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The International 2018 Preview

15 August 2018 10:44

The International returns for its eighth instalment as the best Dota 2 players from around the world descend on Vancouver for the biggest prize in eSports. The prize pool is expected to beat last year’s record of over $24.7million, with 44% of that going to the eventual tournament winner. Team Liquid, currently ranked #2 on the Dota Pro Circuit, are back to try and defend their crown whilst Newbee, ranked #7, return to try and go one better than their runner-up spot in 2017.

Tournament format

The group stage begins on the 15th August and will run for three days. 18 teams are divided into two groups and play a Bo2 round robin format, with the top four teams advancing to the upper bracket of the Main Event, and the bottom team being eliminated. The remaining four teams then go through to the lower bracket of the main event.

The main event is a double-elimination format taking place from 20th – 25th August. The first round of the lower bracket is Bo1, with all other matches being a Bo3. The Grand Final, taking place on the 25th August, is a Bo5 to give the biggest spectacle of the weekend.

The Teams

Below are the 18 teams that have qualified for the group stages of the tournament:

  • Virtus.Pro
  • Team Liquid
  • Team Secret
  • Vici Gaming
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Mineski
  • Fnatic
  • Newbee
  • OpTic Gaming
  • VGJ Storm
  • OG
  • TnC
  • Team Serenity
  • Winstrike
  • VGJ Thunder
  • paiN Gaming
  • Invictus Gaming

Virtus.Pro, Team Liquid and PSG.LSD are the three favourites. These are the top three teams in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit this year and have won 11 championships between them, including the last three majors in the run up to The International 2018.

Virtus.Pro come into The International as favourites with their #1 Dota Pro Circuit ranking, after five major championship wins this season. Their multi-national team, led by RAMZES666, No[o]ne and 9pasha, have nearly 3000 points more than second place Team Liquid.

Team Liquid know what it takes to win The International after they did so in 2017, battling through five stages of elimination to take the biggest prize pool in eSports history. Their recent win over Virtus.Pro at the China Dota2 Supermajor shows that although they are ranked behind the Russian outfit, they are a team to be reckoned with.

PSG.LSD are the cream of the crop from Chinese Dota 2 gameplay. After forming a partnership with French football team Paris Saint-Germain on April 19th 2018, LSD went on to win two Majors in quick succession at EPICENTER XL and MDL Changsha, one of which came over Team Liquid. The last Chinese-based team to win The International was Wings Gaming back in 2016, so can PSG.LSD bring the title back to the Far East?

For an outside bet, look to Southeast-Asian team Mineski. Made up from players from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, these players have won two major Championships in Asia this year, both over PSG.LSD. They are ranked #5 in the Pro circuit so offer good odds at 16/1.

Pulished on:
Updated on: 2018-11-27

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