Dota 2: 8 Teams To Watch At The International 10
Let’s take a look at which teams you should watch out for, and which ones have the best chance of winning the $40 million tournament this year.
China’s powerhouse PSG.LGD has dominated the Dota Pro Circuit year after year. They won two majors in the first iteration of the DPC, which was the 2017-18 season. They finished 2nd at The International 2018 in a memorable and absolutely jaw-dropping Grand Final series that went to a deciding game 5. They came back strong in the next season, finishing 3rd at The International 2019. A commendable achievement, but a disappointment for them nonetheless.
And although the roster has changed drastically since then, replacing 4 of the 5 players, their performance has continued to impress in this year’s DPC season. Ame, NothingToSay, Faith_bian, XinQ and y` form undoubtedly the best team in China. They are being coached by veteran TI4 winner xiao8, who has also stood-in for them on occasion. It remains to be seen whether this roster will finally fulfill China’s dream of winning The International once again after 5 whole years. But only a fool would underestimate them.
North America’s finest have struggled to win a premier Valve tournament for a long time. The roster that won The International 5 all those years ago has completely transformed into something new. Not a single player from the TI5-winning team remains, but they have no lack of skill even today. Arteezy, Abed, iceiceice, Cr1t and Fly have stepped up their game over the last year.
Even if they did fail to snag a Major title this season, EG had a strong 2nd place finish in both the Winter and Spring majors. This made them the winners of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit season, with the most DPC points accumulated than any other team. They placed 5th-6th at The International 2019 and 3rd at The International 2018, which wasn’t exactly what they were hoping for. But they are an incredibly resilient team that has instilled a “never say die” attitude. Some might say this is the best chance at winning TI they’ve had in years.
No matter how much you say about Team Secret, it’ll probably never be enough. The skill they have showcased ever since the organization’s formation is nothing short of stellar. Year after year, they managed to win at least a couple of tournaments in the DPC. And although they always faltered at TI, they managed to finish strong nonetheless.
Under the leadership of Puppey, their captain and founding member, they have remained a consistent and intimidating threat. He remains the only professional player to compete at every single International, including the first which he won. MATUMBAMAN, Nisha, zai and YapzOr form the rest of the team. They have a calm, methodical and merciless style of play that very few can find a way to counter.
Virtus.pro is CIS/Eastern Europe’s finest team. They have long been the region’s only hope at winning another TI, following Na`Vi‘s legendary run at the first three Internationals. The roster during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons of the DPC was a beast of its own, winning 3 and 1 majors respectively. But, like Team Secret, they always seem to falter at TI.
This season’s team saw them adopt their VP.Prodigy squad into the main roster. As their name suggests, this lineup consists of some incredibly young and talented players from the scene: Nightfall, gpk, DM, Save- and Kingslayer. In fact, the former two are known to have reached incredibly high MMRs of 11k and 12k respectively. It remains to be seen whether they can top their previous years’ results for the org and finally shine a light on the region once again.
South America has never really been at the forefront of Dota 2’s professional scene. But, since 2017, both the player base of casual players and skill level of professional teams has grown substantially. Thunder Predator is only one of many South American teams that impressed us this season, but only two made the cut for a direct invite. The other one being beastcoast. However, we think what gives them an edge at TI10 is the addition of TI5 winner Fear as their coach.
Mnz, Leostyle-, Frank, MoOz and Mjz have stuck around since the very beginning of the year, never making a single change to their roster. And we think this is one of their biggest strengths. Often times, teams are quick to make a change when their performance is less than what they’d like. But sticking together, learning from mistakes and forming a bond is often worth a lot more than just raw skill in numbers.
PSG.LGD isn’t the only formidable contender from China this year. In fact, there are 5 teams from the region who qualified to The International 2021, four of which got a direct invite. It should be proof that China’s thirst for blood and a TI championship is very, very real. And of the two teams most likely to win it, one is Invictus Gaming.
The organization won The International 2012 all those years ago, beating the defending champions Na`Vi. But times have changed, and so has their roster. Flyfly, Emo, JT-, Kaka and Oli form the team that won the first Major of this season, the ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021. Their support player Kaka is known for placing 2nd at The International 2017, an admirable achievement. That’s one of the many reasons why we recommend keeping a close eye on this team at TI10.
Like South America, Southeast Asia isn’t always considered the best region at any given point of time. No team has managed to snag an Aegis of the Immortal under their belt. And although a few have won a Major in the past, TI is a whole other ballgame. This year, T1 has undoubtedly come out at the top, finishing 6th in the DPC season and getting a direct invite to the big event.
SEA has no shortage of raw skill and talent in general. Some of the highest MMR players and youngest prodigies come from here. Often times, they are invited to play on teams from other regions. But 23savage, Karl, Kuku, Xepher and Whitemon stayed to represent Southeast Asia. Their carry player 23savage was the 2nd player to ever reach 11k MMR and first player to ever reach 12k MMR, a spectacular achievement. And to make it even better, joining them will be March, a renowned coach from South Korea.
Like ’em or hate ’em, you can’t deny OG bring something special to TI. The first team to win two Internationals cannot simply be left out of this list. Every year, they falter during the DPC season and bring less-than-stellar performances. But they always come around and bring the magic when it’s TI season.
Two players from their 2-time TI-winning lineup have left the team and seemingly retired for good. But Topson, Ceb and N0tail remain. Joining them will be TI5-winning mid laner SumaiL and TI6-runner up Saksa. Together, they fought their way in what was easily considered the fiercest qualifier for The International 10. Western Europe’s Regional Qualifier saw some of the most talented teams in the scene compete for the one remaining slot to TI. In the end, OG came out on top, proving they’re not out of the race and the chance to possibly win a third International.
Fans of the team received worrisome news that their offlaner Ceb would potentially have to miss out on the event due to recovery from eye surgery. But those worries were quickly stifled as his doctor gave him the go, and we will now be seeing the team battling it out in full force. Regardless, Team Liquid‘s miCKe will still be standing in as a reserve player for them.
That’s it for our list of the teams that you should closely watch at The International 10. The event starts tomorrow, so make sure you don’t miss a single day. It’s gonna be one helluva time!