every year to no avail as the team falls short of victory either during the loser bracket finals or grand finals of past TI events.
Team Spirit, a relatively young CIS squad, have shown steady growth throughout the year, snagging wins for themselves against some of Europe’s top teams, and against PSG.LGD. This group may be favorable towards Team Spirit if they’re able to adapt to teams like Quincy Crew and Vici Gaming who they have little experience playing as their rivals in CIS, Virtus.pro, are noticebly absent.
Elephant is group B’s dark horse, with Dota 2 analysts like Kyle asserting that the latest attempt at a Chinese dream team is likely to win TI10, superseding China’s favorites in PSG.LGD. While past Chinese victories at Dota 2’s The International have come from newer teams such as Wings Gaming and Newbee, the Elephant squad looked unimpressive in their season in China and are composed of some of Chinese Dota’s most recognizable players. If Elephant can overcome PSG.LGD, there’s a chance that they could sweep the group and manage to qualify for the winner’s bracket, but their lack of experience playing western teams could lead to them quickly bottoming out.
The first match of the Dota 2 TI10 group stages is set to begin tomorrow at 3:00 AM EST/UTC-5. A full schedule of TI10 can be found on the Dota Pro Circuit section of the Dota 2 website.