Europe at The International – Going for the triple

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Team Secret lifting the ESL trophy

Every Dota 2 fan out there knows The International is something special. Along with being the largest esports tournament in terms of cash, winning TI is the most prestigious moment in any player’s career, similar to winning the Football World Cup.

That said, the different regions have never been so far away from each other in terms of performance as in this years’ DPC. Today we’re going to take a brief look at Europe, arguably the strongest region in Dota this season. Many fans will be looking on expectantly to see whether the region can land a third back-to-back TI victory after the successes of Team Liquid and OG in recent years.

The qualified European teams for The International 2019

When we take a look at some of the previous TI’s, the EU teams have always performed fairly well. However, this season there were five who received a direct invite through the DPC rankings. Even though this might not seem significant for some, it is without a doubt an amazing achievement. What’s more, apart from the usual dominating teams, there are also new names to the scene:

OG
Credit: Valve OG celebrate their victory at TI8

OG

Despite the fact that they were one of the least dominant EU teams, OG eventually made it. Apart from being the reigning TI champion, n0tail and his team-mates did not have their best season. One of the main reasons behind their struggles was the absence of ana. To make things worse, their other star player Topson also failed to shine.

However, this all changed once the Australian prodigy re-joined the squad. OG has yet again managed to rise from the ashes and finish top ten, securing themselves a coveted direct invite.

Even after qualification, the TI champs are definitely not looking confident. Then again, they were in a similar situation last year but still managed to pull out the win. Also, let’s not forget that the current meta allows for lots of experimentation, which is something that OG is notorious for.

Team Secret

The Pro Dota scene rarely sees a team as dominant as the current Team Secret. The European squad has been on fire throughout the entire DPC season, making them one of the go-to choices when it comes to picking a favorite for this years’ TI.

Although their last tournament performance left a lot to be desired, they are still considered to be the strongest team in the world. It’s very hard to find something wrong with their play. Every pick and move they take is always on point.

On the other hand, let’s not forget that the performance throughout the season is not everything. There have been many situations where the most dominant teams fail to deliver that same winning performance where it matters most.

Alliance

The Swedish powerhouse is one of the big surprises this year. Before the start of the season Alliance was just another tier two team. However, as soon as Loda decided to switch to a coaching position there were several roster changes which now seem to be paying off. 

Even though the journey was tough, Alliance never gave up and managed to secure their place in TI 9 directly. It will be interesting to see how well they can stand their ground against the best in the world.

Team Liquid
Credit: Valve Team Liquid celebrate their victory at TI8

Team Liquid

Last, but definitely not least, we have Team Liquid. Kuroky and co. seemed to be unstoppable until a couple of months ago, constantly reaffirming their position as the most consistent of Dota 2 teams. However, following a string of “bad” results, Liquid decided it was time for their first roster change in years, swapping out MATUMBAMAN for w33.

With such a massive change right before the years’ biggest tournament we are yet to see if this decision was the correct one. If we have to judge from their latest performance, it certainly looks promising for fans of Team Liquid.

The International 2019 (TI9) kicks off on the 20th August at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai. Follow Dart Frog on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for all the Dota 2 news in the run-up to the largest esports tournament ever hosted. With millions of worldwide viewers and $30m+ prize money on the line, the stakes have never been higher.