For the first time since 2012, two Chinese teams have topped the group stage at The International, with both Invictus Gaming and PSG.LGD securing the number one seed in their respective brackets.
Not only is this the first time since TI2 that China saw two teams perform this well in groups, but iG and LGD were also the representatives the last time this happened. And, should history repeat itself, iG should win it all—considering that the iG squad, led by legends like Ferrari_430, ended up winning over Natus Vincere.
This year’s iteration of iG was utterly dominant, going 6-2-0 and splitting series with OG and Undying. They were the first team to lock in the top seed, making everyone in Group A go through them if they wanted to try and claim an upper bracket slot.
LGD had a much tougher time contending with teams at the top of the standings in Group B but went 7-1-0, only dropping a game to Team Secret. This run included a 17-minute win over Elephant where the veteran Chinese squad called GGs early after a demoralizing loss in game one, where LGD stole the lead and closed things out in the final five minutes of a 47-minute contest.
It isn’t that surprising to see iG and LGD sitting at the top of groups, especially since they both won one of the two 2021 Dota Pro Circuit Majors. Each team showed dominance in different portions of the season, which helped them stand atop the competition heading into the TI10’s main event.
Vici Gaming was the third team to secure an upper bracket spot, but they would eventually be knocked out of Group B’s second seed by Team Secret after losing the final series of the entire group stage 0-2 to Puppey and his team.
Heading into the main event on Oct. 12, along with iG, LGD, and Secret, another team to watch is Virtus.pro. The young CIS squad shook off some early TI jitters and claimed Group A’s second seed with a strong 5-1-2 record in their collective first appearance on Dota’s biggest stage.
Will Secret finally bring home an Aegis, can OG three-peat, or will China continue to show dominance on the main stage? The action begins at 2am CT on Oct. 12, with iG taking on Team Spirit in the upper bracket.