Dota 2 teams from all over the world will likely give their all in every match in the following weeks leading up to The International 7. When you consider what’s at stake, you can’t really blame them.
While every one of the Dota 2 teams who end up participating in this year’s prestigious event will each have earned the right to be there, some will inevitably head into the event as heavy favourites to win it all.
This year, that’s four-time major winners OG, former TI champs Evil Geniuses, and the European powerhouse, Team Liquid. However, even if they may head into TI7 as favourites to take home the grand prize, we can never say for sure who ends up winning the whole thing.
After all, it was only last year that two unlikely teams in Wings Gaming and Digital Chaos battled it out for the TI6 grand prize of $9.1 million.
We’re not here to talk about the teams that surprised us throughout the International’s history, however. Instead, we’re here to talk about the teams that disappointed at Dota 2’s biggest event.
Whether they were a team of all-stars that looked like they were primed to take home that year’s aegis of champions, or posted a string of strong performances heading into the event, below are six of the most disappointing teams to have ever competed at the International.
Mineski – The International 2011
The International 2011 was the first tournament of its kind. Only a handful of teams really came into the event expected to win it all. Mineski, one of the strongest and most well-known DotA teams at the time, was one of those.
Finishing 0-3 in their group and winning only one game the entire tournament en route to a 9-12th place finish, it’s safe to say that Mineski disappointed.
Evil Geniuses – The International 2012
While their Pre-TI performance was shaky at best, Evil Geniuses carried a lot of momentum heading into TI2. After all, their roster had some of the top NA players at the time, led by the face of NA Dota himself, Clinton “Fear” Loom. Plus, TI2 was the first International held on American soil, so the pressure was on Evil Geniuses to deliver.
Unfortunately, the pressure may have been too much for the boys in blue.
Although the crowd was behind them the whole time, Evil Geniuses just couldn’t get anything going throughout the event. They would lose to the eventual champions, Invictus Gaming, in the upper brackets. Then they ended up losing in their lower bracket matchup against TongFu, which ended their run at TI2.
Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE’ Arora and Sam ‘BuLba’ Sosale would end up leaving the team following their loss.
LGD Gaming – The International 2013
The five-man Dota strategy of LGD Gaming was a forced to be reckoned with in both 2012 and 2013. The team was particularly dominant in 2013. So much so that many considered them as the top Dota 2 team, not just in China, but in the whole world.
As has been the case with our list, though, LGD Gaming would end up disappointing at TI3.
LGD Gaming would barely make it to the upper brackets after a shaky performance during the group stages and was quickly disposed of by the eventual champions, Alliance.
LGD Gaming would find themselves heavily favoured against Team Liquid in their lower bracket matchup. Instead of winning, however, they would find themselves on the losing end of what’s considered as one of the biggest upsets in Dota 2 history.
Alliance – The International 2014
Alliance was utterly dominant throughout the months leading up to TI3. They certainly did not disappoint during the tournament. The went undefeated in the group stages and dropped just one game on their way to the Grand Finals. They then took home then-record grand prize after a thrilling five-game series that many fans now refer to as ‘El Classico’.
Unfortunately, as dominant as Alliance was throughout TI3, they didn’t exactly enjoy the same kind of success at TI4.
Receiving a direct TI4 invite by virtue of being TI3 champs, Alliance never even got close to defending their title. Instead, Alliance never made it out of the round-robin, finishing in 12th place with a record of 6-9.
Team Secret – The International 2015
The TI5 Team Secret roster will go down in history as one of the most stacked Dota 2 teams of all time. The collection of top talent from both EU and NA led to the team winning four straight LAN titles before TI5. As a result, many had Team Secret pegged as a shoo-in for the TI5 Grand Finals.
They would end up performing well below expectations, however.
EHOME swept Team Secret in the upper bracket of the main event. Although they would later win against Invictus Gaming at the lower bracket, they would eventually fall to the hands of Virtus Pro in the next round.
Four out of five of Team Secret’s TI5 roster would end up leaving the team after their disappointing 7th-8th finish.
OG – The International 2016
With breakout mid-player Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Barqawi in their roster, OG won two majors and three LAN titles. All these in addition to finishing strong in other LAN tournaments in a mere six months.
Similar to Team Secret in TI5, OG carried to TI6 all the momentum and hype any team could wish for.
Unfortunately, MVP.Phoenix and TNC Pro Team would end up making quick work out of the then-two-time major champions at the main event. In fact, many now consider OG’s matchup with TNC Pro Team in the TI6 lower bracket as the biggest upsets in Dota 2 history.
OG would ended up going home with a 9th-12th place finish.
Which Dota 2 Teams Will Disappoint At TI7?
Will TI7 see OG finally rise above other Dota 2 teams? Or, will we see another unlikely team rise up to the occasion and surprise everyone? Who knows! We can never say for sure what happens until it happens.
One thing is for sure, though, TI7 will definitely see its own set of surprising runs and disappointing finishes. You can bet that we’ll be there to cover both as they happen!