Speculating what will transpire at the biggest Dota event of the year
With the Group Stage of The International over, it’s time for the tournament to enter the real meat of things. The Playoffs, also called the Main Stage or Main Event, are going to be more competitive, more fierce, and more epic. The voices of some of your favorite casters will resonate with every gank, every hard hitting teamfight, and every comeback. It’s time for an event the excitement of which is paralleled by a handful of others, if any, and the stakes of which come second to none.
The question on everyone’s mind is, who’s going to win it? Will this finally be Evil Genius’ year after a dominant Group Stage? Or will OG’s youngsters take the clan’s third crown? Will Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen win Team Liquid their second title before retiring? Or will either PSG.LGD or Team Secret lift the Aegis that eluded them for so long? Who knows, maybe it’ll be a win upon first appearance for the many hopefuls, or Spirit becoming the first team to make the Lower Bracket run all the way this time. Whatever the future holds, here’s our take on TI11 predictions.
TI11 Predictions: Upper Bracket
Only the best of the best have made it to this point, and it’ll be a terrific contest between the top 8 teams. Among the teams, there’s a healthy mix of five of the usual suspects alongside two first-time TI hopefuls and a team that unceremoniously went out in the first round last year.
Upper Bracket R1
EG has been absolutely dominant, and we don’t quite see them losing a series to Thunder Awaken. The South Americans pack a punch, but will most likely fall short against the might of their northern neighbors. This one goes 2-1 to EG.
As much as we want to see Secret go far in the tournament, PSG.LGD are just in a league of their own when they get going. Despite a good fight from Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and co, the Chinese side will probably sweep this one.
Tundra Esports and OG will be a brutal matchup and can be anyone’s game, but we believe OG found their groove in the dying embers of the Group Stage, and will probably come back with a reverse-sweep after going down in the first match.
Team Aster are no doubt a powerful side, but Liquid have looked amazing in the Groups. While a lot depends on who gets the better game between Du “Monet” Peng and MATUMBAMAN, we think it’ll be Liquid who comes out on top 2-1.
Upper Bracket R2 and Final
EG vs PSG.LGD will be a game for the ages with both sides throwing everything including the kitchen sink at each other, but in the end, the Chinese should prevail. This one goes 2-0 to PSG.LGD.
OG vs Liquid will be a tumultuous affair as it always is, but unlike what happened in the Group Stage, we see OG coming out on top this time around. They’ve had time to assess Liquid’s style, and will bring a stronger game for a 2-1 win.
Finally, PSG.LGD will pick OG apart in the UB final. OG will try to hold on and hope for a comeback, but the clinical performance of the superteam will be too much for the youngsters. We predict 2-0 to PSG.LGD.
TI11 Predictions: Lower Bracket
The LB of TI is the place where anxiety is turned into heartbreak, and dreams shatter and careers are abandoned. However, it’s also a place for heroics, incredible upsets, Cinderella stories, and some truly unbelievable Dota.
Lower Bracket R1 (Bo1)
The South American derby between Hokori and beastcoast breaks our hearts because we wanted to see both of them go far, but such is the unforgiving nature of TI. Despite Hokori’s incredible performance in the Group Stage, we see beastcoast’s experience prevailing.
Spirit will have their backs against the wall, which is where they were almost all tournament long last year. However, this time they have expectations riding on them, and we think that will bog them down. Nevertheless, pure skill will still carry them through over BOOM Esports.
Fnatic could and should have made it into the Upper Bracket, but they should still be able to bear a shaky Gaimin Gladiators, especially due to their years of LB experience.
Much like Fnatic, Royal Never Give Up only lost out on an Upper Bracket slot by a narrow margin, and should take out Entity.
Lower Bracket R2
A second SA matchup, this time between beastcoast and Thunder Awaken, will be a cracker. Although TA have been the more successful team in the groups, we think the resourcefulness and experience of beastcoast will triumph on the main stage for a 2-1 win.
Spirit knocked Secret out of TI last year, but despite an early scare, this won’t be where Secret gets revenge. Spirit to win it 2-1.
Like Thunder Awaken, the players of Tundra have had a great time in the groups but have zero main stage experience. We’re going with Fnatic on this one, 2-0.
An all-China clash between RNG and Aster? What could possibly go wrong? Expect lots of textbook Dota action as the two giants collide, with RNG emerging triumphant 2-1.
Lower Bracket R3-5
An incredible run by the South Americans of beastcoast should be laid to rest by the spirit of, well, Spirit. Two to zero to the defending champions.
The round 3 clash between Fnatic and RNG should once again end in the SEA team’s favor despite the sheer skill of the Chinese. Fnatic to take it 2-1.
Spirit’s dream title defense will finally be put to rest by Liquid, with the WEU side coming back to win the third match after a 1-1 stalemate. This will be a match that Liquid — and indeed Dota — fans come back to watch for years to come.
After being knocked down to the LB, EG will be furious and should be able to dispose of RNG 2-0 should they hold their nerves. They did so in the groups, and it's not impossible that they'll repeat the feat in the Playoffs.
Liquid vs EG will be a tumultuous affair, but one in which the TI7-winning clan comes out on top after a difficult struggle. We award this to Liquid 2-1.
Lower Bracket Final and Grand Final
Liquid vs OG in the Lower Bracket Final will be another match for the ages. OG’s aggression will give them an early lead in games, but Liquid’s more methodical approach and nerves of steel will give them a way back. It’s going to be a painstaking war of attrition for both, but in the end we believe it’ll be the blue horse of Liquid that rides into the sunset.
Finally, yes, we’re also among those who believe this will be China’s year at last. PSG.LGD have worked way too hard to lose what would be a morale-destroying third TI Grand Final. The prize money this year might not make up for their previous losses, but lifting the hallowed Aegis might just be enough to salve past wounds. Wang “Ame” Chunyu and his mates to carve their names on the shield after a 3-1 win over Liquid.
That's it for our TI11 predictions. Stay with us for lots more content on TI and Dota 2 in the days to come.
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