With the six TI7 invites and TI7 qualifiers schedules announced, the #roadtoti7 is finally on its last leg.
With that said, here’s our full feature PRE-TI7 DOTA 2 Rankings, including the results of the recently concluded Galaxy Battles and DOTA Summit 7.
10. Planet Odd
- ESL One Genting 2017 (1st)
- Galaxy Battles 2017 (2nd)
Previous Ranking: Honourable Mention
After a string of lacklustre performances, including a 7-8th place finish at EPICENTER 2017 two weeks ago, Planet Odd looked more like the team that won ESL One Genting 2017 at Galaxy Battles 2017.
While they didn’t exactly take home the title, a 2nd-place finish is nothing to scoff at. They managed to keep all three games of the Galaxy Battles Grand Finals against Newbee relatively close until the end.
With only two slots up for grabs via the North America TI7 qualifiers, Planet Odd is looking like one of the heavy favourites, along with NP.
9. Team NP
- The Manila Masters (3rd)
- ZOTAC Cup Masters (2nd)
- DOTA Summit 7 (4th)
Previous Ranking: 9
Previously, we mentioned that how Team NP performs at DOTA Summit 7 will give us a much better look at their newest squad. After a 4th-place finish at DOTA Summit 7, we now have a better idea of the team’s identity.
In terms of style of play, the team still plays around their carry/captain Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao. However, they are much more disciplined and are less prone to overextending. This makes them a much better team than before. But, their current playing style puts them a notch below the top teams.
To put simply, the current patch isn’t for them; NP favours a more split-push type of strat whereas 7.06 is more of a “fighting” patch.
The team definitely has the personnel to incorporate a more aggressive style of play, so it’ll be interesting to see if and how NP changes things leading up to TI7.
8. TNC Pro Team
- WESG (1st)
- StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 (3rd-4th)
- StarLadder i-League Invitational (2nd)
- Galaxy Battles (3rd)
Previous Ranking: Honourable Mention
After pulling off arguably the biggest upset in Dota 2 history at TI6, TNC Pro Team looks poised to turn some heads once again at The International 2017. While the team didn’t receive a direct invite to TI7, their performance since picking up Theeban ‘1437’ Siva as their new captain and drafter suggests that they won’t have a problem earning their spot via the qualifiers.
Unfortunately, because they only placed 3rd at Galaxy Battles 2017, it was hard to justify bumping them up much higher in our pre-TI7 DOTA 2 Rankings.
7. Invictus Gaming
- DOTA Asia Champions 2017 (1st)
- The Kiev Major 2017 (3rd-4th)
- StarLadder iLeague Invitational #2 (3rd-4th)
Previous Ranking: 6 (-1)
There are two possible reasons why Invictus Gaming hasn’t been forming well since May. Either they’ve become complacent, or the recent patch has made their top heroes and playstyle less effective.
Our bet is that it’s more of the former. Not that they would’ve known in advance, but after winning DAC 2017, in addition to placing 3rd-4th at The Kiev Major 2017 – all top 4 teams at Kiev went on to receive invites to TI7 – they would’ve felt pretty confident about their invite chances. Therefore, they had less incentive to play hard and show off their strats.
It’s a legitimate strategy, no doubt. But, one that sees them falling into 7th place in our PRE-TI7 DOTA 2 Rankings.
- EPICENTER 2017 (3rd-4th)
- DOTA Summit 7 (2nd)
Previous Ranking: 7 (+1)
Team Secret has a thing for pulling off a string of dominant wins only to fall flat when it counts the most. Even when you consider their “disappointing” finish at The Kiev Major 2017, there’s no denying that the team has played relatively well in 2017. In fact, Team Secret came very close to winning the DOTA Summit 7 after dropping just one game prior to the Grand Finals.
Had things gone differently, they would’ve found themselves ranked higher. It’s also possible to make the argument that they would’ve received an invite had they won the DOTA Summit 7 as well. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
With two slots available via the European TI7 Qualifiers, look to Team Secret to waste no time securing their chances of competing at Seattle later this August.
- ESL One Genting 2017 (2nd)
- Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 (3rd)
- StarLadder i-League Invitational #2 (3rd-4th)
- The Manila Masters (2nd)
- ZOTAC Cup Masters (1st)
- Galaxy Battles (1st)
Previous Ranking: 3 (-2)
You’re probably wondering, how does a team with only one lacklustre performance at a LAN event in 2017 and with two consecutive LAN titles to boot find themselves dropping two spots in our rankings? That’s absurd, right?
Well, there are three reasons for that.
First, their one bad performance was at a Major. Second, it’s just hard to justify dropping four-time Major Champs, OG, out of the top 4. Lastly, Virtus Pro just went ham at the DOTA Summit 7, picking 81 different heroes in 17 matches en route to defending their title.
Winning two consecutive LAN titles, among other notable performances, may have helped Newbee secure a direct invite. However, when you consider the quality of most of their competition at Galaxy Battles and the Zotac Cup Masters, and Virtus Pro’s recent performance, it’s easy to see why we placed them fifth in our PRE-TI7 DOTA 2 Rankings.
- The Boston Major 2016 (1st)
- Dota 2 Asia Championships (2nd)
- The Kiev Majors 2017 (1st)
Previous Ranking: 4th
Two consecutive Major titles, and four-time major champions, ’nuff said.
3. Virtus Pro
- ESL One Genting 2017 (3rd-4th)
- The Kiev Major 2017 (2nd)
- Mr. Cat Invitational Europe (1st)
- Russian e-Sports Cup 2017 (1st)
- DOTA Summit 7 (1st)
After many criticised Virtus Pro’s performance at EPICENTER 2017 for having limited hero pools, they went out to and proved that they could win with a variety of strategies.
Virtus Pro turned the DOTA Summit 7 into their own personal playground, playing 81 different heroes in 17 games before they finally decided to pick the same hero twice. The Kiev Major 2017 runner-ups would’ve probably gone for 85 had Team Secret not started picking or banning out the remaining heroes they haven’t picked yet.
With their TI7 invite secured, Virtus Pro’s ridiculously effective show of versatility has got to be a tremendous confidence booster heading into TI7.
If they play with the same confidence at Dota 2’s biggest stage, we may see a repeat of Wings Gaming’s run at TI6 where teams just didn’t know which heroes to ban when playing against them.
2. Evil Geniuses
- Dota Pit League Season 5 (1st)
- The Kiev Major (3rd-4th)
- The Manila Masters (1st)
- EPICENTER (2nd)
Evil Geniuses have been a consistently strong team for so long that it’s easier to make an argument for them to be the top team in our Pre-TI7 Dota 2 Rankings instead of number 2.
Unluckily for them, Team Liquid’s recent string of arguably stronger performances have made that decision easier for us.
1. Team Liquid
- StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 (1st)
- StarLadder i-League Invitational #2 (1st)
- EPICENTER 2017 (1st)
Team Liquid’s performance in 2017 has been that they either finish 1st or among the bottom. There’s really no in between. But, when they’ve finished 1st, they’ve looked ridiculously good.
Team Liquid may have yet to reach the absolute peak of what their current roster can do, and it’s scary to imagine what happens when they do.
Pre-TI7 Dota 2 Rankings – Honourable Mentions
- Clutch Gamers – Clutch Gamers have yet to prove that they belong with the big boys. However, it’s still not too late for Clutch Gamers to prove that they have what it takes to become the next SEA powerhouse. Look to them to try to take one of the two TI7 slots via the SEA qualifiers.
- iG.Vitality – Had they had a stronger showing at Galaxy Battles, iG.Vitality may have snuck into the top 10 of our DOTA 2 rankings. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. As such, they remain in our honourable mentions.
- LGD Gaming and LGD.Forever Young – Earning 3rd and 3rd-4th place finishes respectively in their first LAN tournament in quite a long time is a huge accomplishment. However, both teams find themselves relegated to the honourable mentions to make way for teams that have performed better since our previous rankings.
- Mousesports – Earning a 4th-place finish at Galaxy Battles will do a lot for the team’s confidence heading into the TI7 qualifiers. Albeit, it’s not enough to land them a spot in our top 10.
- Team Faceless – As one of SEA’s most consistent teams, there’s no doubt they’ll butt heads with the likes of TNC Pro Team and Clutch Gamers at the TI7 SEA qualifiers. Unfortunately, having had no chance to compete and show off since their 4th-place finish at The Manila Masters, they find themselves outside of our top 10.
Pre-TI7 DOTA 2 Rankings
Our PRE-TI7 DOTA 2 Rankings will likely be the last time we update our list until at least after the TI7 qualifiers.
Worry not, however, as we will be covering each respective region’s qualifiers to give you the latest on which teams are on their way to securing their slots at The International 2017, which will be held in Seattle later this year.
Our Dota 2 rankings, while based off on recent performances and head-to-head matchups, are, by no means, definitive, and we gladly accept discussion. Be sure to let us know what you think by leaving us a message on Twitter.