VGJ.Thunder will be the eighth and last Dota 2 team to receive a TI8 direct invite after Virtus.Pro eliminated OpTic Gaming in the lower brackets of the China Dota2 Supermajor Playoffs.
VGJ.Thunder will now join their mother organization ViCi Gaming as one of the eight Dota 2 teams to receive a direct invite to TI8. Other invitees include Newbee and PSG.LGD from China; Virtus.Pro from CIS; Team Liquid and Team Secret from Europe and finally, Mineski from Southeast Asia.
All of the said teams will now have the next two months to prepare for Dota 2’s biggest annual tournament, The International 2018, in August.
Click here for our detailed and updated preview for The International 2018.
VGJ.Thunder Win Race for Final TI8 Direct Invite
Only 135 points separated VGJ.Thunder from the Chinese Regional Qualifiers and the last TI8 direct invite heading into the China Dota2 Supermajor. To secure their spot in the leaderboards, the Chinese Dota 2 team needed to finish the tournament at least in fourth place. Not only that, but they also had to prevent OpTic Gaming, TNC Pro Team and The Final Tribe from advancing any further.
As a result of finishing the Group Stage in the bottom half of Group D, VGJ.Thunder had found themselves facing elimination against The Final Tribe in the playoffs. Luckily, they caught a lucky break when TNC Pro Team and OpTic Gaming were both sent to the lower brackets. This drastically lowered VGJ.Thunder’s chances of losing their spot. But, still, the challenge of advancing deep into the tournament remained. Or lest they risk putting their hopes of receiving a TI8 direct invite in the hands of another team.
After their loss to Newbee in the next round of the lower brackets, that’s exactly what ended up happening.
Virtus.Pro unwittingly saved VGJ.Thunder’s TI dreams when they swept OpTic Gaming in Round 5 of the Lower Brackets of the China Dota2 Supermajor Playoffs.
DDC Makes It Eighth in a Row
By holding on to the eighth and final direct TI8 invite, longtime veteran Leong ‘ddc‘ Fat-meng kept his TI streak alive. He has now attended every TI so far. This is a record ddc shares with only two other Dota 2 players — Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov of Team Secret and Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi of Team Liquid.
Surprisingly enough, outside of the first TI where every team was invited to participate in the event, this is also the first time that ddc will attend a TI without having to qualify via the Regional Qualifiers.
In any case, the final TI8 direct invite comes as good news for VGJ.Thunder as they recently ripped by their coach Bai ‘rOtK‘ Fan on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Facebook.