The International is a place where anything can happen, and that begins with the tournament format. From the eighteen teams, present every year, six come from the open-qualifiers. The qualifiers are unpredictable, gruesome, free for all, where anything can happen. Here pub-stars, passionate groups of friends, world champions, upcoming teams, and some of the best teams of each region compete for a final spot at esports most acclaimed event.
Usually, the teams qualified here are already grateful for snatching an invitation to The International, however in 2020 due to roster changes and subpar results powerhouse, star-studded teams such as Team Liquid, Team Nigma, and OG had to play through this best of one elimination format. On top of that, some newly formed teams found success and are competing for the biggest prize pool in the history of esports. Here they are:
Team Undying (NA Qualified)
Was the shadow team behind Quincy Crew and Evil Geniuses throughout the season. At the North American DPC league, it has also proven itself to be a serious threat and quickly learning roster. With a mixture of experience under MoonMeander and Dubu, and new blood from Bryle, Timado, and SabeRLight- it is hard to pinpoint what to expect from them at The International, but for a newly founded team, their results seem pretty impressive.
SG e-sports (SA Qualified)
The South American qualifier was an intense brawl as no team became dominant, or strong enough to claim the favorite spot. The battle between them No Ping e-Sports and Infamous, was up in the air with SG e-sports rising to the occasion when it counted. Without sugar coating, the situation SG barely scraped off the spot, in what is considered the weakest region in DotA right now. Having that in mind, playing in The International should be enough, as is probably the ultimate underdog in the competition.
Team Spirit (Eastern Europe Qualified)
Team Spirit benefited from the fact that roster changes between Na’Vi and AS Monaco Gambit backfired, and that they had a very solid run through the CIS DPC season. The team fell short only of directly invited region favorites Virtus.pro. Their journey through the qualifiers felt relatively effortless aside from finals versus Team Empire. With a solid season, it is hard to discard Team Spirits’ potential right away, but they surely aren’t amongst the favorites, as we know TI is a place for wondrous events to take place, and Team Spirit might be it.
Elephant (China Qualified)
After a turbulent season regarding their formation, roster changes, and some bad blood created within the organization and some of China’s most prestigious players and coaches of all time Elephant had a very rough start. Their plans frustrated, little time to synergize, and the fiercest competition of any region, the cards were stacked against team Elephant. Regardless of whatever transpired, the organization was able to hold its own at the DPC even if it paled in comparison to VG, IG, and PSG.LGD, they had a solid year. Finally, their qualifying spot at The International already makes the team, and its season a major success, now we await their debut at the big leagues under veteran coach rOtk.
- Somnus` M
Fnatic (Southeast Asian Qualified)
The SEA region has been known for its extremely competitive spirit, no surrender style, and tremendous talent. Some of the best players of the entire game came from this region, and that has always been the case. You mix all that talent, and ambition into a region that has one direct invite, and you get an all-out war at the qualifiers. The region had six teams worthy of the spot, but Fnatic ultimately secured their spot at TI. Irregular results, roster changes, and a not very convincing run outside the qualifiers might see Fnatic perform poorly at TI, but the traditional organization has over-performed multiple times at the big league.
Groundbreaking two-time, back-to-back champions OG’s team wouldn’t need to compete if it wasn’t the multiple roster changes. Even with subpar performances throughout the year OG did what it does best, and crafted a comeback season performance to snatch a spot at The International, in what could be a Major itself. Powerhouse teams such as Team Liquid, and Team Nigma, competed in what could possibly be DotA’s hardest region, but the two-time champions prevailed in the end.
OG joined both International as underdogs, relying on meta-breaking strategies, a warrior’s spirit, and the power of friendship. This season they cruised by mediocre results instead of the Major winning streaks they had before, but they did live up to their underdog persona, like Team Liquid, and Team Nigma both had better season performances. The defending champions take the stage on October 7th and join the ultimate test for the DotA scene.
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