Dota 2: TI 9 Direct Invite Teams Overview

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Dota 2: TI 9 Direct Invite Teams Overview

ESTNN's Veselin Ignatov walks fans and viewers through all of the directly invited teams of the upcoming TI9.

Before EPICENTER Moscow, the last DPC Major of the season, fans knew almost all of the teams that had snagged a direct invite to TI 9. Now, following the end of that epic tournament, we know all twelve of the lucky teams who will get to skip the qualifiers and go directly to The International 2019. Here is the full list of direct invite teams starting from the first team in the DPC ranking.

TI9 Direct Invite Teams

Team Secret

Team Secret

The number one team for this DPC season is the European powerhouse Team Secret. Puppey and his teammates have played absolutely amazing throughout the entire year. In fact, they might be one of the most dominant teams fans have seen in the last couple of years.

Team Secret won two Majors and numerous non-DPC events and definitely deserve their #1 spot. It is important to remember, however, that this team was in a similar situation during TI 5 back in 2015.  Leading up to TI5, Team Secret completely dominated the scene until the TI, where they crumbled. Their struggles were mainly due to the huge expectations that they had on their shoulders. Of course, the only player who is still on this roster from 2015 is Puppey, so we don't expect the same thing to happen at TI 9.



Virtus Pro

Virtus Pro proved long ago that they are miles ahead of everyone else in the CIS region. In fact, many people consider them to be the best team in the world. That is, of course, if they don’t pull out a random 322 play that completely shifts the course of a game out of their favor.

To be honest, that is one of VP’s biggest drawbacks – they are prone to throw in fantastic fashion. If they are on top of their game, however, winning is only a matter of time. They've proven that countless times.

During this DPC season, No[o]one and his teammates won one Major tournament and locked up two-second place finishes. By achieving this, they were one of the first teams to guarantee their spot for TI 9.


Vici Gaming


Vici Gaming is definitely the best Chinese team right now. In fact, they are pretty much the only Chinese team who can actually win against the western teams (apart from LGD). Vici has led this trend for some time now. It's strange simply because, historically,  Chinese teams have always performed well in international competition.

Paparazzi and his teammates won the EPICENTER Moscow Major, which makes them one of the hottest teams coming into TI. If they are able to bring the same performance as in Moscow, the TI trophy might belong to the Chinese once again.


Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses

Oh boy, Evil Geniuses is a team that we could talk about for days. They had a very good DPC season due to their consistency, but they've failed to win a single event. That said, they’ve always managed to finish in the top four.

Even if the NA squad is not having the best time right now, they are always a threat. After all, having Sumail and Arteezy on the team means that they can explode at any minute.

The only frightening thing is that their performance at EPICENTER was very questionable. Hopefully, for fans of Evil Geniuses, it was just a one-time deal.


Team Liquid

Team Liquid

Team Liquid is probably one of the most beloved teams out there. They are constantly in the driving seat of professional Dota ever since they won TI 7. Having said that, their performance during this DPC has season was slightly weaker when compared to previous seasons. compared to before. This led to the first roster change in the team since 2017 when the team switched out Matumbaman for w33.

So far, though, so good. The European champions played phenomenally in the last Major, placing second after losing to Vici in the Grand Final. Even though they lost, it was more the fact that Vici Gaming played out of their minds instead of Liquid playing poorly. Despite that, their first big challenge with the new roster was a success. The second challenge will come at TI 9.




The TI 8 runner-up also had a fairly decent DPC season. Similar to other teams, they also had a roster change after Maybe decided to rest for some of the season. However, as soon as he got back, LGD were back on the winning spree.

The Chinese team is currently living in the shadow of Vici Gaming, but it won't take much for PSG.LGD to shake it up. After all, Fy and his teammates are some of the best players in the world.




The SEA powerhouse had a very solid start of the DPC season. Unfortunately, their recent results have been downright bad. They definitely need to change something if they want to have a chance at TI 9.


Ninjas in Pyjamas


Apart from Alliance, Ninjas in Pyjamas is probably the second most improved team this season. PPD and his teammates have unquestionably earned their spot after some amazing Minor victories.

Even though they might not be considered as the favorites for TI, other teams should underestimate them at their own peril. After all, let’s not forget that their captain is a TI 5 winner.


TNC Predator


TNC is the exact opposite of Fnatic right now. In fact, they started the season with a string of poor performances and slowly rose from the ashes. This past week, their performance at EPICENTER was a joy to watch. No wonder Nahaz said in an interview that he expects them to have a top-four finish.




The current reigning TI champions made it! OG had to go through hell and back this season after having an absolutely awful start. However, as soon as Ana rejoined the roster, things started to change for OG.

At this point, not many think that OG stands a chance at TI. Then again, no one thought that during the previous TI either.




The Swedish team Alliance is, by far, the most improved team over the course of this DPC season. Similar to some other teams, the squad went through some roster changes before they found the perfect balance in power.

Alliance secured literally the last ticket available for a direct invite to TI 9 after winning against Gambit at EPICENTER.


Keen Gaming

Keen Gaming

Keen Gaming is the third Chinese squad and the final team to secure a direct invite for TI. They were somewhat mediocre for the most part of the DPC season, apart from a couple of strong games.

Images VIA: Valve, ES.ME, Liquidpedia,,,,,,,,

Dota 2: TI 9 Direct Invite Teams Overview
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.