As with predicting who would get invited, theScore eSports staff have submitted their guesses for who is going to come in the top four spots for each region's qualifier for The International. Each also took the time to explain some of their choices, even if they're a bit... outlandish.
|North American Rejects v2||Not Today||North American Rejects v2||North American Rejects v2|
|Not Today||compLexity Gaming||Not Today||Not Today|
|compLexity Gaming||ROOT Gaming||unknown.xiu||ROOT Gaming|
Annabelle: It seems only logical that mousesports (aka Team Tinker) should take the top spot in the Americas region since they’ve got top tier carry Black^ and many other experienced players on their side. The rest of the group is a bit trickier.
NARv2’s recent showing at the Dota 2 Canada Cup finals puts them in second for me, while I gave one of the bottom two spots to Not Today for making it to The Summit 3.
Connor: I feel this is the most underwhelming group to predict. If mousesports don’t take first place, it will be considered a massive upset. I am not particularly inspired watching Not Today but they are becoming a regular appearance in American events which is why I picked them to take second. As for compLexity and ROOT Gaming, I hope they can manage to grab top four as I would like to see more of them in the future.
Dennis: The top three teams for this region are pretty clear. mousesports is more than capable of taking games off of top tier teams, thanks in no small part to Black^, while the latest iteration of the North American Rejects have already proven themselves with their win at the Canada Cup 5.
SmAsH + 4, or Not Today, have been the South American hopes for years now, but they may be dethroned by another Peruvian squad, unknown.xiu, the open qualifier winners. There, unknown.xiu knocked out Summer’s Rift, a team that would have been a favored had they not been disqualified.
Matt: Mousesports seems to be a lock for this qualifier, but I’m more concerned with the other three teams that come after them; NAR, NT and ROOT all have potential, but it must be realized in a pressure-filled environment.
Not Today may surprise people; in the qualifiers for The Summit 3 they were a game away from beating out Evil Geniuses. NAR come a strong second for me due to the resumes of the players involved, so I’ll be hoping their synergy is developed enough for a good run.
|EHOME||Vici Gaming Potential||CDEC Gaming||EHOME|
|Vici Gaming Potential||EHOME||EHOME||Vici Gaming Potential|
|Energy Pacemaker||Newbee.Young||Energy Pacemaker||Energy Pacemaker|
Annabelle: Both EHOME and HyperGloryTeam have put up decent showings in the past and in the interest of not completely copying the i-League Season 3 group stage results (and with the assumption that things don’t usually go the same way twice), I’ve taken the two leaders of Group A - EP and VG.P and put them in 3 and 4 with the runners-up (minus directly invited teams) in 1 and 2.
Connor: Vici Gaming Potential are looking to be the strongest team here. I’ll admit they got stomped by LGD and Team Malaysia during the i-league playoffs, but both those teams were on a hot streak the whole tournament with LGD defeating Vici Gaming 3-0 in the finals. VG.P’s performance in the i-league qualifier has proven that they are capable of upsetting more well-known teams.
Dennis: Judging the mid-tier Chinese teams is difficult because almost none of them have made any significant strides. The only decent result was EP’s second place finish at the Mineski Pro Gaming League 7 where they earned $10k, but that was in a completely different region.
Every team in this bracket is capable of beating each other in games, but what really matters is results. My rankings are based on the results of the multitude of Chinese tournaments and qualifiers post-Dota 2 Asia Championship.
Matt: EHOME were a (misguided) guess for me to get a direct invite to TI due to the star power of their lineup, but after the schism between Mushi and Ohaiyo (who went on to form the team that would become Team Malaysia) they haven’t been the same. I still have confidence that experience will win out here.
|Vega Squadron||Ninjas in Pyjamas||Ninjas in Pyjamas||Natus Vincere|
|Natus Vincere||Natus Vincere||Vega Squadron||Ninjas in Pyjamas|
Annabelle: I didn’t want to put Alliance in first place because it feels like there has to be a stronger team but after careful analysis of the two groups, and taking into consideration the fact that only two from each group can advance, I landed on Alliance in the top spot.
I do not believe that PR or 4A+SC will make it through and NiP seem shaky at the moment. I wanted to include Burden as a fan pick (yea, I’m a damn fool) and that leaves just Alliance from Group A. As for Group B, it feels like Na’Vi, Vega and maybe HellRaisers will be the leaders here and after both Vega and Na’Vi’s impressive performances in DreamLeague this past week, I’ve included them in 2nd and 3rd respectively. I’ll probably regret not including NiP.
Connor: Despite their poor performance at the i-league playoffs Alliance is still the favorite in this qualifier. Each team will bring something interesting and creative to their games but I feel that NiP will catch a lot of people off guard, especially with Era’s pocket Huskar pick. As for Na’Vi, their unpredictable decision making is counteracted by their mechanics and teamfight coordination, making them my third pick.
Dennis: Alliance and NiP have definitely gone through some rough patches, which is partly why they’re in the qualifiers and not direct invitees, but they are still easily top tier teams and the clear favorites of the Europe qualifiers.
As for the rest of the teams, it’s a bit of a toss up, but the talent pool for the CIS teams is just massive. Regardless of the qualifier results, the players in Vega and HR could find their way in the next iterations of VP, Na’Vi or Empire after the eventual roster shuffles.
Matt: Europe is probably the hardest region to predict because of the wealth of talent that have easy access to constant competition. I’m choosing Alliance in first because their Dream League performance heralds a bit of return to form. Na`Vi and HellRaisers have arguably the easier group, and NiP have the consistency that will allow them to beat out 4A+SC, Power Rangers and Burden.
|Rave||Rave||MVP Hot6ix||MVP Phoenix|
|MVP Phoenix||MVP Phoenix||Rave||Rave|
|MVP Hot6ix||MVP Hot6ix||MVP Phoenix||Mineski|
|Mineski||Invasion e-Sports||Mineski||MVP Hot6ix|
Annabelle: This may be the trickiest region since there hasn’t been a major tournament involving the majority of these teams since the latest patch hit so it’s hard to know which of them has adapted best to 6.84(c) so far. Therefore, my picks are pretty shamelessly ripped off of The Summit 3 SEA qualifiers.
Rave beat Phoenix, who had knocked out Hot6ix, who had knocked out Mineski. I could use my China strat and mix-n-match the teams around a bit, but it feels like there’s a bit of a bigger skill gap in SEA and the only ones I’d consider swapping around are the top two.
Connor: I haven’t seen many of these teams play recently except for Rave who were destroyed at The Summit 3. Still, qualifying for The Summit 3 is something of itself and that’s why I pick Rave to be the strongest team here. It will be interesting to see how SEA plays this patch compared to the rest of the world.
Dennis: More so than in any other region, it’s a toss up between the best of the mid-tier teams. Rave looked the strongest, qualifying for The Summit 3 over both MVP squads and Mineski, but they fell far short of their expectations during the Finals. MVP Hot6ix had the biggest achievement recently with their win over Energy Pacemakers at the Mineski Pro Game League 7. And MVP Phoenix and Mineski have just shown solid play overall, despite their lack of achievements.
Matt: I am an unashamed MVP fanboy, and after Rave’s poor Summit performance I think this is prime time for a Korean team to win their qualifier. Both Hot6ix and Phoenix have been growing, so it’ll be up to Rave to knuckle down and show up the fire that made people think they were deserving of an invite to The International.
Keep your eyes on theScore eSports for more coverage during the entirety of The International.