With the announcement of the TI7 group stage schedule and format, the hype for Dota 2’s biggest annual tournament has officially hit fever pitch.
The group stages are traditionally where teams start to feel each other out and the tournament’s metagame starts to form; it’s where teams start throwing all they got into the figurative wall to see what sticks. Also, if we are to see an underdog (or two) rise up to the occasion, the TI7 group stage will be where they will start gaining some momentum.
TLDR; if you want to enjoy this year’s tournament in its entirety, then you’ll want to follow the TI7 group stages closely.
Be sure to check out our Road to Seattle feature series for more information on any one of the 18 teams participating at The International 7 this year.
TI7 Group Stage Format
The 18 teams will be divided into two group – Group A and Group B – with each team playing every other team in their group in a best-of-two.
The group stages will take place over three days from August to August 5; the top four teams from each group will advance to the upper bracket of the main event, leaving the teams in 5th to 8th place to fight for their tournament lives in the lower brackets, while a 9th-place finish will kill a team’s hopes of making a deeper run.
No Group of Death This Year
The majority seem to think that Group A is the more dangerous group.
This may largely be because the group is stacked with teams who have performed quite well lately; Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid lead the way; close behind are the likes of LGD Gaming, Team Secret, TNC Pro Team, Fnatic and iG.Vitality; even Team Empire and Infamous are no slouch after earning their TI7 slots by sweeping through their opponents in their respective regional qualifiers.
On the other hand, Group B seems heavier at the top. At least, as far as invites go, with four-time Major champions, OG, leading the way, followed by Newbee, Virtus Pro and finally, Invictus Gaming. Although it’s worth noting that both OG and Invictus Gaming have not performed well lately, as both teams have posted ~40% win rates since 7.06.
With that said, dark horse teams such as Cloud9, LGD Forever Young and Digital Chaos each arguably have a better chance of earning themselves a spot in the upper markets of the main stage. Especially if the invitees continue to underwhelm.
Ultimately, however, the split seems even, giving each team a chance to win and more importantly, us fans hours upon hours of back-and-forth Dota 2 action.
Check out our TI7 Power Rankings to see where each of the 18 teams stack up heading into the event.
When, Where and How
The TI7 group stage will start on August 2 at 09:30 PDT (18:00 CEST) at an undisclosed location with four games happening at the same time.