The International 2019 Regional Qualifiers: Complete Results
The Regional Qualifiers for The International 2019 are finally over and the results were for the most part what everyone had expected. However, there were a few upsets as well as a victory that will make a lot of Dota 2 fans quite happy. You’ve probably heard this cliche too many times before, but this time it’s actually true: Na’Vi is back.
The qualification tournament in the CIS region was a fierce battle between eight teams, all of them well known not just regionally, but also internationally in many cases.
- Natus Vincere
- Team Empire
- Gambit Esports
- Winstrike Team
- Team Spirit
- Vega Squadron
- Nemiga Gaming
Before the event started, people were expecting Gambit Esports to win. But it soon became clear that they hadn’t prepared very well for the tournament and that the most likely winner was going to be Vega Squadron.
Vega qualified for the Regionals by winning the first Open Qualifier. And then they simply shocked everyone with their pinpoint accuracy and well-executed strategies. The team won seven matches out of seven in the Group Stage. Then they defeated Na’Vi in the first round of Upper Bracket matches. And at that point, everyone was 100% convinced that they were the ones. But it wasn’t to be.
In their second match of the Upper Bracket, they lost against Winstrike Team and were forced to play another Bo3 against Na’Vi in the Lower Bracket. This time, however, they lost. Na’Vi then went on to crush Winstrike in the Grand Final (3 – 0). And so, after two years of absence from The International, the winner of the first edition of the event is back to the tournament that made them famous.
The only thing that’s missing is Dendi’s presence. But he’s been long gone from Na’Vi and is now part of The Pango.
North American Qualifiers
In North America, the obvious favorites ahead of the tournament were J.Storm and Forward Gaming. I was convinced that J.Storm was going to win, simply because of their roster, which is filled with superstars. But as soon as the competition started, it became apparent that Forward Gaming was one level above everyone else. First, they won every single match during the Group Stage and then they crushed Kookaburra (2 – 0), beastcoast (2 – 0) and J.Storm (3 – 1) to claim the one remaining ticket for The International 2019.
For me, personally, having followed Fear, Resolut1on, Moo and the rest of J.Storm’s roster over the years, seeing them lose like this was a bit sad. But Forward Gaming 100% deserved to win, being much stronger than everyone anticipated.
The full list of competitors was the following:
- Forward Gaming
- Black Sheep
- Complexity Gaming
- Team Xolotl
- Old Suck Gaming
Among these eight teams, only one disappointed. And that was Complexity Gaming. Sure, they had no chance of actually winning, but nobody expected them to miss the Playoffs entirely. In all likelihood, they will make massive roster changes once The International 2019 comes to an end and the teams start to shuffle again.
South American Qualifiers
The South American Qualifiers had two big favorites, much like the North American ones: paiN Gaming and Infamous. During the Group Stage, it looked quite obvious that Infamous was the better of the two. They won the direct confrontation as well as the group, with six wins and just one loss, against Thunder Predator, who looked themselves rather strong and capable of winning the tournament.
As soon as the Playoffs Stage began, paiN Gaming started to show signs of unusual strength. First, they beat Thunder Predator (2 – 0) and then they beat Infamous (2 – 1). However, Infamous easily won the Lower Bracket and in the Grand Finals, they taught paiN Gaming a very painful lesson by beating them without losing a single game (3 – 0).
The full list of participants in the South American Qualifiers was the following:
- paiN Gaming
- Thunder Predator
- Team Ham
- FURIA Esports
- SG e-sports
The battle in Europe took place between Chaos Esports Club and The Final Tribe. Ahead of the event, Anti-MagE- and Bald were also expected to play at a high level. But for some reason, none of them did. Perhaps it was the lack of preparation, as both of them had been put together just prior to the Open Qualifiers for TI 9.
The Group Stage was dominated by Hippomaniacs and The Final Tribe, although both of them lost two games apiece. Overall, this stage was very disputed and at the end, the top four teams were separated by a single victory. In fact, even tiebreakers were needed to separate the 3rd – 5th placed teams.
As soon as the Playoffs Stage began, it looked as though The Final Tribe and Hippomaniacs were going to be the two main candidates for the one remaining TI 9 ticket in Europe. Hippomaniacs defeated Aachen City Esports in their first Upper Bracket match while TFT managed to beat Chaos Esports Club. The Upper Bracket Finals, The Final Tribe succeeded again.
In the Lower Bracket, Chaos Esports Club woke up entirely and remembered what their strengths were. This was a team that had one of the most experienced captains in Dota 2 (MISERY) and one of the best carries: MATUMBAMAN, who had just joined the roster after leaving Team Liquid. So it was only a matter of time until they started to play like a tier-one competitor. By contrast, all of their rivals were tier two teams. So once they figured out a way to win, they simply crushed everyone with ease: Aachen City Sports (2 – 0), Hippomaniacs (2 – 0) and The Final Tribe in the Grand Final (3 – 0).
The complete list of participants in the Europea Qualifiers was the following:
- Chaos Esports Club
- The Final Tribe
- Aachen City Esports
- Team Singularity
- six eight two
The battle in China was the fiercest of them all. Eight teams, all of them strong in their own right, all of them well known locally, all of them having at least one star player in their roster. The big favorites ahead of the tournament were Royal Never Give Up, EHOME and Aster. All of these three teams had distinguished themselves throughout the season and were expected to fight hard for their chance to play in The International.
The Group Stage ended with an unexpected result: Invictus Gaming won the group with six wins and one loss, while CDEC finished 3rd. RNG and EHOME came in 2nd and 4th. This was not looking good for the two big favorites and the situation was about to get even worse for one of them.
In the first round of Upper Bracket matches, CDEC crushed RNG and sent them to the Lower Bracket. Then they did the same thing with EHOME. And it looked as though they were going to go all the way to The International, just like they did in 2015 when they qualified for the big event and ended up playing in its Grand Final.
However, as soon as they got sent to the Lower Bracket, RNG woke up and started to play much better. First they beat Invictus Gaming (2 – 0), then EHOME (2 – 1) and finally, CDEC (3 – 2).
With this victory, RNG secured their ticket for TI 9, where they are expected to be a worthy representative of the Chinese region. Keep in mind that the tournament will take place in Shanghai. This will be the first time when the greatest Dota 2 event of the year is held in China.
The complete list of participants in the Chinese Qualifiers was the following:
- CDEC Gaming
- Invictus Gaming
- Team Aster
- Team Sirius
- Team Serenity
In Southeast Asia, things looked over before they even began. And yet, Mineski was very close to missing an easy ticket for TI 9. First they messed up in the Group Stage and almost didn’t make it out alive. Then they had problems defeating Team Jinesbrus, a squad nobody had heard of before the event. A quick look at their roster reveals the biggest Korean names in Dota 2 at the player level: Forev, Febby and March. And you know how good the Koreans are in esports, even when they need to improvise with a newly formed team. Eventually, Mineski won the match (3 – 2) and will be present at The International 2019.
The full list of participants at the SEA Qualifiers is the following:
- Team Jinesbrus
- Team Adroit
- Team Amplfy
- 496 Gaming
- BOOM ID
- EVOS Esports
Among these eight, BOOM ID had a much weaker performance than people had expected. For such a well-established team, finishing 6th was a disappointing result.