Unlike previous years, the format of this The International is slightly different. Although the Group Stage is over and the Main Event has begun, the organizers decided to give the top 4 teams a few days off. They can use this to relax and prepare for the upcoming matches.
Speaking of the top 4 teams, some of them are surprising, to say the least. Team Secret and Tundra Esports made it to the Upper Bracket final, whereas Team Liquid and Team Aster will have to play in the Lower Bracket. These 4 teams had to go through the best in the world to get here, so they will give everything they have to win.
Having said that, most of these teams were not among the favorites to win The International 11. Before the event, experts and fans alike expected to see other names, but it seems like none of the favorites lived up to the expectations. Let's learn more about them.
There is no arguing that PSG.LGD is one of the world's most consistent Chinese Dota 2 teams. Looking at this DPC and the last couple of TIs, we can see that LGD was always among the best. However, the team never won the biggest Dota 2 event in the world, so we expected it was high time to accomplish their goal.
However, PSG.LGD did not live up to the expectations, despite the good performance in the Group Stage. Ame and the rest were in Group A, where they finished 3rd after securing 4 wins, 4 draws, and one loss. This was enough to guarantee them a slot in the Upper Bracket.
Speaking of the devil, this is when things didn't go as planned because PSG.LGD lost its match against Team Secret. The Chinese were the favorites, but the Western European powerhouse was on fire and didn't give their opponents any chances of winning.
After dropping to the Lower Bracket, PSG.LGD eliminated BOOM Esports and beastcoast. Both series were fun to watch, but the Chinese were better, so most of us expected these results. Sadly, Ame and co. couldn't defeat the only remaining Chinese team at The International 11 — Team Aster.
Although LGD took the lead in both matches, the team lost two maps and was eliminated from the event.
Aside from the Chinese powerhouse, the two-time TI-winning organization was also one of the names that people expected to shine. Despite their young age, Bzm and the rest won two big LAN tournaments this year. Furthermore, the team dominated in almost every series until The International 11.
Sadly, the lack of experience impacted OG's performance, and the team could not show what it was capable of. Following several mistakes in Group A, the Western European squad barely reached the top 4. However, they secured 4th place, which gave them a chance to go up against Tundra Esports.
If this series had taken place a few weeks ago, we'd expected OG to have no problems. However, Tundra Esports seems to know the current meta's ins and outs because the team annihilated their opponents. This meant that OG was sent to the Lower Bracket.
Following a deadly three-game series against Gaimin Gladiators, OG advanced to the next round, where they had to play against Team Liquid. The two Western European squads have met several times, and OG was usually on top. However, MATUMBAMAN and his many years of experience helped his team win the series with little to no effort.
OG is the only team to win two consecutive titles at The International. However, since Team Spirt won the last Major of the DPC, some people expected Yatoro and the rest to give everything they had and win TI 11. Sadly, this was not the case.
Despite the good start in Group B, Team Spirit couldn't finish in the top 4. In fact, the team only won one series and got a draw in 7 matches. This meant it had to fight for its survival in the Lower Bracket.
As you know, the first round of the Lower Bracket at The International 11 was in a Bo1 format. Team Spirit had to go up against BOOM Esports, a notorious team that is unpredictable. Spirit seemed to have something planned because the team decided to get an interesting pick and put OD in the offlane. Although the hero definitely surprised his opponents, BOOM Esports bet on a safer draft with SF and Beastmaster.
40 minutes after the start of the match, the SEA powerhouse won and eliminated Team Spirit from the competition.
Aside from the 4 remaining teams, a couple of other names exceeded expectations. The first one that comes to mind is Thunder Awaken, the South American powerhouse.
Many Dota 2 players don't respect South America and think the teams there are not on the same level as those from other regions. However, TI 11 proved this is not the case because Thunder Awaken almost reached the top 4.
The team had a fantastic performance in the group, which allowed it to advance to the Upper Bracket. After winning against EG, Thunder Awaken lost its match against Secret. This was when we got the chance to watch the epic series against Team Liquid. One of the most interesting matches so far had tons of action, but in the end, the WEU squad eliminated the South Americans.
We are just a few days away from seeing which team will take the grand prize at The International 11. Tundra Esports is the favorite because the team is yet to lose a series. However, every other squad also has what it takes to become the new champion and lift the Aegis.
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