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StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 Preview

29 January 2018 13:20

The StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 begins on Thursday February 1st in Shanghai, China, with eight Dota 2 teams vying for the winner’s share of the $300,000 prize pool and 300 Pro Circuit points.

This is the third major of the 2017-18 season following Team Liquid’s triumph in Season 3, so can they repeat their impressive feat, or will another team reign supreme out in China?

The Format

The four-day event begins with the group stages, where eight teams are split into two groups of four. They will compete against one another in a in a best-of-three double-elimination (GSL) format, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the play-offs.

The four teams to make it through to the play-offs will then do battle in a single-elimination bracket, leading onto the best-of-three semi-finals and the best-of-five grand final.

The Teams

The eight teams are shown below, along with their odds of winning the tournament outright and qualification route:

Group A

  • LGD Gaming – 9/2 – China Qualifier
  • compLexity Gaming – 14/1 – North America Qualifier
  • Team Liquid – 6/4 – Direct Invite
  • Infamous – 100/1 – South America Qualifier

Group B

  • Team Kinguin – 12/1 – Europe Qualifier
  • Mineski – 8/1 – South-East Asia Qualifier
  • Newbee – 9/4 – Direct Invite
  • Team Empire – 18/1 – CIS Qualifier

Infamous replaced SG e-Sports in Group A after SG e-Sports decided to play in the WESG South American Finals instead. Infamous secured their place in Group A by winning the South America qualifier decider match 2-0 against Sacred.

A European region is 11/10 to lift the trophy, whilst China are 11/8, South-East Asia are 8/1, North America and CIS’s odds are a little longer at 16/1 and 18/1 respectively, wheras the South American region are outsiders to come out on top at 100/1.

Who to Look Out For?

One of the clear pre-tournament favourites to still be heavily involved come the latter stages of the tournament is Team Liquid, who are one of two direct invites to Shanghai. Coached by Lee "Heen" Seung Gon, the Netherlands-based outfit came out on top in Season 3 and came 1st in the AMD SAPPHIRE Dota PIT LEAGUE and The International 2017 last year. Captained by German Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi, they’re 2/7 to be the team to destroy the first barracks in their opener against Infamous, and will definitely be one team to look out for over the four days.

Elsewhere, fellow direct invites Newbee stand out in Group B as another huge threat. One of the world’s best Dota 2 teams, the Chinese outfit are 8/11 to draw first blood in Map 1 against Team Empire. They come into the Shanghai tournament on home soil off the back of a hugely impressive victory at ESL One Genting 2018, where they saw off Team Liquid 3-2 in a pulsating best-of-five grand final that day to take home $160,000 and 200 DPC Points. Led by Zeng "Faith" Hongda, their fans will be expecting another repeat performance this time round.

Prize Pool

The tournament’s $300,000 prize pool and 300 Pro Circuit points are split into the following:

  • 1st place - $135,000 and 150 DPC Points
  • 2nd place - $60,000 and 90 DPC Points
  • 3rd and 4th place - $30,000 and 30 DPC Points each
  • 5th and 6th place - $15,000 each
  • 7th and 8th place - $7,500 each

Good luck to all competing teams, and let us know via Facebook and Twitter who you’re looking forward to watching!

Published on:
Updated on: 2018-01-29

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