Dota 2 The International 2022 is inching closer to the day when the Aegis of Champions will be crowned. With the Last Chance Qualifiers out of the way, we can now look forward to the group stage.
Looking back at the Last Chance Qualifiers
The LCQs just ended a couple of days ago with just two teams advancing to TI, Team Liquid and Team Spirit. Held across four days between October 8 and October 12, the format provided everyone a fair chance even if they didn’t do too well in the group stage.
In the end, this worked out quite favorably for the two qualifiers, Liquid ending as the top seed in Group B and especially well for Secret, who seeded third in Group C. Secret, in particular, looked lackluster in the group stage, managing to draw four series but win only one. However, they completely turned the tide in the playoffs.
Their third seed meant that they slotted directly into the upper bracket quarterfinals, where they beat Xtreme Gaming 2-1, then made short work of T1 and Virtus.Pro 2-0 each to progress to the next stage. Liquid slipped to the lower bracket after a loss to Virtus.Pro, but battled and won against the same opponent later on to join Team Secret.
Group stage format
All twenty seeds have been confirmed for the group stage now that LCQs have concluded. Twenty teams have been divided into two groups each and will now participate in a single round-robin, with all matches held as a best-of-two. The Dota 2 TI schedule is packed between October 15 and 19, with 60 games squeezed into four days.
Of these, sixteen teams will make it to the Main Event, while the last four will have to head back home. The top four will seed through to the Upper Bracket, with those in 5th-8th relegated to the lower. We’ve broken down the tournament’s favorites below, which should cover your Dota 2 TI11 betting needs.
Will this be the year for PSG.LGD?
The team from China is one of the three main contenders for the title, with the TI11 odds stacked in their favor. This year, they have enjoyed plenty of success, topping Tour I and II of the Dota Pro Circuit China Division 1. PSG’s form slipped a little in July during Tour III, raising some questions about how well they’d be able to compete at the upcoming TI.
All doubts were dispelled when they coasted to victory at the Riyadh Masters, flattening Team Spirit at the grand final 2-0 and bringing home a hefty $1.5 million prize. They stood as runners-up in the PGL Majors in Arlington back in August, thwarted at the end by Spirit.
After coming so close to the championship at TI10, their form at the pro circuit since then suggests that this could finally be their year to win big. They have never won The International in the past decade, despite being among the top teams around with multiple second and third-place finishes over the years.
Can Team Spirit replicate the magic from last year?
Spirit’s stunning victory at TI last year shook the Dota community to its foundation. After making it to the Main Event after years of unsuccessful attempts to qualify, they swept the title out from under the feet of the team most commonly backed to win it, PSG.
It’s interesting to note that though LGD dominates the head-to-head record between the two sides, winning six and tying one series out of nine, the only two losses have come during crucial grand finals. This is a testament to Spirit’s killer instinct and ability to hold their nerve under pressure while also pointing out the white elephant in the room that is LGD’s inability to close out important games.
Spirit are unchanged from one year ago, fielding the same roster that catapulted them to glory at TI last year, and it’s paid dividends. Over the last three months, they finished as runners-up in the Riyadh Cup, then won the PGL Arlington Majors – two major tournament finals in the year’s second half.
More likely than not, we’re going to see a third Spirit versus PSG grand final in a row unless some other team springs a surprise like Spirit themselves did last year.
OG finally at full-strength
OG has a young squad that’s clearly hungry for success, and that possesses the potential to live up to their high-achieving predecessors. They have had a great year after a disappointing 7th-8th finish at TI last year.
In 2022 they became only the third organization to win a fifth Major title. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to field a full-strength roster for most of the year. Their leader Misha has been troubled by visa issues and hasn’t been able to appear in most major tournaments for his team this year.
Former player Ceb and coach Chuvash have been forced to fill in for him, but now that they’re back at full strength, we can certainly expect some big things from this side. Without doubt, they’re one of the favorite Dota 2 TI teams to win the title.
Team Aster peaking at the right time
Aster have never always received the credit they have fully deserved, always overshadowed by their more illustrious counterparts LGD. They have always been one step behind, but if their results over the last two months are anything to go by, they’re now ready to compete at the top level.
Aster finished third at the PGL Arlington Majors, getting knocked out by eventual winners Fnatic 2-1 in the semifinals, and just a couple of weeks later, stood as runners-up in the ESL One Malaysia. They could cause a lot of trouble for the big three at TI, just as they did in the Majors in the latter half of the year, so don’t write them off.
Entity: the dark horses
Entity packed in quite a punch at the two Majors they played in the latter half of the year, the PGL Majors in Arlington followed by the ESL One in Malaysia. They seeded in 5th-6th place in both, knocked out by Team Aster in Arlington and Fnatic at Malaysia.
Ivan “Pure” Moskalenko has been the catalyst that put them on the map, but he’s just one person. The team themselves have grown in leaps and bounds, as evidenced by their strong showing in Arlington where they seeded within the top six. This was despite Pure’s absence from the tournament because he couldn’t secure his visa in time.