Steven R. August 14, 2019
The International 2019 starts in less than 24 hours, but teams are just now finding out what group they will compete in.
Dota 2 community manager Wykhrm Reddy revealed the two groups that teams will compete in for the first phase of TI9.
Group A is comprised of Alliance, Chaos Esports Club, Keen Gaming, Mineski, Newbee, PSG.LGD, Team Liquid, Team Secret, and TNC Predator.
Group B is comprised of Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, Infamous, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG, Royal Never Give Up, Vici Gaming, and Virtus.pro.
The announcement drew a mix of reactions from fans. Naturally, the discussion largely revolved around which was the stronger group.
The two frontrunners at the tournament were separated, with Team Secret and Vici Gaming split up into different groups. Past that, most of the other strong candidates to win were placed into group B, with Evil Geniuses, OG, and Virtus.pro all lumped together. Group A has some strong contenders as well with Team Liquid and PSG.LGD, but there is a big drop-off past them.
The other major topic of discussion among fans was the allocation of teams based on region. Four of the six teams from Europe are set to compete in group A, which results in fans not seeing the freshest and most compelling matchups possible. Meanwhile, both teams from the CIS region were placed in group B, a fact which has fans from Russia crying foul.
The group stage will see each group of teams compete in round robin format. Each series will be a best-of-two, with each game won being worth one point.
The top four from each group will begin TI9 in the upper bracket, while teams that come in fifth through eighth will start in the lower bracket. The worst-performing team from each group will be eliminated.
The International 2019 begins on August 14.