Dota Pro Circuit regional champs NoPing e-sports were the favorites coming into the South American The International 2021 qualifiers, but fell out of contention.
Heading into the qualifier, NoPing e-sports were ranked 15th on the Dota Pro CIrcuit leaderboard. They missed the cutoff for a direct invitation to The International 10 by just three spots. Their dominance in the South American DPC season hinted at a TI10 appearance, but two defeats cost them the opportunity.
Their initial match against Infinity was the biggest upset of the starting round. The two squads traded stomps for a 1-1 scoreline. The final match was closer than the 33-minute timer indicates, but NoPing eventually fell to Bernardo “Berna” Alarcón’s Medusa.
The early loss put NoPing into a precarious lower bracket position, but the team stayed tough. Gonzalo “Darkmago” Herrera opened up his lower bracket run with a daring first blood on Interitus’ mid laner. NoPing e-sports confidently bowled them over before repeating the feat against Hokori. NoPing’s final victory against EgoBoys was their biggest stomp yet. Both games combined took less than an hour.
Game one of NoPing against Team Unknown was the second-longest map of the entire tournament. An unusually smooth Roshan steal set Unknown up for mid-game success. Unknown’s Christian “Pakazs” Savina’s potent Morphling racked up 21 kills with zero deaths in 47 minutes.
NoPing almost ran the same draft for game two, but this time with William “hFn” Medeiros’s signature Sven. 787 XPM brought on a game three. A massive team fight victory at 34 minutes gave hope to NoPing, but the squad lost late to another Medusa in the hands of Pakazs.
SG e-sports sit comfortably in the grand finals thanks to a nearly perfect upper bracket run. Infinity and Team Unknown will battle in the lower bracket to decide SG’s challenger.
Whoever wins will join Thunder Predator and Beastcoast in representing South America at The International 10. 18 Dota 2 teams will contend for $40,018,195, the biggest prize pool in esports history. The original plans for Stockholm have been officially abandoned by Valve, so the date and location for TI10 are still yet to be determined.