In our TI7 Qualifiers Recap, we will give you a quick rundown of what went down in the DOTA 2 scene over the course of the past two weeks.
Valve Hands Out TI7 Invites
Right after Virtus Pro won The Summit 7, Valve announced the six teams who will be playing at The International 2017 by way of direct invites.
The list includes four-time Major winners OG, The Kiev Major 1st-Runner Up Virtus Pro, The Manila Masters Champ Evil Geniuses, DAC 2017 Winners Invictus Gaming, defending EPICENTER title holders Team Liquid and winners of Galaxy Battles 2017 and ZOTAC Cup Masters, Newbee.
For a full feature on where these six teams currently stack up against their competition, be sure to check out our latest DOTA 2 Rankings.
No Defending Champs at TI7
For the first time in DOTA 2 history, the defending champions will not get a chance to defend their title at TI6.
Wings Gaming, winners of TI6, was unable to stay together over the course of the year. The team had a falling out with their parent organisation, which led to them leaving only to reform as Team Random. However, that too would dissolve and the five players were forced to scatter across three different teams in China.
Their carry player, Chu ‘Shadow’ Zeyu played for Team Eclipse, while their mid player Zhou ‘bLink’ Yang and Li ‘iceice’ Peng went on to form Team Dango along with other prominent Chinese DOTA 2 players.
Zhang ‘Faith_bian’ Ruida and Zhang ‘y” Yiping both joined the EHOME roster, who received direct invites to the regional qualifiers.
Unfortunately, all three teams of the defending champions failed to make it out of the Chinese Regional Qualifiers.
SEA TI7 Qualifiers Recap
The SEA TI7 Qualifiers were the first to start and the first to end as well.
As many expected, TNC Pro Team, who’d had strong showings over the course of the year, took the 1st slot after finishing the group stages with an 8-1 win-loss record. However, while many, including us, expected Team Faceless to nab the 2nd spot, they performed well below expectations and failed to make it out of the group stages.
Instead, Fnatic and Execration, both of which played at TI6 with different rosters, took the remaining slots to play in their second consecutive TI.
EU TI7 Qualifiers Recap
> Prodota drops roster
> Loses qualifier invite
> Players win OQ as Planet Dog.
> Players win RQ to go to TI.
Talk about a story line. #TI7
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) June 29, 2017
While Team Secret taking the 1st spot was already a foregone conclusion, many did not expect Planet Dog to take the 2nd spot.
Planet Dog, who earned the right to play at the regional qualifiers via the open qualifiers, finished Day 1 of the group stages at the top spot. While they were unable to sustain their momentum, the team was still able to complete their storybook ending by taking the 2nd slot to play at TI7.
NA TI7 Qualifiers Recap
Many had expected the NA qualifiers to be one of the most, if not the most competitive of all the qualifiers, and the NA teams certainly did not disappoint.
Digital Chaos jumped out to an early lead in Day 1 before Team Freedom and Team NP finished the group stages with similar records. Both teams then had to break their tie to see which team would be the first to represent the NA region at TI7.
Speaking of breaking ties, Digital Chaos, Complexity Gaming, and Wheel Whreck While Whistling went through two tiebreakers for the right to move on to the NA Qualifier Playoffs.
Digital Chaos and Complexity Gaming eventually moved on to the playoffs, where the former elevated their level of play to win North America’s 2nd TI7 slot.
CIS TI7 Qualifiers Recap
DOTA 2 turned out to be very popular in the CIS region, as 1024 teams registered to play at the Open Qualifiers.
Among those was the newly formed DOTA 2 roster of the legendary organisation M19, who were led by former Natus Vincere player, Gleb ‘Funn1k’ Lipatnikov.
The newly formed team turned a lot of heads throughout the CIS qualifiers and were one of the four teams to move on to the playoffs. The others include Team Empire, Vega Squadron and Team Spirit.
Unfortunately, M19’s lack of experience as a team showed up in the playoffs.
Matched up against, Team Empire, they were simply outplayed as a team.
Team Empire then went on to go undefeated throughout the playoffs to take the region’s only TI7 slot.
SA TI7 Qualifiers Recap
Many DOTA 2 fans of the region were delighted to hear Valve announced that South America would be getting its own qualifiers. This meant that SA teams had a better shot at qualifying for TI7 as they wouldn’t have to battle it out against their more experienced neighbours from NA.
SG e-sports were the early favourites to represent the region at TI7. However, Midas Club Elite, who dominated the group stages, had something to say about that. But, neither of the two would go on to represent the region. Instead, it was Infamous, who recently came off a lacklustre finish at Galaxy Battles 2017, that came out on top and finished the playoffs without dropping a single game.
Noteworthy was the performance of their 16-year-old carry player, Enzo ‘Timado’ Gianoli.
Full Recap: Playoffs
China TI7 Qualifiers Recap
The Chinese qualifiers were perhaps the most competitive of them all.
Three teams finished the group stages with similar records and all teams dropped at least two games. iG.Vitality ended up taking the 1st slot to join their sister squad, Invictus Gaming, at TI7.
LGD Gaming and LGD.Forever Young then took the 2nd and 3rd slots via the Winners’ Bracket and the Losers’ Bracket of the China Qualifier Playoffs.
By qualifying, Leon ‘DDC’ Fatmeng of LGD.Forever Young will be one of the few DOTA 2 veterans to have made an appearance at every TI.
Full Recap: Playoffs
Dawn of a New Era
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) June 30, 2017
This International 7, we will see only four 7-year veterans make an appearance as players at DOTA 2’s grandest stage.
Notable names such as Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin, Rasmus ‘MiSeRy’ Filipsen, and Daryl ‘iceiceice’ Koh Pei Xiang will all miss the event for the first time in their careers.
On the other hand, plenty of new faces will be entering the competition. In fact, TI7 will see the most first-time attendees since TI2.
All the players of Team Empire, Execration, iG.Vitality, Infamous and Planet Dog will be playing at their first TI this August. The same goes for notable players such as Digital Chaos’ Abed Azel ‘Abed’ Yusop and OG’s Anathan ‘ana’ Phan.
No Redeye at TI7
Sadly, I won't be at The International this year, here's why
— Redeye (@PaulChaloner) June 27, 2017
Paul “ReDeYe” Chaloner announced via Twitter that he will not be coming back to host The International 2017.
Paul has been a fixture in the DOTA 2 scene in the past two years. Specifically, he hosted The International 2015 and The International 2016.
Leading candidates include Alex “Machine” Richardson and Sean “Day” Plott.
For more info, be sure to check our previous article regarding his announcement.
The First 10K MMR Player
In the middle of the TI7 Open Qualifiers, Abed Azel ‘Abed’ Yusop, who currently plays for the NA Dota 2 Team, Digital Chaos, became the first player to reach the 10K MMR milestone.
Be sure to check out our article on this monumental achievement for more information.
The Grandest Stage of them All
We’re only a month away from seeing these 18 deserving teams clash in Seattle for a stake at what will likely be the biggest prize pool in Esports history.
Between now and then, we will see three more LAN events take place.
DreamLeague Season 7 (July 21-22) will see Team Liquid, Team Secret, Vega Squadron, and Planet Odd battle it out in a double-elimination format for a prize pool of $175,000. Meanwhile, The Final Match 2017 (July 07-09), is the largest tournament at the level of South America and will feature teams such as Team Spirit, SG e-sports, Infamous, and Alliance, among others.
Perhaps the most interesting pre-TI7 event will be the Mars DOTA 2 League 2017 (July 05-09). Barring any last-minute changes, six of the eight participating teams will all be competing at TI7.
We probably won’t be seeing any major changes heading into TI7. However, it’s still pretty interesting to see what will happen in the said three LAN tournaments. More so if we see a small balance patch in the coming days as teams will likely use these tournaments to see what works and what doesn’t heading into TI7.
While it’s nigh-impossible to predict what will happen in the days leading up to TI7, there’s only one thing we all can be sure of: The International 2017, as most would put it, is going to be lit.