The International 5 – Part XIV – So it begins

At time of writing the main stages of TI5 start in half an hour. The first match, Team Empire vs LGD, looks to be a tense one, and then CDEC vs Cloud9 in the upper bracket was something no one really expected to see. CDEC look on fire and Cloud9, while they have stumbled here and there, are in form and must have been relatively pleased with their 3-1-3 (Wins/Draws/Losses) group stage result. Team Empire are, arguably, the best the CIS region has to offer and are the only CIS team in the upper bracket. LGD finished the group stages with the most points across all teams and so it is unsurprising that they go into this match as the favourites, but not by a heavy margin.

You see, beyond a couple of matches, I don’t think there are any landslide favourites to win in each match. Of course Secret and LGD and EG go into every match with the most support, and are 1st, 2nd and 3rd in terms of the GosuGamer world rankings for Dota 2. Let us also not count out those in the lower bracket as well. The best of 1 games that it will provide are going to be tense for every team involved. First there will be blood, and then I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw tears.

There’s not much actual content in this post as all the games are due to take place in a little while. 15 minutes now and counting to the Empire – LGD match. I will say this though. With every hotly anticipated clash, where the stakes are high and the difference between first and second is insurmountable, I always feel terribly sorry for the loser. Everyone has the same chances, and naturally there must be a winner in every competition, unless you’re at one of those stupid school sports days where everyone is a winner, but they don’t count! Everyone knows that some teams are better than others, and all teams have bad games and bad days, but that doesn’t stop you from feeling sorry for them. They were so close to their dream, living it, perhaps, but, whether it’s because of decisions they made or because they were just outplayed and outmanoeuvred, someone must lose, and, without sounding sappy, I think they should be happy that they tried.

To quote HyHy from Free To Play; “there’s not many chances in life where you can say that you’re the best in the world at something.” Everyone in TI5 is there because they deserve to be there, and, whatever place they get, I hope they are pleased with what they’ve achieved. TI5 is everything good about esports (besides the ridiculous price tags for merchandise) and anyone there is a shining example of the excellence displayed throughout every game of this series and, hopefully, every game they play. So, finally, to the players in TI5, I say good luck. Have fun.

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