The International 2022 is very close. Mystic meets the main Dota 2 event on October 8, but the tournament officially starts on the 15, as the Group Stage begins.
Before TI11, there will be another small competition for 12 teams. Only two in this Last Chance Qualifier will proceed to TI's main event; the other ten will stay as arena spectators or go home.
No long introduction: in this text, we'll talk about the LCQ teams, recall the format, and make a tier list, deciding who has more chances to win.
TI11 LCQ Format & Dates
LCQ for TI11 will take place October 8-12 in Singapore.
- Two groups of six teams -> Playoffs Bracket
- Top 4 advance to the Upper Bracket
- Top 5-6 proceed to the Lower Bracket
A pretty default scheme with Upper Bracket and Lower Bracket Finals winners advancing to The International Main Event.
- Natus Vincere, nouns, Polaris Esports, Team Secret, Tempest, Vici Gaming
- Infamous, T1, Team Liquid, Outsiders (Virtus.pro), Wildcard Gaming, Xtreme Gaming
LCQ Group A Teams Preview
One of the strongest qualifying teams and LCQ's leading title contender. Even though the season is still far from over, DPC 22/23 was one of the worst for Clement "Puppey" Ivanov: Team Secret limped in the middle of the table during the leagues, performed very poorly in the Majors, changed the roster several times, and overall plays very unstable.
It is worth recalling that they began to show adequate Dota only after the Resolution + W_Zayac combo arrived: top 3 in Riyadh and ESL, as well as a solid game in general. But the problem is that their honeymoon was during not-that-important tournaments. Accordingly, severe problems appeared only when the Qualifiers began: two very uncertain matches versus Into The Breach and bumpy maps against strong opponents. If it weren't for Michal "Nisha" Jankowski, only Gabe knows where Secret would have ended up.
However, Puppey's gang will be ultra-motivated to win, and it is doubtful that anyone in the group can stop them.
Team Secret's LCQ roster: Crystallis, Nisha, Resolut1on, W_Zayac, Puppey. Coach: Heen.
4Zoomers couldn't do more than 4th place in the DPC league. But after signing by a cryptocurrency company, Nouns' game went up. They almost made it to the Arlington Major; however, they got defeated and were forced to play the Qualifiers. In general, all went pretty well for them, but in the finals, they were not strong enough.
This team can cling precisely due to unexpected strategies and super-aggressive plays, crushing the opponents in the early stages, while their late game could be much better. They will try their best, but the chances of getting to TI are minimal.
Nouns LCQ Roster: Costabile, Gunnar, Moo, ZFreek, Husky. Coach: Mangusu.
When Lava Esports disbanded in late spring of 2022, retaining a slot in the first division, their captain, Mjz, offered it to Tempest and his teammate Mnz. Their final season was mediocre: they placed 3-4th with no intentions to play at the Major; somehow, they managed to squeeze into the Regional Qualifiers' top 3 and thus won a ticket to the LCQ.
These guys are not close to a dark horse. They're a team who made it and will play because they have to. Tempest's overall game level is not high. Their only hope is for Mnz to solo.
Tempest LCQ Roster: Mnz, Sebas, DrakenN, slad1n-, Mjz
All three DPC seasons were failures for Vici. After TI, they decided to build a new roster around Erika, and, as we can see, it wasn't a success. China's top 5 for the first two seasons isn't too bad, but in the last season, they played so poorly that they finished 7th and were relegated.
No one could've imagined they would do that good before the qualifiers. But they decided to switch Yang to pos5, kicked their captain Victoria, and brought a newcomer to pos3 (b a b has only half a year of playing for the tier 3 team in 2019). And it worked.
Vici is a solid mid-tier team with little chance of top 4 if they find their game.
Vici Gaming LCQ Roster: poyoyo, Xm, b a b, Frisk, Yang. Coach: Fenrir.
Polaris' core (not positions but personalities) has been playing in SA for 3-4 years already, with the most successful period at Adroit when they managed to qualify for the Major. After that, they wandered around different teams successless. Before the start of the previous season, they came together again, united at Polaris, and began their journey from Div II, winning it without any problems. Then, during the Arlington Major tiebreakers, they lost to T1, which broke the team. Pos1 and pos3 left, finishing the third tour 0-7.
Before the qualifiers, they did the right thing: they got their pos3 back and invited an experienced captain to pos5. As a result, top 2 at the Thai LAN. This is the only team from all regions that did not lose in the final with a devastating score but also imposed a brutal fight on a more eminent opponent.
The team has chances to reach the upper bracket, but Polaris is not good enough yet to beat the best teams here, so everything will depend on Team Secret and Vici's form.
Polaris LCQ Roster: Natsumi, Lelouch-, Force, Xavius, Eyyou
This year turned out to be very difficult for NAVI, and the reason for this is both life-changing events in their home country and endless attempts to create a decent line-up to solve the team's problems. Only by the third tour did the gang arise: got two young offlane players and signed a coach. And things got better.
However, NAVI's problem is that they either have to go all-in on Noone, who can win maps solo, or take risks and bet on their pos1, V-Tune, whose game resembles Crystallis and often leaves much to be desired. They will likely drop out in the first playoff round (if they don't get lucky with the opponent) or in the second.
NAVI LCQ Roster: V-Tune, No[o]ne, laise, swedenstrong, Solo. Coach: GuessWho.
LCQ Group B Teams Preview
Infamous is a volatile team. They managed to invite a player, kick him after two months, and then return him a week later. The atmosphere was far from great, which was evident at the end of the season when in the match against Beastcoast, their midlane player typed GG at the 12th minute and simply left the game because of a conflict within the team. After this incident, they kicked Parker (pos1) and Alone (pos2), but after a couple of days, Parker returned, and Leostyle- joined as a midlaner.
This squad is very intriguing, with its quirks and oddities, but this doesn't negate the fact that very skillful guys play there. It is unlikely that there will be an underdog story here, but they can spoil the plans of more substantial teams, although they are unlikely to reach TI on their own.
Infamous LCQ Roster: Parker, Leostyle-, Frank, Michael-, Accel. Coach: FalcoStyle.
Unfortunately, WG's chances of making it are pretty low. It's great that the guys play for pleasure to get to the LCQ in Singapore. But they will watch TI11 from the arena. Even though their strength is teamwork and knowing their best sides, they don't have enough skill to contest other teams.
Alone (yep, the one to abandon on the 12th minute) and Yves (also known as YamSun) are worth watching.
Wildcard Gaming LCQ Roster: Yves, Alone, Davai Lama, Alexxo, Sammyboy
These guys can win Group B. Moreover, they are one of the LCQ's favorites.
However, all this season, T1 bizarrely showed themselves. It seems that they had stable results, but at the same time, roster changes razzle-dazzle happened all the way, and in the end, before the Quals, they invited Topson, who had not played competitively for a year, and Ana, who did precisely the same.
An odd solution, yet, it can work. The class of these two is simply unreachable. And T1 seems to go all-in this TI. A failure in Singapore can lead to a complete disband at the very least, and perhaps even the organization's exit from the Dota 2 scene. Now, if Topson decides to return to the game and not just work for a salary, he has a great chance to show himself to earn a contract in the European team. He wanted so before TI, but no one wanted him.
T1 LCQ Roster: ana, Topson, Kuku, Xepher, Whitemon. Coach: March.
Xtreme started the season in Div II and with a slightly different roster. Although they won it and took first place then, it wasn't that confident: 5-2 with losses to CDEK and YBB. Squad replacements came quickly, and instead of J and Srf, YBB's lou and the legendary eLeVeN were signed.
It is difficult to evaluate their season in the game year because, although both times they earned their places at the Majors, they just couldn't make it. The first time it was COVID restrictions in China, and then lou didn't get a visa, so Xtreme abandoned the NA Major.
Xtreme is the main favorite to win the LCQ. This is a powerful team with brilliant players in all positions without exception, which fought on equal terms with PSG in the league.
Xtreme LCQ Roster: lou, Paparazi, old_eLeVeN, Pyw, Dy. Coach: bLink.
Team Liquid's whole DPC 22/23 season was a fever. They won the toughest matches and gave away some already-won series to weaker opponents, just like Robin Hood. Noteworthy, they made it to LCQ by beating DGG and goonsquad, a super easy bracket.
It's also peculiar that at LANs, Liquid performs worse than ever:
- Stockholm Major: 9-12th (of 13 teams)
- Riyadh Masters: 9-10th (of 10 units)
- Arlington Major: 9-12th (of 17 teams, their best result)
- ESL One Malaysia: 11-12th (of 12 units)
Most likely, they'll be pretty successful; considering the level of other teams, but it's unlikely that they'll take one of the slots, although the community fiercely believes in them.
Team Liquid LCQ Roster: MATUMBAMAN, miCKe, zai, Boxi, iNSaNiA. Coach: Blitz.
Everyone knows the Liquidedia DPC points story. Ramzes666 and his fellowship were as close as possible to a direct TI invite, but they were forced to play the Quals and dropped to the LCQ, although many considered them favorites.
As a team, they are on par with Secret and T1. But VP's players are well-known for tilting when the results are not coming. And if that happens, they can drop out quick. But most likely, GPK can win everyone except Extreme and Secret at this stage. So expect a top 3 finish.
Virtus.pro (Outsiders) LCQ Roster: RAMZES666, gpk~, DM, yamich, Xakoda. Coach: fng.
TI11 LCQ Teams Tier List
Out of 12 teams, three are clear favorites: Secret, Xtreme, Virtus.pro. T1 and Team Liquid are close, but they need to get together and hope for fortune's blessing for everything to work out.
So, this is the Dota 2 TI LCQ Teams Tier List we made:
S: Xtreme Gaming, Team Secret
A: Virtus.pro, T1, Team Liquid
B: Polaris Esports, Vici Gaming, Infamous, Nouns
C: NAVI, Tempest, Wildcard Gaming
What do you think? Who would you root for?
LCQ will be held from 8 to 12 October in Singapore. The International 2022 itself starts on October 15 and ends at the end of the month. Follow us here at BLIX.GG for more Dota 2 content as we begin our TI11 coverage run!