After 3 long days of action-packed DotA 2 action, the Group Stage segment of the tournament finished up yesterday evening. Team from across the world have come together to Seattle, to fight tooth and nail for The International championships, a tournament run by Valve. The Group Stage matches were best of two games that were held in order to allow the teams to fight for their position in the tournament and who they would be competing against in the first match of the ‘Main Stage’. The four best teams of each group would fight against each other in best of 3 matches in the ‘Upper Bracket’. The four at the bottom of each are placed in a brutal ‘Lower Bracket’ where there is only one chance in best of 1 matches. Many of the popular teams exceeded expectations and some of those teams fell by the wayside. Some even came out of nowhere and blew the crowd away with their impressive plays.
In the end, the leaders of the Group Stage are two time Major winner OG in Group A and sensational Chinese team EHOME in Group B. Both managed to dominate their group but not without difficulty. OG lost a game against TI5 winners Evil Geniuses, LGD and Wings Gaming. Fan favorites Na’Vi and LGD Gaming were unfortunately put into the Lower Bracket where they will have to fight their way through ‘Best of 1 round’ matches to secure the top spot. Alliance, the champions of TI3 have just managed to squeeze into the Upper Bracket their their Day 3 2-0 win against Evil Geniuses, knocking TnC Gaming into the Lower Bracket.
Meanwhile, in Group B, the dark horse team, Digital Chaos demonstrated a commanding presence at the tournament with their incredibly plays, being one of the two teams (along with Team Liquid) to take a game off of group leader EHOME. Fan favorite Team Secret put up a good performance on the first day. However, the final two days saw their bitter defeat with not a single win against any of the other teams until their final match where they managed to take Team Liquid down to the Lower Bracket with a 2-0 win. TI4 champions Newbee returned to form and managed to take a place in the Upper Bracket alongside MVP Phoenix who’s aggressive style won over many fans as the only South Korean team in the tournament.
The Main Stages of the tournament commences on August 8th and will start with the official “The International Opening Ceremony”. If the Group Stage is any indication, the Main Stage is going to be full of incredibly fun, interesting and chaotic DotA 2 gaming from some of the best players in the world. All of which are fighting for a greater portion of the near $20 million USD prize pool.