This is the last five teams to attend The International 2018. They are not title contenders nor do they get enough points to make it into the top 8 of the DPC rankings. But that doesn’t mean these names aren’t worth mentioning, as it was these teams that earned the right to the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year.
North American trio
The fact that North America received three spots to TI caused a lot of controversy in the community. But we can understand that this is an area where no team has made it to the top 8 DPC. On the other hand, these three teams that qualified for TI8 were also in positions from 9 to 11 in last season’s DPC rankings.
OpTic Gaming was the most successful team of the bunch, but the boys only started to thrive towards the end of the season. Just like FlyToMoon/Winstrike has repeatedly stopped in the regional qualifiers of Majors and Minors by Vega Squadron, Empire and Na`Vi, OpTic is also plagued by the likes of compLexity and VGJ.Storm.
However, in the LAN arena, OpTic started to shine. Maybe it’s PPD’s leadership, maybe it’s because the team has begun to “fit” together towards the end of the season: since April, the team has won StarLadder and ImbaTV Season 5 minor, runner-up to Birmingham Major and finished 5th. at China SuperMajor. However, this achievement is not enough to help OpTic enter the top 8 DPC, but the difference between them and VGJ.Thunder (8th place team) is less than 150 points. Many believe that OpTic is the stronger team, at least for now.
The run in the qualifiers didn’t show that and was a bit shaky at first. OpTic didn’t finish first in the robin round and also lost the first round in the playoffs to Immortals. However, the team that overcame compLexity and avenged the Immortals came to TI.
VGJ.Storm suddenly appeared and quickly created a buzz in April, when Resolut1on joined the team. Before the transfer window, VGJ.Storm was only considered a Tier 2 team, but they immediately became one of the strongest NA teams right after, winning GESC: Thailand minor and 2nd place MDL Changsha.
This is why the CIS superstar is considered to be one of the best carries in the world, but individual skill is not enough to make the team successful and that is evidenced by OG. At VGJ.Storm, Resolut1on found a new home with underrated players and time will tell if the miracle that happened two years ago will repeat itself at TI.
Theoretically, Evil Geniuses is the strongest team in the region. With a roster of champions TI and Maor, EG is considered one of the strongest teams in the league. But the history of Dota has shown that although the teams look very strong, in reality they always let the fans down.
The only victory that the current Evil Geniuses team has in China SuperMajor is against Team Spirit and this victory is not easy either. EG was quickly eliminated by OpTic Gaming in the following round, finishing near the bottom of the table in the tournament. The TI qualifying journey hasn’t been much smoother either, with a lackluster group stage and two BO3 wins over compLexity and Immortals – hard to see as a worthy opponent to the Evil Geniuses name.
The NA roster has just over a month to make sure everything is in order, or else they’re sure to be crushed by the vast majority of TI8 teams. The good news is that they can – EG has talented players in their positions, and the only problem is making sure they can play as a solid team.
IG is pretty tight-lipped this season. Since the lineup was completed in February 2018 there is absolutely no need to worry about the DPC score. Obviously, no one can deny that China is the most competitive region: there are four Chinese teams in the top 8 of the DPC rankings. But we also need to note that China is a region with more teams directly invited and qualified than other regions in the Major and Minor tournaments.
No one knows how IG will play at TI. Q and Agressif are all too familiar names and they will probably be able to successfully replicate what they did at TI5, especially when the team has a promising young mid mid player Xxs and a One of the most effective and entertaining position 4 supports in the game – Boboka. Or perhaps, IG will collapse under pressure and perform as lackluster as last time.
For two years, this team was led by a North American veteran. Full of experience and discipline has helped the TNC team define themselves, as well as the region. And this time, they are ready to attend TI with an all-Philippines lineup.
During the season, the TNC predator is always blocked by Mineski or Fnatic in the regional qualifiers. It wasn’t until Mineski got himself a ticket to TI that TNC really proved how good they could be. TNC is clearly not a title contender, but they are a Tier 1 team: 8th place at PGL Bucharest, DAC 2018, MDL Changsha and China SuperMajor.
Results in Southeast Asia at TI have improved year over year. Now, maybe TI will be a war between the East and the West, and hopefully the East will not only represent China in 2018.
According to Dotabuff
Source link: The International 2018 Overview: TNC, OpTic, VGJ.Storm, Invictus Gaming and Evil Geniuses