Two days remain until The International 8 begins, with the group stage set to start on Aug. 15. In anticipation of the event, Dota 2 publisher and developer Valve just released information on the group assignments for each team playing in Vancouver, Canada.
Wykrhm “Wyk” Reddy, social media manager for Dota 2, announced the distribution of teams through his official Twitter account earlier today.
Looking at the spread this year, it’s clear that Group A will be extremely competitive. Team Liquid and PSG-LGD, the second and third-place teams in the Pro Circuit respectively, happen to be in this group. Dota 2 Asia Championship 2018 winner Mineski will also play in Group A, adding to what’s already a practical minefield. Fnatic will also be joining them, creating a double Southeast Asian threat.
Fans must remember that SEA teams thrive in unpredictable matches, which is exactly what the best-of-two group stage format is all about. What we can predict, though, is that both Winstrike Team and Invictus Gaming will have a very difficult time in this group.
Over in Group B, however, we have the Pro Circuit leaders Virtus Pro as the marquee lineup. Pro Circuit fourth placers Team Secret will be in the mix too, and so will Vici Gaming and Newbee. Fans of Filipino Dota will want to keep their eyes peeled on this group in particular, thanks to the presence of TNC Predator. OpTic Gaming and VGJ Storm will help round out the group and represent North America on that side.
The wild card Team Serenity will likely be hard-pressed to make it out alive in Group B, considering their lack of experience playing at a massive event such as this one. We simply don’t see them getting to Rogers Arena like this, but we’re sure that either way, they’ll be treating this as an “educational trip,” so to speak.
Regardless of what fans might think of the groups, however, it’s obvious that this will be a very eventful iteration of The International. With more than $20 million and ultimate Dota 2 glory on the line, we can rest assured that most of the matches will be quite entertaining.