The biggest tournament of professional Dota 2, The International 2018 will take take place on 15th August. Vancouver, Canada will be hosting the competition where 18 top teams in the world will compete for supremacy. At the moment of this writing, the prize pool is around $22 million mark. With that being said, let’s take a look at the top contenders that will be aiming to take the lion’s share of this multimillion dollar prize pool.
Virtus.Pro has been playing together for two years. In that time period, the side has become a force to be reckoned with. They have amazed the fans from across the globe with their incredible playing style. Initially, the side struggled hard in the Dota Pro Circuit as they failed to qualify for PGL Open Bucharest. However, after winning the ESL One Hamburg Major they went on a title-winning spree. They also took home the titles of ESL One Katowice and ESL One Birmingham.
Virtus.Pro was also the first team to win two consecutive majors and the first side to secure the direct invite at The International 2018. Virtus.Pro secured a total sum of whooping 12,372 qualifying points, while the side at second place, Team Liquid secured only around 9,000 qualifying points.
Since being crowned as the champions of The International 7, Team Liquid is amongst the sides that just cannot be taken for granted. The side won Starladder i-League Invitational Season 3 at the start of the season and China Dota 2 Supermajor, the last competition of the competitive circuit. Apart from these achievements, they finished first at DotaPit League while second at DreamLeague Season 8, and Epicenter XL Major. These achievements were more than enough to get them a ticket to The International 2018.
On monetary terms, they are also the most successful team in the competitive history of Dota 2. If Team Liquid manages to lift the title again this year, then they will become the first team in the history of TI to become back to back champions.
PSG.LGD might not be a familiar name amongst the top competitive teams but they have surely come a long way. The first half of the DPC 2017-2018 didn’t go well for the side as they failed to qualify for some of the biggest competitions. The highest finish before the end of the year was achieving a 5-9th place at the MDL Macau. However, the fortunes of the team changed after they signed Yap “xNova” Jian Wei and Yang “Challice” Shenyi. These two Chinese prodigies stunned the community and completely rejuvenated the PSG.LGD team.
At the start of the 2nd half of the DPC, PSG.LGD started to not only qualify for major competition but also asserted their dominance. They won EPICENTER XL, and MDL Changsha Major while securing a second place at Starladder i-League Invitational Season 4, and Dota Asia Championship 2018. In all these competitions, they beat some of the top sides including Liquid and Virtus. Pro. So PSG.LGD should be aiming for a strong The International 2018 campaign.