The International 2018 is well under way, and the group stage has just finished. We said goodbye to Invictus Gaming and paiN Gaming and the upper and lower brackets have been formed. Lots of exciting Dota has been played, and the competition is fierce – The Aegis of Champions is truly anyone’s to claim this year. Here are EsportsBets’ power rankings of the remaining teams.
Winstrike Team started day one off fairly positive, scoring 2-2, but struggled over the next 3 days. Their drafts were a bit unusual, although this occasionally worked out in their favor. They ended the group stage with a final score of 4-12, tied with Invictus Gaming for the lowest scores in their group. They entered a tie-breaker with them, where they knocked Invictus Gaming out of the tournament 2-0. Winstrike aren’t looking too good going into the main event, not having won a single game against many of the giants including Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid or PSG.LGD.
Team Serenity have done quite well this group stage, having only lost 2-0 to two teams, Newbee and VGJ.Storm. However, they have only beaten paiN Gaming 2-0, who are now knocked out. They have secured themselves a spot in the lower bracket, but may struggle to keep up with the fierce competition at the main event. Their drafts have been somewhat unorthodox, which hasn’t always worked out for them, but it does make it very hard to predict their picks and their play-style.
Mineski have played in some very exciting match-ups. Their series against Fnatic is particularly notable, as the game lasted over 80 minutes. Unfortunately, the team has struggled throughout the group stage and at the end of day four, the team finished with a score of 5-11. This is one of the lowest scores in their brackets, and the team seem to be struggling against almost every other team. They failed to win a single game against many of the giants such as Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses and PSG.LGD.
Vici Gaming’s results are quite varied. On one hand, they are tied with TNC Predator and Team Serenity for the lowest scores of their group. On the other hand, they have managed to secure many victories, most notably beating Newbee and tournament favorites VP 2-0. Their drafting seems to be very strong, although they don’t tend to try crazy or new things. Their bracket has been very close in terms of results, and Vici Gaming may do a lot better at the main event, but being in the lower bracket, they won’t have much space for mistakes.
TNC Predator have done very well so far. Their momentum has picked up and been dropped here and there, and they have struggled against Newbee Team Secret and VGJ.Storm. However, they put up very convincing performances against OpTic Gaming and Vici Gaming. They unfortunately fell into the lower bracket on day 4, but have been performing well overall and their individual players have had a chance to shine. They will need to be more consistent in order to go further into the competition, however.
VGJ.Thunder have had somewhat of an up-and-down performance throughout this group stage. They have put up great performances in most of their games, and made almost all of their opponents fight for their victories over them, but ultimately, their final group stage result is 6-10, placing them in the lower bracket. They won 2-0 against Winstrike Team and Invictus Gaming and have snagged 2 more victories against LGD.PSG and Mineski, although they failed to win against any other teams. They were also crushed by OG and Team Liquid, who both made quick victories against them. VGJ.Thunder have the potential to go far, but need strategies to deal with the stronger teams in the tournament.
Newbee have had a decent run this group stage, having won as many match-ups 2-0 as they have lost, and finishing the group stage with a final score of 8-8. This left them tied with Team Secret and OpTic Gaming, and after losing their tie-breaker, they were unfortunately placed into the lower bracket. Their individual players have been putting on great performances, and their drafts have been very unique. They have twice run a support Ursa with which they have impressively managed to win both games with very aggressive play-styles. They may struggle against VP in particular, but it seems very close between Newbee and every other team in their group.
Fnatic began the group stage very strongly, stomping the giants of Team Liquid. By the end of day 2, Fnatic had a 5-3 score. However, over the next two days, the team failed to maintain their high level of performance and ended the group stage 7-9, landing in the lower bracket. The team only scored 2-0 in one of the eight match-ups they played in, indicating that the team needs to shape up in order to stay in the competition.
Team Secret have had a very inconsistent run through the group stage. They have demonstrated incredibly plays and co-ordination, but have also struggled against some of the other teams in their group, including Newbee and VGJ.Storm. Team Secret ended the group stage with a score of 8-8, tying with OpTic Gaming and Newbee. They won their tie-breaker and managed to secure themselves a spot in the upper bracket, but the team will have to be more disciplined in order to make it much further.
OpTic Gaming seem to be very up and down in terms of performance. They have struggled against many teams and in particular against VP, against whom they lost the ESL One Birmingham finals 3-0. Later, VP also knocked them out of the China Dota2 Supermajor 2-0. They may be their eventual downfall, but OpTic have definitely put on some great performances against many teams and managed to turn their 4-8 score in day 3 into a final score of 8-8. They won the tiebreaker against Newbee, and secured themselves a slot in the upper bracket.
OG have put on an overall good performance this group stage. They struggled against some of the more dominant teams and failed to take a game from either Evil Geniuses or Team Liquid but went 1-1 against PSG.LGD. OG managed to secure themselves a place in the upper bracket at the main event with a final score of 9-7. Their players have demonstrated their skill in game, with excellent performances in particular on both of their core players. OG will need to find a way to deal with the other teams in the upper bracket from their group if they want to claim the aegis, but they are looking strong so far.
After a rough start, where they finished 5-5 on day two, many were surprised by the disappointing performance of this team. It was certainly not the dominating force that people had come to associate PSG.LGD with, but over days three and four, the team recovered and took many series 2-0 from other teams and ending the group stage 11-5. However, the team failed to take one game from Evil Geniuses and their drafts have, at times, been questionable.
VP have been crushing the competition this year, and as such they are among the favorites to win this event. They have had a slightly shaky group stage however, which may be because they are testing their opponents rather than actually because they are being out-played. They have still managed to secure themselves a spot in the upper bracket, and end the group stage with 10-6, behind VGJ.Storm. The only team they have failed to secure at least one victory against is Vici Gaming, showing that they have the potential to beat almost any team so far. They are hard to predict and seem to be very confident after a highly successful season.
VGJ.Storm have put on one of the most dominating performances of any team this group stage. Besides losing both of their matches to VP, who may well be their downfall, they have only lost 2 other games to 2 other teams, OpTic Gaming and Newbee. Their drafting is excellent and the flexibility of their players allow them to pick unorthodox heroes which makes them very hard to predict and play against. They have come out of the group stage at the top of their group with a final score of 12-4, and are looking incredibly strong heading into the main event. They may struggle against VP however, but they absolutely have a chance to redeem themselves and go very far this tournament.
Evil Geniuses have ended the Group Stage tied with Team Liquid at the top of their group, securing themselves a spot in the upper bracket. Over the four days of matches, Evil Geniuses lost only one match a day, resulting in an overall score of 11-3. Their domination is a testament to the raw skill of the players, and EG are serious contenders for this year’s aegis. The team has struggled through and won a number of comebacks which reflect the strength of the team’s drafting and coordination. Evil Geniuses are looking to be on the strongest teams this year.
At the end of day two, Team Liquid’s results did not look very promising. They were at a score of 5-3 and had lost to PSG.LGD, IG and Fnatic, the latter two having lost more games than they have won at this point. However, the team put on an incredible show on days 3 and 4, winning 8 games straight and bringing their final score up to 13-3, where they are tied with Evil Geniuses for the highest scores. The defending champions are looking incredibly strong, despite a rough beginning.