With just a few weeks until the start of The International 11, every Dota 2 fan is eager to see the best teams in action. PSG.LGD, OG, Team Spirit, and a few other names are among the heavy favorites to win the event. However, this doesn’t mean they'll achieve that goal. As previous TIs have proven — anything is possible.
Since the underdogs have won TI a couple of times, we’ve decided to give you a list of the teams most people don’t expect to do much on the main stage.
We're yet to see whether they will fail to impress their fans, but until then, here are a couple of names to keep in mind.
The first name that has to be on the list is the winner of the qualifiers in Western Europe. Entity is an exciting team because it doesn’t have any big superstars on its roster. Despite that, players work well together and defeat teams that seem much more robust than them.
Entity have proven themselves numerous times so far, and are definitely going to be one of the hidden favorites this year. Most Dota 2 fans didn’t expect Pure and the rest to deal with the likes of Team Liquid and Team Secret, but the team had little to no problems against both.
North America is probably the most underrated region in Dota 2, and it is for a reason. Since Evil Geniuses won the most prestigious event in 2015, the region hasn’t had much success.
Interestingly, TSM became the only NA team to reach the Grand Final during the first Major of the year, which is why we’ve decided to put them on the list.
Timado and the rest have established themselves as some of the best players in NA. Even more impressive — they can challenge the top-tier European and Chinese squads. That’s why we think Timado and co. definitely have a chance at placing well this year.
Some of you may think there is no way for a South American team to win The International, and we would’ve agreed if this was 2020. However, Thunder Awaken have improved their game a lot over the last few years, and now, it's safe to say the team is as good as some of the top names in Europe and China.
Thunder Awaken only has one competitor in South America, and that’s beastcoast. The two are fairly even in terms of their performance, but TA achieved several good results in the last Major.
Royal Never Give Up
Safe to say, it's high time for a Chinese team to win The International. Following Wings Gaming’s trophy back in 2016, PSG.LGD have almost won two times, but the team wasn’t able to defeat OG or Team Spirit.
But speaking of Chinese teams, Royal Never Give Up is undeniably one of the big names that will do everything in its power to show they're as good as LGD. Somnus and the rest couldn’t get a direct invite because they didn’t have enough DPC points, but the team had no problems in the qualifiers. Hence, it will be one of the Chinese squads at TI.
Somnus has the needed experience to lead his team to victory. However, he'll have to go up against the upcoming players eager to prove themselves. This is especially true for OG, a team that consists of young and talented players.