The group stage matches for The International 2021 have finally been revealed.
Valve has confirmed the matchups and schedule details for the first leg of The International 2021. Unlike certain Dota Pro Circuit events of the past, the groups are evenly distributed when it comes to teams from the same region and neither group is unevenly loaded with teams from one region.
The group distribution breaks down as follows:
TI10 will follow the same format as previous years. The 18 teams competing at the event will be broken up into two groups of nine teams each. The teams will play in a round-robin format in best-of-two series.
Once the games are played, the top four teams in each group begin the tournament in the upper bracket. The next four teams after that start their TI10 playoffs journey in the lower bracket, with a best-of-one match eliminating half of them. The bottom team in each group is sent home.
Though there have been rampant health issues at TI10, teams that are affected will be allowed to play their group stage matches from isolation. It does not seem as though their group stage schedules were adjusted to accommodate them.
The groups for TI10 are evenly distributed regionally, but they’re also quite close in terms of skill level. It is unclear how the groups were seeded, as there are four qualifier teams in group B compared to two in group A. Either way, teams in both groups are facing uphill battles with few easy outs between them.
Most of the biggest favorites to win The International 2021 are equally split up. Evil Geniuses, OG, Invictus Gaming, and T1 are in group A, while group B boasts PSG.LGD, Team Secret, Elephant, and Quincy Crew. Group A could be considered slightly more difficult because each team has either been strong within their region or has had success in international LAN events in the past.
The teams most at risk of a group stage elimination are likely Team Undying, Alliance, and Thunder Predator in group A, and SG esports, Fnatic, and beastcoast from group B. Even among those teams, it’s difficult to pick who will be sent home, as each has performed well at different points over the last two years.
The questions will be answered in the very near future. TI10 begins with group stage play, which begins on October 7 and runs through October 10. The TI10 playoffs start on October 12.
TI10’s group stage games begin each day at 3 a.m. ET. The day will start with four series running simultaneously, with other matches coming on as those finish. Though series are officially set to begin every two hours, this is subject to change based on series running long.