The International 2019: Day 1 Predictions

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TI9 Group stage has ended with Chaos Esports and NIP already eliminated from the tournament. The Main event starts on August 20 with sixteen teams in contention. 

The International is in a league of its own as it boasts the biggest prize pool in esports. The sixteen teams remaining at TI9 all have a chance to possibly win the Grand Finals. Last year, OG was on the verge of disbanding before they qualified for TI8. Fans and analysts did not consider OG to be a favorite for TI9 and yet the European team surprised one and all with their performance. They took home the lion’s share of the $25,532,177 prize pool. 

The International 2019 Brackets

Valve announced the TI9 brackets after the Group Stage. Round one of the Lower Bracket matches are all Best of One elimination matches. 

The result from the Group stage:

Chaos Esports Club and Ninjas in Pyjamas were eliminated from the tournament due to placing last in their respective groups. 

Day 1 Matches

  1. PSG.LGD vs Virtus Pro
  2. Vici Gaming vs TNC Predator

Lower Bracket Matches ( BO1)

  1. Alliance vs RNG
  2. Fnatic vs Team Liquid
  3. Infamous vs Keen Gaming
  4. Mineski vs Na’Vi

PSG.LGD vs Virtus Pro

PSG.LGD has a lot of fans supporting them at the Main stage

PSG.LGD are the Grand finalists of TI8 and China’s best chance of winning TI9. The Chinese team was undefeated in the Group stage, however, they tied a few series with Alliance, TNC Predator and Newbee. PSG.LGD is looking very strong in the Group stage and playing in front of the home crowd will be a huge boost to their morale. 

Somnus completed a 1000 kills at The Internationals

Virtus Pro started off looking very weak in the Group stage. Over time, they improved and their performance in the last few days was strong. The International is all about momentum and Virtus Pro seem to have the right momentum heading into the Playoffs. 

Virtus Pro’s gameplay is very aggressive, however, PSG.LGD might not be ready for the change in pace. However, PSG.LGD is a mature team, and they have shown their ability to adjust to their opponents’ play style. 

Our Prediction: PSG.LGD win 2-1

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Vici Gaming vs TNC Predator

Vici Gaming is the second best Chinese team at The International 2019. The Chinese team secured the second spot in their Group just behind OG. However, they had already secured a spot in the upper bracket very early and their final few matches were mere formalities. 

Vici Gaming is a well-rounded team unlike previous tournaments where they would rely heavily on Paparazzi. The team’s structure requires their support players to make plays over the map providing the space for the cores to get good timings on crucial items. 

TNC Predator, however, has been a surprise element at The International 2019. The South East Asian team barely made it to the Upper Bracket after securing the fourth spot in the Group stage. The team has had mixed results, but they’re strong showing and great understanding of Team Liquid is why they are always a threat. Tims has shown an excellent read of Miracle when TNC could take down Team Liquid 2-0. Together with Heen, their coach, TNC Predator could read Team Liquid like a book. 

However, their performance against other opponents where they do not have the same read will be crucial in their upcoming Playoff matches. Can Heen and co. counter Vici Gaming’s play style in their first Upper Bracket match?

Our Prediction: Vici Gaming win 2-1

Lower Bracket Matches

The Lower Bracket Matches are risky bets, mostly because of their BO1 nature. These are all elimination matches, so the teams will try to win each game. A victory in these matches would mean a difference of $100,000s in prize pool and staying alive at The International. 

The Lower bracket features a few surprise additions with the likes of Team Liquid and Fnatic present in the BO1 elimination matches. 

Alliance vs Royal Never Give Up

Alliance prefer playing into the late game and have an excellent read of the game

Royal Never Give Up is the weakest Chinese team present at TI9. They will definitely have the support of the local fans, however, there is little chance for the team to make a huge impact at TI9. 

Alliance had six tied games in the Group stage the highest number of tied games in the entire Group stage. Alliance prefers to play for the late game, unlike previous rosters of the organization. They play to their strengths and have a great understanding of the game’s pace and their chances to push high-ground.

Our Prediction: Alliance wins 1-0

Fnatic vs Team Liquid

Miracle needs to step up his game if Team Liquid are to survive the Lower Bracket

Fnatic and Team Liquid were both contenders for TI9 Upper Bracket. However, a lacklustre performance from the two teams now puts them in a precarious position. They are strong teams and a Best of One can cause a victory for either team. Team Liquid is obviously the favorite going into this match, however, they are not playing at the same level as one expects of them. The TI7 winner could not make a comeback after TNC Predator repeatedly targeted Miracle. 

Fnatic seem to be inconsistent in their matches. The team won three matches, but then they also lost four BO2 matches to score seven points in the Group stage. Their loss to Infamous hurts their prospects going into the Playoffs. It shows a basic lack of preparation for their opponent going into the particular match. Fnatic is still a very strong team and their victories over teams such as EG and Na’Vi shows their potential. 

Our Prediction: Team Liquid wins 1-0.

Infamous vs Keen Gaming

South American team Infamous has been a surprise at TI9

Infamous has already reaped a lot of praise for its performance at TI9. They are the sole representatives of South American Dota and have disappointed no one with their performance. They came in as underdogs in the tournament and if TI9 were to be in any place other than China, they wold have been the crowd favorites to win this series.

However, Keen Gaming will receive the unwavering support of the Chinese crowd. TI9 presents an opportunity for China to reclaim the throne of the best region in Dota 2. Keen Gaming has lost most of their matches providing no fight to the teams. Their only victories have come against the likes of Chaos and Mineski. They also won a game off Newbee and that is their best achievement so far at TI9. 

Our Prediction: Infamous wins 1-0.

Mineski vs Na’Vi

Team Na’Vi during their Bootcamp before TI9

The crowd favorites Na’Vi will go up against Mineski in the final elimination match of the day. Na’Vi has fans all over the world in the Dota 2 community and it won’t be surprising to see the Chinese fans cheer for Natus Vincere. The new look Na’Vi differs greatly from previous editions featuring Dendi. They have excellent teamplay and they rely on team-fights to harness their strength in coordination and synergy. The players might not be the best in Individual skills, however, they more than make up for this with their excellent team-play and coordination. 

There have been many occasions at TI itself when Na’Vi has bounced back from a miserable laning phase to mark a comeback in the middle game. Na’Vi had a great start to the Group stage, but they could not win a single game on the last day. They were in contention for a spot in the Upper Brackets, however, their poor performance on the last day only helped them keep their spot in the Lower Bracket.

Mineski does not look good in their matches so far. They have secured draws in most of their series and will go up against Na’Vi, a match-up which features very different play styles. The Mineski team has a wide hero-pool which can prove problematic for the CIS team. 

Our Prediction: Na’Vi wins 1-0


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