As I mentioned yesterday, I am hoping that Virtus Pro come 4th in TI5, and I think that they can do this. But, obviously, that only tells 1/16th of the story so I’ll give my other predictions to you all now.
1st. Evil Geniuses.
Evil Geniuses have been playing some incredible Dota recently, having won the biggest tournament of the year besides The International; Dota 2 Asia Championships. Suma1l might be the best mid in the world, Fear is the most reliable carry player and the team tend to play around these two players. What’s more, EG usually deliver an exciting game.
2nd. Team Secret.
I place Secret 2nd more out of hope because I just find them so boring to watch. However, you can’t really hate people for doing what they love. Secret is effectively a real-life fantasy team, its formation shattering a number of high-profile teams by taking their top players and mashing them together to create the best team in the world. It’s also worth mentioning that they’ve won the last 3 tournaments that they have attended.
3rd. LGD Gaming
I don’t know too much about Chinese Dota besides the big names and, since both ViCi have experienced a dramatic drop in winrates since the latest patch, I think that iG have a strong chance of representing Chinese Dota on the podium. They are almost the Chinese equivalent of Team Secret boasting a lineup similar to an eastern fantasy team, and, when combined with last year’s 2nd place at TI5, they have a team ready for action.
4th. Virtus Pro.
Unreliable and experimental, I think that VP have a strong chance of surprising the teams they come up against who might have previously seen them as easy targets. 6.84 compliments their playstyle a lot and the way TI5 is structured, it gives VP a lot of room to make some errors but not be too punished for it.
5th/6th. Cloud9/Invictus Gaming
Cloud9 are always a strong but are known to have a 2nd place curse. Not the worst curse to have, but with the strength of the above teams so apparent I think a respectable 5th place is well within their reach. Invictus Gaming, likewise, are highly capable but tend to do less well when competing against big names like LGD and Secret.
Empire are one of the best in Europe and have incredible team play but, once against, I think the current patch doesn’t suit them with their team’s regular heroes, though it does compliment their ganking focused style. It is worth mentioning that, since they have been practicing for more or less two months solid, they may have adapted to a greater extent. Fnatic are a relatively new team, having a very similar story to Virtus Pro in terms of how they got to the position they are in now, but I don’t think that hinders them. However, since they are a Malaysian team and so play on the SEA server they simply don’t have the range and number of people to practice against that teams in Europe, America or China have.
9th/10th/11th/12th. ViCi Gaming/ Na’Vi/ EHOME/ CDEC
ViCi, I am concerned, have lost their magic touch. There was a time when they were beating anyone and everyone they came up against, without exception, but a few months ago they took a few losses and, while they are still held as one of the best teams in the world, they are experiencing a dramatic fall in performance. Na’Vi, last year, experienced something very similar, however, with many many roster changes they might have found a working formula, but I am concerned that they have not had enough time together and enough success to start feeling very confident in themselves. EHOME I know very little about and, while I know the name, I don’t think they live up to their TI1 counterparts. They match up well to some European teams but Chinese teams seem to have figured them out, and with the practice period in between the last tournament and now, I wouldn’t be surprised if their past conquests have too. CDEC I predict will come 2nd in the Wildcard qualifiers and so get through to the main tournament, however, they have a distinct lack of practice against Western teams and I think this will hinder them a lot.
13th/14th/15th/16th. Vega Squadron/MVP.Hot6/Newbee/Complexity Gaming
Not much to say about these people besides that someone has to lose. Vega has been an incredibly strong team in Europe, smashing onto the scene with their latest roster change a few months ago. Reflecting this, I think they will win the Wildcard matches. MVP.Hot6 are also a strong team but, again, their absence at big tournaments and thus their lack of practice against European and American teams will hinder them greatly. Newbee, last years winners, have fallen very fast from their place as number 1 in the world, however, they were notorious last year as having a terrible start to the tournament and then coming through to beat everybody. FInally we have Complexity, an impressive team in their own right but their players are just not on the same level as those of the above teams. However, I think they will be one to watch as they are going from strength to strength.
It remains only to say that all of these teams are world class and, if only the pressure wasn’t so high and the stakes weren’t so great, I think the order may change a great deal. While I think the top 4 are fairly certain, with maybe a hopeful 4th for Virtus Pro who may be beaten by Cloud9 if the tournament order results in Virtus Pro playing difficult opponents, the rest are all up for contention. Na’Vi will be one to watch and I like to gamble on them as I like their playstyle. Empire and Fnatic as well may do slightly worse or slightly better, and finally CDEC, Newbee and MVP.Hot6 are the 3 teams I was most unsure about. This is a tournament with everything to play for.