Review of The International 2018

The International 2018 has come to the end in Dota 2, which we remember due to various surprises and unexpected turns of events. We offer you to remind this championship and sum the competition up.

The general impression from the tournament:

The championship was hosted in Canada for the first time and received a lot of positive feedback - the players enjoyed a lot the multi-nationality of Vancouver due to which all teams were supported equally. In its turn, a regular viewer had great broadcasts without delays with a bunch of interesting content from regular interviews with teams to the history of the development of Dota 2 in Japan and Brazil. And viewers that were at the venue received an access to the beta-test of the most anticipated Dota 2 card game - Artifact.


Two new heroes were revealed at The International 2018: Mars and Grimstroke. The first one will become available next winter, however, Grimstroke is playable both in regular and rating matches.


Rubick’s victory in the voting for the “Arcana” item has become one more pleasant news for Dota 2 fans. Last year, the greatest mage on the Dota 2 map lost to Pudge less than one percent and the victory of the above-mentioned hero over Void was revealed at The International 2018.


The new announcer-pack with Gabe Newell’s lines was the last surprise, which was received only by owners of Battle Pass. We can’t say that it is incredibly cool but people who like memes will appreciate it.

The teams that have failed:


The International was unexpected enough this year, except one team, and there was no team at the tournament, which performance could be called failed, however, we will refer the guys from Newbee to this section. The roster placed second at The International in 2017 and entered the top four at various competitions during the rating season, due to which held the seventh place in the world rate with 2445 Dota Pro Circuit points and received a direct invitation to the main competition of the year. That’s why Sccc and the company had been expected to perform a bit stronger but it became clear in the group stage that the guys had enough problems in the game. As a result, they stepped down to the lower bracket and were eliminated in the first round by Winstrike.

The teams that haven’t surprised:

paiN Gaming

We call paiN Gaming the first team that hasn’t surprised as the guys had created some kind of sympathy after the third place at ESL One Birmingham 2018. Despite predictions about the elimination after the group stage of the final stage of The International 2018 - the roster spent good two days in a group when managed to steal points from Newbee, Virtus.Pro, Vici Gaming, Team Secret, and TNC Predator. The roster lost two matches on the last gaming day and held the last place. There are rumors that W33 has already informed about his withdrawal from the team.

Vici Gaming

The guys from Vici Gaming played well enough in the rating season 2017/2018 and managed to make it to The International 2018 with a help of a direct invite. Many professional players had given a positive feedback about Ori and the company’s gaming level, however, it became clear in the group stage that the roster’s things were not so good - the team held the penultimate place in Group B with seven victories and nine losses on its score. In the playoff stage, the team from Chinese beat their compatriots from VGJ.Thunder and lost to Team Secret with a score 2:1 in the next match. Despite Vici Gaming’s opponent was strong enough, they faced for a number of times during the season and had an equal statistic, so they can blame only themselves for the loss.


Iceiceice and the company were playing well enough at the beginning of the season, however, there was some kind of gaming decline on the middle of the season and they managed to save the roster only due to a coach and a victory at Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018. There was a series of failures after that and the roster was unlucky to place higher than 5th-6th in the next four rating tournaments, however, Mineski had enough points to get to the main championship of the year with a help of a direct invitation. In the group stage of The International, Moon and the company played horribly, having achieved only five victories in 16 matches, and the guys miraculously beat TNC Predator in a bo1 match in the playoff stage and were not able to cope with Virtus.Pro. Insiders say that the team has already disbanded but there is no official information.


The guys prevailed in the qualifiers to the main championship of the year easily, after which stopped on the second place at DOTA Summit 9 right before the start of The International 2018, which created thoughts about their good shape, however, things were a bit worse. In the group stage, the roster held the fifth place with seven victories and nine losses on its score and the roster faced the unexpected Chinese from Team Serenity in the next stage, who appeared stronger in a bo1 match. We can’t say that PieLieDie and the company were expected to perform great at TI8 but the 13th-16th place is not what this team is capable of in its best shape.

Team Serenity

The Chinese roster appeared out of nowhere - not a single analyst or professional player was able to name a single participant of the team a few months ago and everyone was interested in watching the team’s matches at The International. The guys won the Chinese qualifiers without a chance, having left behind LGD.FY, the main favorite, and Serenity were compared to Wings Gaming in 2016 due to its crazy game. Many people expected a strong performance from Serenity due to comparisons with the golden roster of Wings and some professional players and analysts stated that zhizhizhi and the company were able to win The International. The team held the seventh place in a group, after which it eliminated Fnatic and lost to OpTic Gaming in the playoffs. In fact, the 9th-12 place is a good result for the roster that hasn’t visited a LAN final of any tournament for half a year but Serenity was expected to do more only due to the story with Wings Gaming.


VGJ.Storm was considered to be a strong team before the start of The International, which was able to surprise and to advance as far as possible if they had been lucky with a bracket but Resolut1on and the company became one of the favorites of the competition after the group stage as they placed first in its group, having achieved 12 victories in 16 matches. The guys beat Winstrike in the playoffs but lost to OG and Team Secret. In general, the 7th-8th place is a good enough result for VGJ.Storm, however, the fans expected more after the perfect performance in a group. Now, there are rumors that the team will transfer to OpTic Gaming and replace Sneyking with UNiVeRsE.


“The Bears” were the strongest in the rating season 2017/2018 and managed to place first on the list of the best teams by a number of earned Dota Pro Circuit points, so expectations from the roster were respective - analysts and simply Dota 2 fans expected the team to enter the top four. According to the results of the group stage, the roster held the second place in a group, having scored ten victories and six losses. It was clear that the guys were not fully ready for the main championship of the year as their picks regularly appeared to be a way weaker than opponents’ ones and RodjER and RAMZES666 played worse than usual. As a result, the roster placed 5th-6th, having lost to PSG.LGD and Evil Geniuses in the playoffs.

The teams that have played on their normal level:

Invictus Gaming and VGJ.Thunder

The teams Invictus Gaming and VGJ.Thunder were initially considered to be underdogs of the competition and confirmed this status on the outcome of the group stage - VGJ.Thunder achieved only six victories in a group and lost to Vici Gaming in the first round of the playoffs, Invictus Gaming didn’t advance to the playoffs, having lost to a rematch against Winstrike.

TNC Predator

No one expected something special from the guys from TNC Predator, however, the Philippine fans aggrieved seriously, when V1lar put KuKu and the company on the last place of Group B in his “Calibration”. In general, the roster did a job great - it stole points from the favorites in the face of Virtus.Pro, Team Serenity, and Vici Gaming. In the next stage, TNC lost to Mineski in the first round but in fairness, they were unlucky to face Mushi and the company, which was very familiar with TNC Predator’s gaming style as the teams are in one region.

OpTic Gaming

OpTic Gaming was one step away from getting to The International 2018 directly as the guys had been struggling at various rating tournaments. Due to this, Zai and the company came to the main tournament of the year in an optimal shape. The team held the fourth place in a group and guaranteed itself an advancement to the upper bracket, however, was unlucky to face Team Liquid in the first match. In the lower bracket, PPD and the company eliminated Team Serenity but lost to Virtus.Pro and left the tournament, having placed 7th-8th. We think that such result is acceptable enough but it looks like the players are not satisfied with such a result as there are rumors about the withdrawal of PPD and Zai.

Team Secret

Team Secret is a team that has a strong captain, an in-game leader, and each player has great personal skill but as the previous rosters of Secret, they lack something. The roster advanced to the upper bracket predictably enough on the outcome of groups and managed to win Vici Gaming and VGJ.Storm in the playoffs. However, it was eliminated from the competition after the losses against Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid. The guys held the 5th-6th place and it is known that Ace and FATA will leave the team. Zai will be a newcomer in the team but this information has not confirmed officially.

Team Liquid and PSG.LGD

Both Team Liquid and PSG.LGD played predictably - the teams reached the top four. These two teams placed second and third by a number of earned Dota Pro Circuit points on the outcome of the rating season 2017/2018. At The International, the guys got to the upper bracket, where faced in the quarterfinal and then, PSG.LGD was stronger. As a result, the Chinese roster advanced to the grand final and Team Liquid stopped on the fourth place due to a loss in the match against Evil Geniuses. Both teams have already announced that will not change their active rosters, so we will see them in business in the next season.

The teams that have surprised:

Evil Geniuses

The guys from Evil Geniuses had replaced two players at once and changed roles right before the qualifiers to The International. The roster placed second there and their power was unclear as the teams are weak enough in North America, except OpTic Gaming and VGJ.Storm, and EG was not able to beat the last ones. The team appeared to be stronger than everyone else at DOTA Summit 9 - the guys were way stronger than their opponents but it’s unlikely that the teams-participants revealed their strategies before the competition with a prize pool in the sum of $25,000,000. It became clear in the group stage that Evil Geniuses were very strong and might become a winner of the competition - the team placed second with 13 victories in 16 matches. The roster beat Team Secret and Team Liquid in the next stage, however, was not able to prevail over the future champions. In such way, the team held the third place and a very few people might suppose that they would enter even the top six after such replacements in the team.


Winstrike was considered as one of the main underdogs of the championship by many bookmakers and some analysts said that they would not pass the group stage. Iceberg and the company were too close to an elimination in the group stage but managed to beat Invictus Gaming in a rematch. The team beat Newbee sensationally in the group stage and was not able to cope with VGJ.Storm in the next stage. Yes, the 9th-12th place is not what the players expected but is better than predictions of Dota 2 fans and analysts, so that’s why they are in this section.


The guys from OG have become the main surprise of The International 2018 because the main core had left the team right before its start and a coach has had to become a player. N0tail also changed a gaming role, who played the fifth role instead of the first one and became a captain. The roster prevailed in the qualifiers in the European region, however, there were no decent teams. Many portals, including us, didn’t believe in this five as besides many replacements, Topson, a mid player of the team, came to the LAN tournament of such level for the first time and participated not in an online championship for the second time. OG Dota was one of the teams that, according to the viewers’ opinion, had to finish the group stage on the last place but it wasn’t so - initially, the team entered the top four in Group A, which guaranteed themselves a spot in the upper bracket of the playoffs. In the next stage, Ana and the company prevailed over VGJ.Storm, Evil Geniuses, and PSG LGD, after which beat PSG.LGD in an incredibly tough match for $11,000,000. It’s worth to notice that the majority of matches against top rosters started with failures on the lines and the subsequent comebacks, which will be remembered by fans for a long time.

Interesting facts:

We offer you to watch the highlights of the champions of the tournament: