Ahead of the last Dota 2 major event of the season, there are five teams still battling for the final four automatic spots in The International 8.
While teams will still have a chance to qualify for The International 8 through the regional qualifying process, teams would obviously prefer to get an automatic spot in the biggest tournament of the year without fighting through the grueling qualifiers.
Virtus Pro, Team Secret, PSG.LGD, and reigning International champions Team Liquid have already secured their spots at The International 8. But they await their other four automatic qualifying teams, which will be determined at the China Dota 2 Supermajor, which begins on June 2.
It should be noted, however, if the competing teams make a roster change between now and The International 8, they will not receive an automatic spot, and they will forced to play through the open qualifiers. This is because there are no transfer periods left in the season, which would be a legal time for teams to make changes.
There are just five teams still able to qualify, and with only four spots left, the matches are likely to be as intense as ever. Here are the standings for the top nine teams in the Dota Pro Circuit.
9) OpTic Gaming – 1,800 DPC points
OpTic is the only team outside of the top eight that still has a chance to automatically qualify for The International 8. The team was handed a great opportunity this week when OG pulled out of the China Dota 2 Supermajor and the spot was given to OpTic.
This chance allows OpTic one final try at clinching a TI8 spot without having to go through qualifiers. Their road will be a tough one, though. They will have to place fourth or better to even have a shot at leapfrogging one of the other competing teams. In addition to that, there is still the massive variable of the other teams’ placings.
It’s going to be very difficult for the Green Wall to grab one of those TI8 spots without qualifiers.
8) VGJ.Thunder – 1,935 DPC points
Although VGJ.Thunder is the team closest to losing out on an automatic TI8 spot, the team controls their own destiny at the Supermajor. Not only will they have a shot to improve their place in the standings with a good showing, they have the opportunity to keep OpTic out of the top eight.
Both OpTic and Thunder are in Group D of the group stage, and the teams will collide in their first match of the tournament. A win for Thunder would put OpTic in a situation where they would have to win both an elimination match and a subsequent decider match or they will be relegated to the lower bracket.
7) Newbee – 2,445 DPC points
The TI7 runners-up have not had the best year. Despite winning two minors in the first few months of the season, Newbee has not reached a major grand finals in the inaugural DPC season.
Newbee has placed within the top four three different times this year, but they’ve also had three separate events where they finished outside of the top eight, including ESL One Birmingham last week.
This inconsistency has left the Chinese powerhouse without a secure spot in TI8, and if VGJ.Thunder place in the top four and OpTic finishes in the top three, it could mean Newbee will have to go through qualifiers to get back to the biggest tournament of the year.
6) Vici Gaming – 2,835 DPC points
Vici Gaming is in a safer spot than their Chinese counterparts in Newbee. Although they’re not completely invincible from getting knocked out of the top eight, it’s less likely to happen with their 900-point lead over Thunder and 1,035-point lead over OpTic.
The team’s three minor second-place finishes and their major grand finals appearance at ESL One Katowice in February have pushed them to sixth place in the standings, and another strong performance in their native land will seal a TI8 berth.
5) Mineski – 3,150 DPC points
A good chunk of Mineski’s 3,150 DPC points are due to their Dota 2 Asia Championships title run last month, which saw them defeat OpTic, Vici, and LGD Gaming en route to their first major championship of their careers.
Since the major win, Mineski has finished top six in three consecutive events, all but sealing their TI8 spot.
4) Team Secret – 4,800 DPC points
Team Secret’s 4,800 DPC points are enough for a guaranteed slot at The International 8. With a major title and two minor titles under their belts, Secret has had a pretty good season to this point.
Their recent results have been less than ideal, though. Following their championship win at DreamLeague Season Nine, they finished top 12 at the Dota 2 Asia Championships, top eight at EPICENTER XL, and top six at MDL Changsha.
3) Team Liquid – 6,084 DPC points
The International 7 champions have been unable to win a major event this season, but Liquid’s three minor titles and rather consistent results have put them in a good spot heading into the Supermajor.
Up until the Dota 2 Asia Championships last month, Liquid had placed within the top four at every event in the Dota Pro Circuit season. Unfortunately, the team was unable to restart their streak after a second-place finish at EPICENTER XL as they crashed out of ESL One Birmingham with a top nine placing, their lowest finish in over a year.
The China Dota 2 Supermajor will be the last stop for Liquid to get their momentum back before they return to The International and defend their championship.
2) PSG.LGD – 6,321 DPC points
In their first major of the season, ESL One Katowice in February, LGD finished with a disappointing top 12 placing. But when they returned for their next major, the Dota 2 Asia Championships, they reached the grand finals and were just one game away from becoming champions.
It would only be a month later when they won a title, though. Their win at EPICENTER XL was followed up by an incredible losers bracket run at MDL Changsha, where they added another event win to their resumes.
PSG.LGD has been one of the hottest teams in the world in the last few months, and there is no better time to get hot than leading up to The International.
1) Virtus Pro – 10,347 DPC points
It comes as no surprise who is at the top of the Dota Pro Circuit standings. The winners of four of the eight majors in the inaugural season, Virtus Pro has been in tremendous form for the greater part of the year.
With their title win at last week’s ESL One Birmingham, VP pushed their DPC lead even further, now totaling over 10,000 points and leading PSG.LGD by more than 4,000.
Virtus Pro will look to finish off the season just as they started: With a major championship victory.