The International is the benchmark tournament for Dota 2 and most of other eSports, that sets the standard for prize pool and quality of entertainment. Dota 2 community loves TI and last week we witnessed a vicious TI qualification series.
People have very different opinions on how bad or good the qualifiers were organized. A prominent Russian Dota 2 commentator Vitalii “V1lat” Volochai wrote an interesting account of his impressions of TI qualifiers:
“For the last 2 days I have read a great many of interviews and commentaries calling the qualifiers horrible and impossibly bad.
Bla-bla-bla. The qualifiers, as always, were great. 8 days of merry-go-round, and the last 5 of them turned into a super marathon with very cool emotions. And the statements about “very low skill level” are only relevant to those with a very high skill or very low viewer base.”
Who let the Dogs out?
Team Planet Dog is the greatest surprise of TI Qualifiers. The squad managed to get to the main round of European Qualifiers through an open bracket and then pulled off a series of huge blows to invited teams. They finished round robin with 6:3 score and got knocked to the losers’ bracket at play off. Than Planet Dog crawled back up, upsetting Team Singularity, Danish Bears and Mousesports in the end.
Here is the main takeaway of the story: about a month ago 4 members of the team were playing for Prodota Gaming. After a conflict inside the organization all members of the squad but Ylli “garter” Ramadani left the team. Having secured a seed at TI 2017, players of Planet Dog made a sarcastic tweet addressed to their previous organization, saying “big shoutout to @prodotagaming and @garterdota2 for believing in us”.
Goodbye Old Friends
In a previous article we have said that this year TI will be happening without Natus Vincere, the iconic team of Dota 2 competitive scene. Na’Vi won the very first TI and managed to take top places for 3 consecutive years. This season the organization recruited 3 legionnaires: Per Anders Olsson “Pajkatt” Lille, Malthe “Biver” Winther and Roman “rmN-” Paley (Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev took his place in April). There are different rumors about the Na’Vi reshuffle due to bad results and conflicts inside the team, but at the moment they have not been confirmed by reliable sources.
Although the absence of Na’Vi at TI 2017 is sad for most of Dota 2 fans, it is not a surprise. With its current roster the team did not manage to get notable results and was always eliminated in early stages of LAN tournaments.
This year there will be only 4 veterans at The International 2017, who have participated in each previous TI: Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora (EG), Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi (TL), Clement “Puppey” Ivanov (Team Secret) Leong “DDC” Fat-meng (LFY).
SEA — the Most Stable Region
Although the SEA teams, who qualified for the main event, have had a series of recent roster changes, they all got the same seeds at TI 2017 as at TI 2016. TNC Pro Team secured the spot for victory in round robin stage. Fnatic took second place in round robin, but they destroyed their opponents in the playoffs.
Execration had the most difficult path to TI: they merely won a slot at play off through a tie-breaker match against Team Faceless. At play off Execration started with a loss, but they won the losers’ bracket, defeating Mineski and Clutch Gamers 2:1.
Most Notable Match of the Qualifiers
If you haven’t watched that crazy game between Vega Squadron and Team Empire, you absolutely have to do it. Seriously, at least skim through the game. Here are some interesting takeaways from that 2 hour long match:
— multiple Cheeses laid in Roshpit;
— multiple Rapiers laid in the spawning locations;
— a casual Rapier and Gem of True Sight near by lay outside the spawning location for minutes;
— in one single battle a hero would die, lose his Rapiers, buyback, pick those Rapiers back up and get back in the same battle.
Are We Out of Great Dota 2 till August?
Usually after TI there is a period of downtime when viewers are in a sort of hangover from the event, and the teams are reshuffling their rosters. Now that the qualifiers are over we are looking at a similar situation, but on a smaller scale. Besides the 18 teams who will go to Seattle in August, most of other teams will be looking to change their play or trade their members, and viewers will be anxiously waiting for the matches of their favorites at TI.
If you think that we are out of Dota 2 action till August, there are some great news for you! There will be 2 great international events that deserve your attention (besides a great many of smaller scale tournaments).
Next week kicks off Mars Dota 2 League 2017 with lots of TI participants (EG, OG, Newbee, IG, LFY and LGD). Once you are out of VoDs from MDL, look for the stream of DreamLeague Season 7 that will host LAN finals 21-22 July. Team Liquid will be the headliner of the event and we will see if they are willing to to give away their strats right before TI!
Are you happy with how TI qualifiers were held? Do you think some teams, who missed their chance to go to the main event, still deserve to be there? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or share them with us at the Fast2Play Facebook and Twitter pages!