The preview of The International 2019

The general information

The tournament will take place in Shanghai, China on August 15-25. The group stage will be carried out on August 15-19, while the final stage matches will be hosted on August 20-25. The overall prize pool of the event is more than $32,200,000. The winner will earn 45,5% of the grabs. 18 teams will take part in a tough battle for the main money prize in the sum of $14,600,000+, including favorites, outsiders and other interesting rosters, about which we will tell further.

Favorites

Team Secret (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #1)
Odds on a victory: 3.55

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 1

Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov’s team is the main favorite of the ninth The International. The reason is the team’s brilliant gaming shape during the season. The roster achieved victory at The Chongqing Major 2019 and MDL Disneyland® Paris Major 2019 and also held the second place at The Kuala Lumpur Major 2018. They performed way worse at DreamLeague Season 11 and EPICENTER Major 2019, having placed 4th and 9th-12th, respectively. This didn’t stop the team from earning 14400 rating points, placing first in DPC 2018/2019 and receiving a direct invitation to The International 2019. Puppey is the first ambassador of Secret and is famous for his lateral thinking. He can make new standards and create a new meta during a competition. One of the best performers in the world is playing in the European team and rest after the last Major had to benefit the team. If Secret wins the tournament, Clement will become the first esports to rise Aegis of Immortal twice. This motivation and perspective to become the richest player in the esports world might make a positive impact on Team Secret’s performance both in the group stage and the playoffs.

The roster of Team Secret:

Michal ‘Nisha’ Jankowski
Yeik ‘MidOne’ Nai Zheng
Ludwig ‘zai’ Wahlberg
Yazied ‘YapzOr’ Jaradat
Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov

Vici Gaming (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #3)
Odds on a victory: 4.00

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 2

Vici Gaming is the main Chinese representative at this championship. Vici Gaming managed to gain a nice shape during the season 2018/2019. Paparazzi and his teammates were not lucky enough at the first two Majors and they placed 5th-8th. After they won StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor, ViCi changed and found their key to successful performances. As a result, the team placed first at DreamLeague Season 11. Despite they held the 5th-8th place at the fourth Major, just like at the previous two, they got back in the game at EPICENTER Major 2019 and placed first. Due to stable performances, the Chinese held third place in the Dota Pro Circuit rating and earned 11250 points, which guaranteed them a spot in The International 2019. Paparazzi won 1x1 tournaments twice and it means that this representative of the Chinese Dota is obviously one of the best on his role, which will help ViCi to go pretty far. We expect to see Vici Gaming in the top four, at least. In the case of lucky circumstances, Paparazzi and his teammates will be in the final.

The roster of Vici Gaming:

Zhang ‘Paparazi灬’ Chengjun
Zeng ‘Ori’ Jiaoyang
Zhou ‘Yang’ Haiyang
Pan ‘Fade’ Yi
Ding ‘Dy’ Cong

Virtus.pro (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #2)
Odds on a victory: 6.50

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 3

Virtus.pro has been showing a stable game, not for the first year. They placed first on the outcome of the Dota Pro Circuit rating last year and held the second place this year. The team placed first at The Kuala Lumpur Major 2018 and second at the next two Majors. VP held the 5th-8th place at the championship in Disneyland and they made it to the top three with the viewers’ support at EPICENTER Major 2019 and took the bronze. As a result, Virtus.pro earned 13500 Dota Pro Circuit points in the season and became the first team to guarantee itself a direct invitation to The International 2019. They placed 5th-6th at the previous Dota 2 World Championship, which didn’t satisfy their fans because the roster had been showing better results during the season. This year, VP might go the same way and hold the 5th-6th place again, which is pretty possible. The performance at The International never was an easy objective and after all, the tournament might make a moral pressure on the young representatives of VP. Bookmakers determine Virtus.pro as one of the main favorites to win The International 2019. The majority of viewers agrees that VP will enter the top 6 in the best case, ironically linking this with the nickname of VP’s carry, RAMZES666. We also think that Virtus.pro will not be able to advance to the grand final and semi-finals, however, if this happens, it will not be such a great surprise.

The roster of Virtus.pro:

Roman ‘RAMZES666’ Kushnarev
Vladimir ‘No[o]ne’ Minenko
Pavel ‘9pasha’ Khvastunov
Vladimir ‘RodjER’ Nikogosyan
Alexei ‘Solo’ Berezin

Team Liquid (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #5)
Odds on a victory: 7.00

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 4

Team Liquid is one of the most famous tags in the esports world. One of the reasons for this phenomenon was the victory of Liquid headed by KuroKy at The International 2017. After the triumph, the German captain has become the richest esportsman. Team Liquid, in turn, reinforced the status of one of the most successful organizations in the esports sphere. KuroKy is one of two players who will take part in the ninth The International in a row and Kuro Takhasomi’s experience will definitely help the team to advance as far as possible. Like Puppey, he will try his best to win the championship to feel the victory at the Dota 2 World Championship for the second time. If he does so, the German will reinforce the title of the richest esportsman for a very long time. Changes were made to the roster two months before the start of the tournament. The team made a decision to exclude MATUMBAMAN because their results were not very satisfying. w33 came on his place who refreshed the view of the Europeans on the game and diversified it with his unusual pool of heroes. It’s not worth to forget that the Romanian, being on the roster of Digital Chaos, also the international team, managed to advance to the grand final of the sixth The International, so his experience might be useful to Liquid. The Europeans will be able to surprise with some new tactics and to advance further than they are expected to. Considering KuroKy’s motivation and his Dota 2 experience, we think that Team Liquid will enter the top four. Unfortunately for them, a few other very strong and competitive opponents will be at this championship and the change of the player in 2 months before the main event of the year might put spikes in the wheels of Liquid. However, OG proved last year that this term can be enough to play appropriately and to beat all opponents and to rise Aegis.

The roster of Team Liquid:

Amer ‘Miracle’ Al-Barkawi
Aliwi ‘w33’ Omar
Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL’ Ivanov
Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej
Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasomi

Outsiders

Mineski (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #18)
Odds on a victory: 101

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 5

Mineski has been unsuccessfully performing in the season and managed to get into the leaving train called “The closed Southeast Asian qualification”. It was a surprise for many people due to the fact that changed had been made to the roster two months before The International 9. Instead of Ahjit who had been representing Mineski since the beginning of 2019, Nikobaby was hired who was not noticed on a big Dota scene. Nikolay Nikolov has become a new core of the team. He helped Mineski to successfully perform in the qualifying round. Saying honestly, only Team Jinesbrus was able to make a serious competition in Southeast Asia, while the rest of the opponents were not able to show something worthy. That’s why Mineski has one of the highest odds on a victory at the tournament. The Asian team will probably hold the last place in its group and the 17th-18th place in the standings, respectively. That’s how bookmakers and many viewers think. We, in turn, despite the general opinion, think that Mineski will place 13th-16th and earn half of a million dollars.

The roster of Mineski:

Nikolai ‘Nikobaby’ Nikolov
Kam ‘Moon’ Boon Seng
Damien ‘kpii’ Chok
Ryan ‘Bimbo’ Jay Qui
Michael ‘ninjaboogie’ Ross Jr.

Infamous (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate: 23)
Odds on a victory: 201.0

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 6

Infamous is one of the main contenders on the 17th-18h place in the standings of The International 2019. The team was assembled in May and was playing under the tag Team Anvorgesa. The roster placed 4th at the second Minor tournament by StarLadder and held the 13th-16th in the standings of EPICENTER Major 2019. Considering that the team held the last place at the Major, they are unlikely to perform better at The International. However, TI always differed from usual tournaments and teams always performed better than they were expected. We would probably put Infamous on the 13th-16th place on our list than on the 17th-18th. Bookmakers and viewers think differently and don’t believe in this five.

The roster of Infamous:

Hector ‘K1’ Antonio Rodriguez
Jean ‘Chris Luck’ Pierre Gonzales
Adrian ‘Wisper’ Cespedes Dobles
Elvis ‘Scofield’ De la Cruz Pena
Steven ‘Stinger’ Vargas

Others

We have listed a couple of teams, which anyway deserve special attention due to past achievements.

Evil Geniuses (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #4)
Odds on a victory: 9.0

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 7

Evil Geniuses owns the title of the bronze-lovers for a reason. EG played stably at championships, entering the top three participants of the tournament frequently. TI8, The Kuala Lumpur Major, The Chongqing Major, MDL Disneyland Paris Major, Adrenaline Cyber League — Evil Geniuses has placed 3rd at all of them. This happened that often that one of the players, SumaiL decided to tweet a message “1, 2, EG, 4, 5”, which created memes and associations of the American team with a number 3. It’s not difficult to understand that the chance that Evil Geniuses will enter the top three at The International 2019 is pretty high. EG maybe didn’t win a championship over the last year but their performance was stable, except EPICENTER Major 2019, on the outcome of which the team earned more than $3,000,000. Evil Geniuses don’t know how to win but they definitely know how to advance to playoffs and make it to a semi-final.

The roster of Evil Geniuses:

Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev
Sumail ‘SumaiL’ Hassan
Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson
Andreas ‘Cr1t-’ Nielsen
Tal ‘Fly’ Aizik

OG (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #10)
Odds on a victory: 17.0

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 8

OG is one of the very few participants, which will play at the ninth The International without changing its roster since the previous TI. The victory of the European team at the previous Dota 2 World Championship with the same roster makes it special. After the end of TI8, ana took a break from the game for six months. Due to this, the Europeans were not able to gain the required gaming shape, using the help of esportsmen for several times, so that the last ones played for OG as a stand-in. After the return of the carry, OG was playing stable but this stability was in bad results. The European roster placed 5th-6th at the fourth Major tournament and 7th-8th at ESL One Birmingham 2019 and EPICENTER Major 2019. The team that pretends on the title of the champion of the world should not perform that way. OG is probably preparing some kind of a surprise for the championship, however, we, just like viewers and bookmakers, are skeptical about the chances of the Europeans to win the tournament. Considering the last achievements, entering the top six will be a good result for OG at The International 2019.

The roster of OG:

Anathan ‘ana’ Pham
Topias ‘Topson’ Taavitsainen
Sebastien ‘7ckngMad’ Debs
Jesse ‘JerAx’ Vainikka
Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein

Alliance (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #11)
Odds on a victory: 27.0

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 9

Alliance is in a good gaming shape. DOTA Summit 10 has recently finished where they won. This championship, especially before the start of The International, is not worth considering to make an analysis. Despite this, it’s not worth to refuse a good gaming shape of LodA’s players. We think that if Alliance tries its best, it might enter the top 12 but it will not be easy because there will be many competitive rosters at the tournament. The Europeans struggled well at EPICENTER Major 2019 and achieved victory in the race for the last invite to The International 2019. Now, they are preparing actively. We expect some interesting matches from Astralis and the 9th-12th place.

The roster of Alliance:

Michael ‘miCKe’ Vu
Maximilian ‘qojqva’ Brocker
Samuel ‘Boxi’ Svahn
Tommy ‘Taiga’ Le
Aydin ‘iNSaNiA’ Sarkohi

Natus Vincere (a place in the Dota Pro Circuit rate — #22)
Odds on a victory: 75

The preview of The International 2019. Photo 10

Just like the few previously-named participants, Natus Vincere became the champion of The International once, namely in 2011. The prize pool, by the way, amounted $1,600,000 then and the main prize was $1,000,000. Now, the representatives of the yellow-black tag will try to rise Aegis of Immortal again. Of course, the possibility is pretty low. The majority of viewers and bookmaker companies thinks that the team will place 13th-16th and will be one of the first to leave the tournament. We agree with such an opinion too and think that there are many other stronger opponents at the championship, which will enter the top 12 participants of TI9.

The roster of Natus Vincere:

Vladislav ‘Crystallize’ Krystanek
Idan ‘MagicaL’ Vardanian
Evgeniy ‘Blizzy’ Ree
Bakyt ‘Zayac’ Emilzhanov
Akbar ‘SoNNeikO’ Butaev