TI8 Group Stage Day 1: Odds, Analyses, Predictions

With the groups finally announced, we can finally look forward to the TI8 group stage Day 1, where the eighteen teams will begin their journey for playoff seeding all the while staving off elimination.

Just like last year, all of the teams that qualified or received a direct invite to TI will be playing during the in the round-robin group stage. However, after three days, only 16 will remain, as the bottom seeds from each group will be eliminated from the event.

With so much at stake, the TI8 group stage Day 1 is already a must-watch, especially with PSG.LGD and Team Liquid set to clash at the end of the day.

Having said that, you can find our picks for the TI8 group stage Day 1 below:

All odds courtesy of GGbet unless otherwise stated.

Evil Geniuses vs VGJ.Thunder

TI8 Group Stage Day 1

Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev will be looking to finally get the TI-sized monkey off of his back and prove that he can win big at the biggest stage of them all. (ESL One)

Match Schedule: August 16, 0000H (UTC + 8)

There’s no way to tell how VGJ.Thunder are looking right now. The last time we saw them, they weren’t looking too good. Of course, they could have improved since then, especially when you factor in the prep time they have had for TI8. However, considering how the Chinese team have historically had a hard time playing against lane dominant teams — Evil Geniuses latest roster easily have three of the best laners in the world — this is looking like a quick series in the favour of the boys in blue.

Betting: Evil Geniuses to win 2-0 at 2.14 odds (GGbet)

ViCi Gaming vs VGJ.Storm

TI8 Group Stage Day 1

Paparazi will be returning to TI for the second time in his short career, but now, he has a team that’s much more capable of playing around him and enabling his strengths. (ViCi Gaming)

Match Schedule: August 16, 0230H (UTC + 8)

These two teams have only met twice this entire season. That was two months ago at the MDL Changsha Major, where they 2-0’ed each other with VGJ.Storm getting the last laugh after sending ViCi Gaming down to the lower brackets.

Now, these two teams are meeting in the TI8 group stage Day 1, where laning is key and ViCi Gaming have two highly-skilled, albeit inexperienced, laners in Zhang ‘Paparazi‘ Chengjun and Zeng ‘Ori‘ Jiaoyang.

This isn’t to say that VGJ.Storm should fold quite easily. In fact, you can expect them to put up a good fight. But, when you consider how they lean too much on Roman ‘Resolut1on‘ Fominok at times and how ViCi Gaming are no strangers to running a four-core lineup with Zhang ‘LaNm‘ Zhicheng playing as a greedy position 4 support, this is a match that could easily go the way of ViCi Gaming.

Betting: ViCi Gaming to win 2-0 at 2.92 odds (GGbet)

Team Serenity vs Team Secret

TI8 Group Stage Day 1

The hero pool of Marcus ‘Ace’ Hoelgaard will be key to Team Secret’s chances of going on a deep run at TI8. (Team Secret)

Match Schedule: August 16, 0230H (UTC + 8)

To be fair, this is betting more on Team Serenity’s ability to shock teams and Team Secret’s tendency to experiment when up against lesser teams.

Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov knows all too well that Team Serenty won’t be dropping out of the group stages. They’re too good, even with wonky picks and drafts, for that to happen. So, it wouldn’t come off as a shock for him to try out something drastically new — and fail — up against Team Serenity in the TI8 group stage Day 1.

That alone gives us enough confidence to risk choosing Team Serenity to pull off an upset win and take a game off of the enigmatic Team Secret.

Betting: Team Serenity vs Team Secret to draw at 2.24 odds (GGbet)

Newbee vs TNC Predator

TI8 Group Stage Day 1

Having already won a TI early in his career with Invictus Gaming, Zeng ‘Faith’ Hongda will be looking to become the first to win two TIs as the backbone of Newbee. (Newbee)

Match Schedule: August 16, 0230H (UTC + 8)

Another matchup that has a strong chance of going to a draw. Had this been a best-of-three, Newbee’s chances of winning would’ve been greater. But, it’s not, and considering how great TNC Predator have always been in a Game 1 situation, where their aggressiveness has been known to cause some issues, especially against the Chinese teams, Newbee dropping a game is a much more likely outcome than them sweeping TNC Predator or getting swept themselves.

Betting: TNC Predator vs Newbee to draw at 1.96 odds (GGbet)

Newbee vs paiN Gaming

TI8 Group Stage Day 1

Song ‘Sccc’ Chun will be tasked to a whole lot of heavy-lifting once again if Newbee are to replicate or one-up last year’s success at TI8. (Newbee</a)

Match Schedule: August 16, 0730H (UTC + 8)

paiN Gaming are no strangers to pulling off upsets against better teams. They even have already done it against Newbee back in EPICENTER XL, which suggests that there is a chance that Newbee might get upset here. But, don’t bet on it.

The last time we saw paiN Gaming, they didn’t look particularly good. Granted, that was the Dota Summit 9, where there weren’t really much at stake and the team could’ve been taking it easy. However, even before then, it’s become evident that the more games paiN Gaming play, the more teams have begun to figure them out.

What better team to rely on to study their opponents more than Newbee, who will be coached by the TI4 winner, Wang ‘SanSheng‘ Zhaohui?

Betting: Newbee to win 2-0 at 2.14 odds (GGbet)

Winstrike vs Invictus Gaming

TI8 Group Stage Day 1

One of the true dark horses of TI8, Winstrike will be looking to get a good start in the TI8 group stage Day 1. (Winstrike)

Match Schedule: August 16, 1000H (UTC + 8)

Aggression is the bane of most Chinese teams, Invictus Gaming included. It just so happens that Winstrike are the most aggressive team playing at TI8, by far. They lead all teams at TI8 in team kills and assists, which suggests that Invictus Gaming won’t have time to set their cores up properly and farm.

Expect this series to end quickly, with Winstrike getting themselves on the board with a quick 2-0 to end the TI8 group stage Day 1.

Betting: Winstrike to win 2-0 at 2.55 odds (GGbet)

Evil Geniuses vs Mineski

TI8 Group Stage Day 1

Known for his high expectations and putting his teams on a strict training regimen, 71 will make sure that Mineski hit the ground running at TI8. (Mineski)

Match Schedule: August 16, 1000H (UTC + 8)

We don’t know what the oddsmakers were thinking, but putting Mineski as this big of an underdog must either be a mistake or they’re underestimating Mineski too much.

While we get that Mineski have not performed well since winning the 2018 Dota 2 Asia Championships, betting against a team of veterans is foolish at best. Especially when they have Tang ‘71‘ Wenyi as their coach. Although this isn’t to say that Mineski are a sure bet to win this series to end the TI8 group stage Day 1, but the odds of team sweeping Evil Geniuses are just too good to pass up on.

Betting: Mineski to go 2-0 at 5.14 odds (GGbet)

Click here for our power rankings for The International 2018.

How do you think our predictions for the TI8 group stage Day 1 will turn out? Do you think we’ll end up with more successful predictions than duds? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favourite Esports titles.