With the International coming to a close, we are going to recap all of the things that have happened over the past few days.
The defeat of Hellraisers and Fnatic proved to the community one major point about The International, LAN experience is invaluable. While both teams had strong performances in their respective qualifiers, their Achilles heel was that they had insufficient LAN experience before heading to Seattle. While other teams may thrive in this kind of environment, these two would find themselves victims of the group stage.
While Hellraisers had the daunting task of going through a group stage with four directly invited teams, Fnatic also had their fair share of Herculean opponents with the likes of Team Secret, Evil Geniuses, LGD and Team Liquid. Both of the teams had a horrendous group stage, with neither of them managing to take a two win series. While Fnatic took a game off of IG.Vitality and Infamous, Hellraisers only managed to take a game against fellow outsiders Execration and were ultimately knocked out.
Unsurprisingly, the group stages went in favor of Chinese teams, with four of them taking top eight spots.
Group A was a hot contest between Team Liquid (who took first place with a 13W - 3L record), LGD (12W - 4L) and EG (11W - 5L).
LGD.FY utterly dominated Group B as took the early group stage lead and never faltered. Group B was close to having a tiebreaker with Newbee finishing second with (11W - 5L), Virtus Pro 3rd with (10W - 6L) and Invictus Gaming 4th with (10W - 6L).
TNC PRO took a huge leap forward and finished 4th in Group A with a (9W - 7L) record. Shockingly Team Secret (7W - 9L) and OG (9W - 5L) finished 5th in their respective groups. Regardless of the disappointing results, both teams had a fighting chance to make it through the lower bracket, albeit a slim one.
The biggest surprise of the Group Stage was the Peruvian team Infamous, who managed to take a 2 - 0 victory against IG.Vitality, and managed to draw even against Team Secret, Team Empire, and Fnatic.
The stage was set for the Main Event, with two previous Valve champions at risk of an early exit, and China dominating once more with Team Liquid looking like the only ones who could challenge them.
In the Loser's Bracket, Team Secret made short work of Execration, ending their match in 31 minutes with a commanding 31-8 kill score. As a result, Nando's Boys are coming home defeated, once again failing to make any sort of huge impact this tournament.
The second match was a very large pill to swallow for the North American fans in the arena. One of their last hopes, Cloud9, was sent home after a grueling 62-minute battle. Empire's stand-in, Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok, had another terrific performance, ending with a 11-0-18 score on his safe lane Faceless Void.
Match three was played between two of the heavy favorites, OG and Infamous. In the end, despite putting up fierce resistance, OG was just too strong for Infamous and took the game, sending home South America's only hope at winning TI7.
In the last match, IG.Vitality faced off against Digital Chaos. While IG.Vitality came into the game as the favorites, Digital Chaos came out and dominated the Chinese squad. Abed finally lived up to his name, ending the game with 12-2-4 on Death Prophet, sending IG.Vitality to the bleachers.
In the upper bracket, Invictus Gaming beat Team Liquid, who would then go on to face Team Secret in the lower bracket.
Newbee dominated Evil Geniuses who dropped down to face off against Team Empire. The winner of Group B, LGD.FY, managed to knock out TNC PRO who despite fierce resistance in game one managed to drop their second game without putting up much of a fight. Virtus Pro was the only team that managed to beat the dominating Chinese lineups, triumphing over LGD 2 : 0.
Virtus Pro was the only team that managed to beat the dominating Chinese lineups, triumphing over LGD 2 : 0.
During the second round of the losers bracket, best of three matches were played once more leaving less room for major upsets. In the first match, Team Liquid managed to defeat Team Secret 2:1, knocking Puppey's boys out of the tournament.
The second match brought with it another huge upset, with Team Empire defeating Evil Geniuses 2:0. Evil Geniuses are still a young squad and questions are swirling about whether they'll stick together after this crushing defeat.
Match three of the lower bracket brought with it one of the biggest grudge matches in TI history. OG was looking for revenge and redemption against TNC who knocked them out of last years International. This time, it was OG who came out as the victors, winning against their rivals 2:0.
In the last match of the Loser Bracket Round 2, LGD justified their role as the favorite, beating Digital Chaos to a pulp, and thus ending North Americas last hope for this year's TI.
Heading into the upper bracket Round 2, Chinese dominance was obvious, with three of the four teams (Invictus Gaming, Newbee and LGD.FY) being Chinese. The first match was a faceoff between to previous TI winners, Newbee (TI4) and Invictus Gaming (TI2).
The first match was a faceoff between to previous TI winners, Newbee (TI4) and Invictus Gaming (TI2). Newbee reigned supreme in the battle of the Titans, taking the series 2-1.
Virtus Pro had a tough task ahead them heading into match two, as LGD.FY was still on a hot streak from their group stage performance and victory over TNC. In the end, LGD.FY proved to be too hot to handle and secured a 2:0 win over the CIS squad.
The upper bracket finals will be a face off between two Chinese teams, with both of them guaranteed a top three finish.
In the lower bracket, things were heating up. Team Liquid came into their match versus Team Empire as the favorites. Despite everything, Team Liquid dominated Empire, winning 2:0.
In the second match of the Lower Bracker Round 3, OG was defeated and knocked out by LGD. After a lot of preparation, and more ups and downs, OG's TI story has ended. The team that was considered to be the Kings of Valve events was knocked out by LGD 2:0.
The last match was played between Virtus Pro and Team Liquid. After a grueling 103-minute Game 1 which Team Liquid won with a spectacular 3 vs 5 base defense, Virtus Pro pulled even with game two before being eliminated in an equally hard fought game three, advancing to the lower bracket Round 5 and earning themselves a top four finish at the very least.
The series was probably the most intense of the tournament so far, and with all the matches picking up the pace we are definitely looking forward to more action!
Currently, the chances of having back to back Chinese teams win TI are looking greater than ever, with four of the five remaining teams being Chinese. Today's matches start off with another Chinese faceoff, this time it will be a battle of two of the longest standing Chinese teams in DotA 2: LGD and Invictus Gaming.
Image Credit: Mineski