TI11 Group Stage Highlights: EG, Team Liquid impress

Posted on October 19, 2022 - Last Updated on October 24, 2022

The group stage of Dota 2 The International has drawn to a close. It has been a frenetic few days with no shortage of surprises, and the brackets for the main event are now confirmed.

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Group A has been dominated by the two North American teams, Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid, who are at the top of the rankings.

TI11 odds favorites PSG.LGD and OG are close behind at third and fourth place, respectively. All four are now confirmed for the Main Event Upper Bracket. Bringing up the lower bracket at fifth to eighth seed are Hokori, Royal Never Give Up, and Gaimin Gladiators. BetBoom Team, Boom Esports and Soniqs have dropped out of contention and are eliminated from TI11 betting.

ti11 group stage highlghts
Image credit: PGL Esports via Twitter

North American seeds Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid dominate Group A

The rise of North America again in the Dota 2 TI11 favorites has been gratifying to watch, simply because better quality competitors ensure a higher level of competition. After three years of disappointing turnouts on the world stage, it looks like the EG we know are finally back in action.

Without a doubt, they’ve been a class apart in the North American Dota Pro Circuit, but while it was predicted that they’d reach the Main Event, no one could’ve guessed they’d make it as top seeds.

EG kicked off Dota 2 TI 2022 with three consecutive and truly remarkable wins – dominant 2-0 triumphs over Soniqs, OG and PSG.LGD. Artour ‘Arteezy‘ Babaev and Abed ‘Abed‘ Yusop accounted for a spectacular 20 kills between them in their first game against LGD, taking 10 each, and Abed assisted 14 kills too.

They were dominant, racing to victory in just under half an hour and taking 30 kills while conceding only nine. The next game was longer and even bloodier, going on for over 50 minutes and witnessing a whopping 67 kills. Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen and Tal “Fly” Aizik got in on the action too, along with Arteezy and Abed, both taking 12 kills each and over 20 assists.

Title favorites OG, PSG.LGD qualify for Main Event

EG’s series against OG was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the group stage so far. The first game was incredibly tight, EG ending with 38 kills and OG with 26. The unstoppable Arteezy led the way with 10 kills and 38k gold.

This loss seemed to take all the bite out of OG, because they folded in the next game within 25 minutes after conceding 34 deaths while inflicting only five. They’ve lost only two series and four games so far, once against North American rivals Team Liquid on Day 2, and another against Boom Esports series yesterday. All of their other matches have been 2-0 sweeps.

While Dota 2 TI 11 favorites PSG.LGD and OG have both looked competitive enough, it’s not really the same level of dominance that fans expected from them. They’ve both been overshadowed by the two North American giants, Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid. The latter are in second place in Group A with a 13-5 record, with five outright wins, three ties and one loss. PSG finished third and OG at fourth seed with a 12-6 and 10-8 record, respectively.

psg.lgd promoted to main event at ti11 dota 2 2022
Image credit: PSG.LGD via Twitter

COVID-19 impacts Group A on day three and four

PSG were impacted by a COVID fiasco heading into day three. Their failure to report their general manager Pan Fei’s positive test led to penalties being imposed for their last three games.

However, RNG were the ones who suffered the consequences of this the most. One of their players, Somnus contracted the virus too. RNG had to forfeit their game against PSG, and the latter claimed two points despite the originally imposed penalties.

Underdogs Tundra Esports, Team Secret secure top two seeds in competitive Group B

Tundra Esports are the top seed in Group B. However, this group’s been a lot tighter than the other. Rather than one team dominating, like Evil geniuses did, it’s been a tight race for the top seed between Tundra Esports and Team Secret.

They’re the first and second seeds with 14-4 and 15-5, respectively. Tundra looked competitive but a little unsure of themselves on the first couple of days taking ties in their first three games, but a 2-0 victory against Secret set the ball rolling. Another 2-0 victory against Talon set them up nicely in contention for the Upper Bracket. They backed this up on days three and four with sweeping wins over Team Spirit, Entity and Fnatic, sealing their top seed.

Team Secret had to fight for their TI11 spot through the play-ins and looked like the shakier side between the top two seeds. Two wins against beastcoast and TSM put their campaign on track despite losing to Tundra on day two.

After tying with Team Spirit they flattened Entity, Talon Esports and Team Aster in successive games to break into the top two.

Thunder Awaken, Team Aster show plenty of promise

Other remarkable performances from Group B have been from Thunder Awaken and Team Aster, who now occupy third and fourth place in the standings and secured the last two spots in the upper bracket. This is only the second time these two teams are appearing at The International, and their turnaround from last year has been tremendous.

Thunder’s wins over Fnatic and Talon Esports set them up in a good position for the coming week, despite the loss to Entity. They couldn’t win any series outright on days three and four, but they didn’t lose any either, and they’d already done enough to ensure a finish in the top four.

Aster were exceptional across the first two days, trouncing TSM, Talon Esports and beastcoast 2-0 each to shoot to the top of the standings, but heavy losses to Fnatic and Team Secret meant they missed out on the top two seeds.

Defending champions Team Spirit have looked out of sorts. They’ve only won one series outright, this was against Entity on day one. They’re stuck at seed number six in Group B with a 9-9 record.

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Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil has been writing on esports for several years after first covering competitive video gaming for ESPN. After its explosion into the mainstream, writing extensively on esports betting was the natural next step, including for major esports publications across the world.

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