TI10 qualifiers brackets and matches have been announced

By Steven Rondina


Jun 13, 2021

Reading time: 7 min

With all the direct invites to The International 2021 now sorted, that means the competitive field for qualifiers is now set. 

The TI10 region qualifiers brackets have officially been revealed and are now available to view. All remaining teams from both the upper and lower divisions are being allowed to compete, which has resulted in some big competitive fields in certain regions.

The qualifiers will use a double-elimination tournament format, with upper division teams and higher-ranked lower division teams starting in the upper bracket while the remaining teams start in the lower bracket. Only one team will be able to qualify for The International 10 from each region.

Valve has allowed teams to make roster changes, which has resulted in a handful of all-new squads. With that in mind it’s worth taking a look at each region and going over what they have in store.

TI10 CIS qualifiers to star new Natus Vincere

Upper bracket matches:

  • Team Spirit vs. Winstrike Team
  • PuckChamp vs. Team Unique
  • Natus Vincere vs. EXTREMUM
  • HellRaisers vs. AS Monaco Gambit

Lower bracket matches:

  • Team Empire receives bye
  • B8 vs. Prosti Esli
  • Nemiga Gaming vs. NoTechies
  • Trident Clan vs. Fantastic Five

There is a whole lot of intrigue in the qualifiers to the CIS region. Is HellRaisers’ star-studded roster capable of making a run? Is Team Empire’s new lineup able to bring the team back to glory? Can Team Spirit get it together and live up to its potential?

All of those are compelling questions, but the biggest one is how good the new Natus Vincere roster will look in its debut.

The enduring organization gutted the roster of AS Monaco Gambit just days before the WePlay AniMajor to put together a roster that brought back Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev and put him together with the core of the Virtus.pro roster that dominated almost every major from 2017 to 2019. The lineup looks the part of a potential contender at TI10, but will it be able to realize that potential?

A similar squad was put together in 2020 as Just Error, combining former Virtus.pro members with Syed “SumaiL” Hassan. Despite all that star power, the team lasted for just one event. That lack of certainty makes the CIS qualifiers more interesting than most, and it’s anyone’s guess who could win.

The CIS qualifiers for TI10 start on June 23.

NoPing looking to survive South American TI10 qualifiers

Upper bracket matches:

  • NoPing e-sports vs. Infinity
  • Team Unknown vs. Hokori
  • Infamous vs. EgoBoys
  • BINOMISTAS vs. SG e-sports

Lower bracket matches:

  • ex-Crewmates receives bye
  • Latam Defenders vs. Gorillaz-Pride
  • Omega Gaming vs. Incubus Club
  • Inverse receives bye

South America has traditionally been a top-heavy region, with one team standing above the rest while everyone else claws their way to second place. That changed in 2020 as a number of interesting teams came together and enjoyed some level of success domestically and internationally. Thunder Predator and beastcoast would be the favorites here, but both wound up qualifying to TI10 through the Dota Pro Circuit.

NoPing e-sports technically should stand as the favorites based on recent results, particularly a first-place finish in the second South American DPC league season. A flop in the WePlay AniMajor sucks a lot of wind out of the team’s sails and should sew some doubt regarding its chances.

SG e-sports and Infamous both have a real chance of maneuvering past NoPing. NoPing does have a much easier path through the upper bracket, however.

The South American qualifiers for TI10 start on June 23.

TI10 Southeast Asia qualifiers are a complete jumpball

Upper bracket matches:

  • OB Esports x Neon vs. Team SMG
  • BOOM Esports vs. Execration
  • Fnatic vs. Omega Esports
  • Motivate.Trust Gaming vs. TNC Predator

Lower bracket matches:

  • Lilgun receives bye
  • Army Geniuses vs. 496 Gaming
  • Galaxy Racer vs. Team Mystery
  • Cignal Ultra vs. ex-South Built

A lot of Southeast Asian teams have looked solid during the season, but only T1 was able to string together the consistency to earn a direct invitation to TI10. Because of that, a number of credible teams from the region will wind up watching the event from their couches.

Fnatic and TNC Predator are the names that stick out most on the list of rosters. Fnatic started the season very strong, but a flop in the ONE Esports Singapore Major and a failure to qualify for the WePlay AniMajor were lethal to their chances of qualifying directly to TI10 and prompted some late roster changes. TNC Predator was basically the opposite, with the team looking very strong late but failing to make up for their early struggles.

OB Esports x Neon might also stand out. The team had a surprisingly strong first half of the season that included a strong showing in the Singapore Major, but ultimately sputtered in the second half and needed to win tiebreakers to avoid relegation.

TNC is likely to open as the betting favorite, but any of the three could conceivably pull it off. Fans also shouldn’t sleep on BOOM Esports, which looked solid in the second SEA DPC league.

The SEA qualifiers to TI10 begin on June 30.

North American TI10 qualifiers are Undying vs. everyone else

Upper bracket matches:

  • Undying vs. The Cut
  • Black N Yellow vs. SADBOYS
  • Simply TOOBASED vs. D2 Hustlers
  • Arkosh Gaming vs. 4 Zoomers

Lower bracket teams:

  • Team DogChamp
  • 5ManMidas
  • Electronic Boys
  • Felt

There was a great deal of drama surrounding the TI10 qualifiers ahead of the AniMajor, and that’s really felt when looking over the teams competing.

Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao went to SADBOYS after a public blowout surrounding his departure from the Black N Yellow roster. Two lower division teams were ejected from the league and handed permanent bans from Valve, something that leaves the lower bracket empty of matchups at this time.

Throughout the entire Dota Pro Circuit season, North America has been a clear three-horse race between Quincy Crew, Evil Geniuses, and Undying. With the former two qualifying for TI10, there isn’t much standing in Undying’s way to move on here.

That isn’t to say Undying is a sure thing. The new SADBOYS core of EternaLEnVy, Eric “Ryoya” Dong, and David “Moo” Hull had a great deal of potential when it came together in 2020 as 4FUN. 4 Zoomers has also taken wins over Undying in the past. Still, discussion over who is going to win this starts and ends with Undying. North America’s qualifiers begin on June 30.

Elephant looking to live up to potential in Chinese TI10 qualifiers

Upper bracket matches:

  • Elephant vs. Team MagMa
  • LBZS vs. Royal Never Give Up
  • Phoenix Gaming vs. Sparking Arrow Gaming
  • Aster.Aries vs. EHOME

Lower bracket teams:

  • CDEC Gaming
  • Xtreme Gaming

China’s hardest hitters all qualified for TI10 through the Dota Pro Circuit, with Team Aster, PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming, and Invictus Gaming all getting a direct invitation. That leaves the tier-two teams in the region to sort things out amongst themselves. Surprisingly, Elephant is basically cemented into tier-two status at the regional level.

Some of that is because China’s talent pool is vast, and the four qualified teams are all international elites. Some of that is because Elephant just hasn’t looked all that great.

Elephant initially started strong by winning multiple regional events, but has been underwhelming throughout 2021. That’s a big disappointment from a team that has five of the most decorated and talented players in the region, but there’s a clear chance here to potentially salvage the season.

There’s a bit of competition there for Elephant with Royal Never Give Up and EHOME in the hunt, but Elephant may be the single biggest favorite in the qualifiers across all regions.

Europe’s TI10 qualifiers include OG, Nigma, and more

Upper bracket matches:

  • Team Nigma vs. Hellbear Smashers
  • Vikin.gg vs. OG
  • Tundra Esports vs. Brame
  • Level UP vs. Team Liquid

Lower bracket matches:

  • Ghost Frogs receives bye
  • Chicken Fighters vs. No Bounty Hunter
  • Into the Breach vs. Hippomaniacs
  • Team Bald Reborn receives bye

Europe sent four teams to both majors and got exactly one good run between the two of them, and even that saw Team Secret place only fourth at the Singapore Major. That has resulted in an absolute pileup of formidable teams being set to brawl for one TI10 qualifying slot between all of them.

There’s loads of name value just from a quick glance between OG, Team Nigma, and Team Liquid, but that’s actually just the tip of the iceberg. Tundra Esports is a serious threat as well, Vikin.gg has very real upset potential, and Brame wasn’t a slouch in DreamLeague Season 15.

Absolutely nobody is safe in the European TI10 qualifiers because the competition is looking so tight. The favorites to win may wind up being either Team Nigma or OG. Nigma showed that it has a lot of fight left in the AniMajor, while OG’s ability to step up for The International likely needs no explanation. Whoever wins, they’ll need to save face at TI to prove that the European region still has the strength it once boasted.