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Breaking down the teams at TI8

Neslyn A. July 12, 2018

The International 2018 features the world’s top Dota 2 teams aiming for the biggest cash prize in all of esports.

This most prestigious tournament brings together skilled players for a massive spectacle. We’ll now look at the top teams entering the event and the dark horses most capable of pulling off an upset.

THE FAVORITES

Virtus Pro

Virtus Pro looks to be the strongest squad in the tournament with their overwhelming run in the Dota Pro Circuit. They won four out of nine Major tournaments and landed within the top four in the remaining five.

The Russian Bears’ consistency in the DPC proved that they are more than ready to take home the coveted Aegis of Champions.

Team Liquid

As the TI curse failed to strike Team Liquid, it is possible this team could capture the first back-to-back wins in the history of The International.

The team had a great run in the DPC, only 3000 points behind Virtus Pro. Their great form makes fans believe that they can break another tradition at TI. If things go as planned, they will be the first team and first organization to defend the Aegis of Champions.

PSG.LGD

PSG.LGD had a promising start when French football club Paris Saint-Germain signed the team, but the success was short-lived. The squad finally found their stride after they rebuilt the roster in the middle of the season.

PSG.LGD won back-to-back Major tournaments, beating top teams such as Virtus Pro and Team Liquid. PSG.LGD is the best shot at preserving the TI tradition of eastern and western winners trading off the Aegis.

Evil Geniuses

Evil Geniuses has a large fan base with roots in the organization’s biggest win at The International 2015. The team had a long journey to this year’s International, earning their spot from the open qualifier.

They have made numerous roster changes, and the biggest one is the addition of Tal “Fly” Aizik and Gustav “S4” Magnusson. The roster change paid off as they were hailed as The Summit 9 Champions. The team’s drafting advantage during the tournament showed potential for a great run at TI.

THE UNDERDOGS

Team Serenity

Team Serenity was one of the most underrated teams to surprise the community in the Chinese Regional Qualifiers. They were deemed by some fans to be “the next Wings Gaming.” With their creative and intriguing playstyle, they could successfully snatch the Aegis of Champions from the frontrunners.

OG

This year, OG is considered as one of the underdogs. When Fly and s4 left the team, OG had to find new players and a new team dynamic.

The four-time Major title winner is gone, but the current roster has competent individuals that can bring the team back to the limelight. The International may be the best avenue for them to prove that they are still among the world’s best Dota 2 teams.

TNC Predator

TNC Predator is looking for a return to former glory at The International. The team’s stint in The International 2016 placed them at center stage, but they fell short after that.

They also failed to stay relevant in the DPC season. Losing the their spot atop the SEA region to stronger squads such as Mineski and Fnatic, they had a hard-fought battle for the last spot in the TI8 SEA qualifiers.

However, they are famed for beating top teams in spite of their lack of consistency. Fans are still hoping that they can pull off another major upset at TI.

Pain Gaming

The Brazilian team Pain Gaming showed great form at ESL One Birmingham, where they defeated Team Liquid twice in the group stage and took down Mineski and Fnatic to finish third. This paved the way for fans to hope for another upset at The International.

The addition of Aliwi “w33” Omar to the team brought not just a fresh mindset, but also a huge boost in morale.

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