Finally, we now know all the eight teams who will play at TI 2018 next month.
Nearly a month after the direct invites were finalized with the conclusion of the China Dota2 Supermajor, the ten remaining slots for TI8 have now been filled via the regional qualifiers.
— Roman ‘Rames666‘ Kushnarev (Hard Carry)
— Vladimir ‘No[o]ne‘ Minenko (Mid)
— Pavel ‘9pasha‘ Khvastunov (Offlane)
— Vladimir ‘RodjER‘ Nokogosyan (Roaming Support)
— Alexei ‘Solo‘ Berezin (Hard Support / Captain)
Save for a minor aberration where they stumbled in the CIS qualifiers to start to the season, Virtus.Pro have been damn near unstoppable this season. They won the first DPC major at ESL One Hamburg and by the time the season ended, they would add three more Majors to their trophy case.
In total, the CIS bears won five DPC LANs and amassed 12372 Qualifying Points, with three Majors coming after the arrival of mid-season acquisition RodjER, easily making them the biggest favourites to win it all.
— Lasse ‘MATUMBAMAN‘ Urpalainen (Hard Carry)
— Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barkawi (Mid)
— Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL‘ Ivanov (Offlane)
— Maroun ‘GH‘ Merhej (Roaming Support)
— Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi (Hard Support / Captain)
The reigning TI champions are proof that the TI curse isn’t true. Or maybe they’re the exception to the rule? Either way, Team Liquid remained unquestionably one of the top dogs of the competitive scene following their huge win at The International 2017.
With a Major — and a Supermajor at that! — finally in tow, KuroKy will now look to lead his squad at TI 2018 where they have a chance to make history as the first Dota 2 team to go back-to-back, defend their title and win two TIs.
— Wang ‘Ame‘Chunyu (Hard Carry)
— Lu ‘Maybe‘ Yao (Mid)
— Yang ‘Chalice‘ Shenyi (Offlane)
— Xu ‘fy‘ Linsen (Roaming Support / Captain)
— Yap Jian ‘xNova‘ Wei (Hard Support)
A late bloomer who only started climbing the ranks in 2018, PSG.LGD’s ascent has been quick and awe-inspiring, with Ame, Maybe and fy each taking turns making flashy plays for the team as Chalice and xNova remain rock-solid in their respective roles to help enable their superstar teammates.
According to the east-west cycle, TI 2018 is China’s turn to win Dota 2’s biggest tournament. If that were to come true, don’t be surprised if PSG.LGD ended up being the team to lift the Aegis of Champions.
— Marcus ‘Ace‘ Hoelgaard (Hard Carry)
— Yeik Nai ‘MidOne‘ Zheng (Mid)
— Adrian ‘Fata‘ Trinks (Offlane)
— Yazied ‘YapZor‘ Jaradat (Roaming Support)
— Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov (Hard Support / Captain)
Team Secret are a riddle wrapped in an enigma, as they should be with Puppey leading the roster.
Part meta setter and part headscratchers, Team Secret’s individual skill at their respective positions afford them the ability to experiment even against the best of them, but it is their propensity for thinking out of the box that makes them look worse than they really are.
Team Secret are their own worst enemy at times. However, that’s also the reason why they are a matchup nightmare for even the best of the best.
— Chai ‘Mushi‘ Yee Fung (Hard Carry)
— Kam ‘Moon‘ Boon Seng (Mid)
— Daryl Koh ‘iceiceice‘ Pei Xiang (Offlane)
— Anucha ‘Jabz‘ Jirawong (Roaming Support)
— Michael ‘ninjaboogie‘ Ross Jr. (Hard Support / Captain)
Headlined by the reunion of iceiceice and Mushi, the revamped Mineski started the season on a roll only to fall flat on their face as the meta shifted continuously and the team had a hard time adjusting. However, as soon as the team brought in former Team DK and EHOME coach Tang ‘71‘ Wenyi, Mineski started producing, and while they were never able to follow up their win at the 2018 Dota 2 Asia Championships, no one is sleeping on this team as we head towards TI 2018.
— Zhang ‘Paparazi‘ Chengjun (Hard Carry)
— Zeng ‘Ori‘ Jiaoyang (Mid)
— Ren ‘eLeVeN‘ Yangwei (Offlane)
— Zhang ‘LaNm‘ Zhicheng (Roaming Support)
— Lu ‘Fenrir‘ Chao (Hard Support / Captain)
Talent is definitely a non-issue for ViCi Gaming, but their tendency to wilt under pressure — as evidenced by coming in second in five different DPC LANs — and underperform raises a couple of questions.
Make no mistake, though. This is a team with the right mix of talent, experience and unpredictable that can give the best of the best a good run for their money.
— Xu ‘Moogy‘ Han (Hard Carry)
— Song ‘Sccc‘ Chun (Mid)
— Damien ‘kpii‘ Chok (Offlane)
— Hu ‘Kaka‘ Liangzhi (Roaming Support)
— Zeng ‘Faith‘ Hongda (Hard Support / Captain)
Talented as this team is — lest we forgot, this is the same lineup that came in second at The International 2017 — it sometimes feels like Newbee have peaked as they struggle to keep up with the constantly changing meta and rely too much on their comfort picks.
If Newbee are to replicate (or improve) on last year’s success at TI 2018 in a month, they’ll have to buy whatever Wang ‘SanSheng ‘ Zhaohui is selling.
— Liu ‘Sylar‘ Jiajun (Hard Carry)
— Liu ‘Freeze‘ Chang (Mid)
— Zhou ‘Yang‘ Haiyang (Offlane)
— Pan ‘Fade‘ Yi (Roaming Support / Captain)
— Leong ‘ddc‘ Fat-meng (Hard Support)
Good news, ddc keeps his streak of having attended all TIs alive. Bad news, VGJ.Thunder barely made it.
Of all the teams that received a direct invite to TI 2018, VGJ.Thunder were the ones look at by most as the one team that probably wouldn’t have made it if they had to play in the regional qualifiers, and for good reason, after producing well for a couple of tournaments, they have since struggled to play even against lesser teams.
VGJ.Thunder’s coach Bai ‘rOtk‘ Fan will have a lot of work to do if he is to whip his team back into shape.
— Yawar ‘YawaR‘ Hassan (Hard Carry)
— Roman ‘Resolut1on‘ Fominok (Mid)
— Jingjun ‘Sneyking‘ Wu (Offlane)
— Arif ‘MSS‘ Anwar (Roaming Support)
— Avery ‘SVG‘ Silverman (Hard Support / Captain)
If there’s one team that has the biggest chance of making some noise at TI 2018, VGJ.Storm has to be on top of it or at least near the top.
Having already proven their worth with a win at the GESC: Thailand Dota 2 Minor and a second-place finish at MDL Changsha 2018, VGJ.Storm will now seek to make some noise against some of the best Dota 2 teams in the world next month.
— Artour ‘Arteezy‘ Babaev (Hard Carry)
— Sumail ‘Suma1L‘ Hassan (Mid)
— Gutsav ‘s4‘ Magnusson (Offlane)
— Andreas ‘cr1t-‘ Nielsen (Roaming Support)
— Tal ‘Fly‘ Aizik (Hard Support / Captain)
You’d be hard-pressed to find a roster with more collective talent and wins than the newly-revamped Evil Geniuses squad — two TI winners, two two-time Major winners, a four-time Major winner and arguably the most mechanically talented core player in the world — and true enough, they were able to parlay all that talent into a slot at TI 2018.
Now, a lot of eyes will be on Evil Geniuses to see what they can do with arguably the winningest roster in team history.
— Per Olsson ‘Pajkatt‘ Lille (Hard Carry)
— Quinn ‘CC&C‘ Callahan (Mid)
— Neta ‘33‘ Shapira (Offlane)
— Ludwig ‘zai‘ Wahlberg (Roaming Support)
— Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager (Hard Support / Captain)
OpTic Gaming‘s captain ppd has never had lower than a third-place finish at a TI as an active player, having already won it all three years ago at The International 2015 with Evil Geniuses. He is obviously no stranger to pressure. And though it took a while for him to round his band of misfits into form, ppd will look to work his magic again as he proves all his critics wrong that he remains one of the best strategists that the game has to offer.
— Jin ‘zhizhizhi‘ Zhiyi (Hard Carry)
— Zhang ‘Zyd‘ Quanda (Mid)
— Zhao ‘XinQ‘ Zixing (Offlane)
— Xiong ‘Pyw‘ Jiahan (Roaming Support)
— Xiao ‘XCJ‘ Chaojian (Hard Support / Captain)
“Team who?” you ask.
Yeah. We know. Most people don’t know who these players are. zhizhizhi and XinQ are the only ones to have appeared in a notable international LAN and even they aren’t exactly known commodities.
A huge unknown, Team Serenity have nothing to lose and everything to gain with a deep run at TI 2018.
— Sun ‘Aggresif‘ Zheng (Hard Carry)
— Lin ‘Xxs‘ Jing (Mid)
— Sun ‘Srf‘ Runfa (Offlane)
— Ye ‘BoBoKa‘ Zhibiao (Roaming Support)
— Fu ‘Q‘ Bun (Hard Support / Captain)
Losing BurNIng after The International 2017 hurt the former TI2 champions more than most people expected, and while they’re still expected to go to TI 2018 after making it through the regional qualifiers, the bar is now much lower than it was ever before.
Maybe, just maybe, that’s what this organization needs as they seek to become the first to win two TIs.
— Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy‘ Mao (Hard Carry)
— Abed Azel ‘Abed‘ Yusop (Mid)
— Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE‘ (Offlane)
— Djardel ‘DJ‘ Mampusti (Roaming Support)
— Johan ‘pieliedie‘ Åström (Hard Support / Captain)
EternaLEnVy’s decision to move to Southeast Asia to play for Fnatic have finally paid off with an appearance at TI 2018, but now, the real challenge begins for the outspoken and polarizing Dota 2 veteran, whose teams have never finished higher than Top 6 at a TI.
With a team of battle-hardened veterans and a young midlaner in Abed who’s well capable of taking over games on his own, Fnatic are a dark-horse candidate to go on a deep run in August.
TNC Pro Team
— Marc ‘Raven‘ Fausto (Hard Carry)
— Armel Paul ‘Armel‘ Tabios (Mid)
— Sam ‘Sam_H‘ Hidalgo (Offlane)
— Timothy ‘Tims‘ Randrup (Roaming Support)
— Carlo ‘Kuku‘ Palad (Hard Support / Captain)
Three years ago, TNC Pro Team made their mark in Dota 2 history by pulling off the biggest upset at a TI after eliminating OG 2-0 in the lower brackets. Since then, TNC Pro Team have slowly established themselves as a powerhouse whose particularly aggressive style gives even the best Dota 2 teams in the world fits.
No longer underdogs, the all-Filipino TNC Pro Team will now play at TI 2018 expected to do even better than they ever have in the past.
— Anathan ‘ana‘ Pham (Hard Carry)
— Topias ‘Topson‘ Taavitsainen (Mid)
— Sébastien ‘7ckingMad‘ Debs (Offlane)
— Jesse ‘JerAx‘ Vainikka (Roaming Support)
— Johan ‘n0tail‘ Sundstein (Hard Support / Captain)
OG and the european qualifiers. Name a more iconic duo.
Memes aside the newly-revamped OG roster has been fun to watch. Topson, for one, has been a revelation, as the relatively unknown pubstar has dumpstered his opponents in the lane, often using unorthodox builds that are sure to be studied extensively by other teams in the next few weeks.
With expectations the lowest they have been since OG came to be three years ago and critics looking to jump on the hate train the first chance they get, the team has all the motivation to do better at TI 2018 than they ever have.
— Airat ‘Silent‘ Gaziev (Hard Carry)
— Bogdan ‘Iceberg‘ Vasilenko (Mid)
— Alexey ‘nongrata‘ Vasilev (Offlane)
— Aleksander ‘Nofear‘ Churochkin (Roaming Support / Captain)
— Andrey ‘ALWAYSWANNAFLY‘ Bondarenko (Hard Support)
Good for the former FlyToMoon squad to meet the expectations and secure CIS’ only slot at TI 2018.
After knocking out Virtus.Pro and giving Team Liquid a good run for their money at EPICENTER XL, the rise of Winstrike has been the competitive scene’s worst kept secret.
Hopefully, regardless of the results, the squad sticks together after TI 2018.
— William ‘hFn‘ Medeiros (Hard Carry)
— Aliwi ‘w33‘ Omar (Mid)
— Otavio ‘tavo‘ Gabriel (Offlane)
— Danylo ‘Kingrd‘ Nascimento (Roaming Support / Captain)
— Heitor ‘Duster‘ Pereira
paiN Gaming very nearly didn’t make it to TI 2018 after SG e-sports, with Stanley ‘Stan King‘ Yang and Francis ‘Flee‘ Lee, pushing them to the absolute limit in the Grand Finals of the South American Regional Qualifiers. But alas, they did, and here they are.
With w33 playing absolutely out of his mind and hFn continuing to be the most underrated carry player in the game, paiN Gaming have a legitimate shot at pulling off upsets against the best Dota 2 teams in the world in August.
Which Dota 2 teams are you excited to see the most at TI 2018? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.