All gates leading to The International 8 before the qualifiers are now officially closed.
As of yesterday, July 9, the top eight slots in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit leaderboard have been clinched by their respective teams—thanks to Virtus Pro’s resounding victory over OpTic Gaming at the China Dota 2 Supermajor in Shanghai.
The Russians eliminated OpTic from the tournament 2-0 in yet another show of absolute domination by the Pro Circuit front-runners. As a result, they’re now guaranteed to snatch at least 337 more Pro Circuit points, even if they lose to PSG-LGD in the lower bracket final tomorrow.
If they do finish in third place, they’ll end the season with a staggering 11,694 points. But if there’s one thing we know about Virtus Pro, it’s that they give their all no matter how far ahead they are on the leaderboard—so it wouldn’t be a stretch to predict a grand final appearance for them on Sunday.
Following VP and PSG-LGD are the defending TI champions, Team Liquid. Despite not winning a single Major this season, their incredible consistency throughout the year has helped carry them to the top eight. They will return to defend their title in Vancouver.
Below them are Team Secret and Mineski, two squads that placed very well in a few events this season. Secret won the DreamLeague Season Eight Major, Captains Draft 4.0, and the DreamLeague Season Nine Minor, while placing second at ESL One Hamburg 2017 and fourth at ESL One Genting. These results have added up to exactly 4,800 points.
Mineski, on the other hand, started the season strong with a victory at the PGL Bucharest Minor—the second event of the year. Despite a serious midseason slump that sent them tumbling down below the cutoff point for TI8 invites, they bounced back in a huge way at the Dota 2 Asia Championships. Their fifth-place finish in the leaderboard will help them avoid the inevitable bloodbath that is the Southeast Asian regional qualifier.
The last three positions are all held by Chinese teams: Vici Gaming, Newbee, and Vici Gaming J Thunder. The main Vici Gaming squad placed second in three events this season, with their silver medal at ESL One Katowice boosting them past the cutoff point with a relatively healthy points total.
Considering their title as the TI7 runners-up, though, Newbee’s precarious position is a bit surprising. Their two first-place finishes at the AMD SAPPHIRE DOTA Pit League and ESL One Genting did give them a serious early lead, but Newbee fell off almost completely later on in the season. They’ll return to TI this year, but all things considered, they’ll have to figure more than a few things out at their pre-TI8 bootcamp.
And finally, we have VGJ Thunder, who were fortunate enough that OpTic failed to make it into the top four at the Supermajor. Three silver medals—one of which was earned at the PGL Bucharest Major—have proven to be just barely enough to get them to Vancouver without going through the Chinese qualifiers. Considering where they might be otherwise, though, we’re sure they’ll take the direct invite either way.
Each region’s open qualifier tournament will begin on June 14, and will feature a few fan-favorite squads thanks to the many roster changes that happened in the last month or so. With teams like Evil Geniuses and OG in the mix, the open qualifiers are sure to be a massacre.