TI10 EU Qualifiers: Three Incredible Yet Possible Outcomes
The International 10 (TI10) qualifier stage is expected to be lit up by two of the most iconic teams in Dota 2 history, OG and Team Nigma. However, the qualifier looks like it has the potential to be extremely competitive. Nigma and OG will face stiff competition from teams like Team Liquid, Tundra Esports, and Vikin.gg, and more who have all proven their worth during the recently concluded DPC seasons. This competitive environment will no doubt result in many upsets and also some nerve-racking close series, similar to the ones we witnessed in the cut throat SEA qualifier.
We have a day to go before the TI10 EU qualifiers start on 7th July 2021, and here are three amazing yet very possible outcomes that could occur.
What can we expect from the TI10 EU Qualifiers?
Some early upsets among the favorites
The TI10 EU qualifier is expected to be a bloodbath with 14 great teams vying for one TI10 spot. In such a scenario, it is quite likely that some of the teams that are expected to do well and make it all the way to the final will fall short and get eliminated.
Further, there is no group stage and the teams are seeded directly into a deadly BO3 double-elimination playoff bracket. Some of the top tier Upper Division teams will drop to the lower bracket as early as the first round as all of them start in the upper bracket.
Lower Division teams that are beginning in the lower bracket will come prepared and can possibly derail one of the top teams.
As we saw in the TI10 SEA qualifier, which was also stacked, Team SMG and Motivate.Trust Gaming finished 7th-8th due to their fierce matchups in the lower bracket.
It is true that only one team will earn the coveted TI10 slot in the end, but no team with high expectations wants to be eliminated as early as the first or second round.
A surprising yet remarkable run to the grand final
NoPing e-sports was the undisputed favorite to win the South American qualifier, but in the end, it was SG esports who prevailed after a spectacular run in the upper bracket.
A similar compelling storyline can also be explored at the TI10 EU qualifier, where more teams like SG esports that have a blend of experience and talent, are present. It’s unlikely that many would have Hellbear Smashers, Spider Pigzs, and Brame on top of their prediction lists, but these teams have a homogenous mix of experience and youth that can help them beat the giants. Additionally, some of these teams begin in the upper bracket, which will be an advantage.
Chicken Fighters also has these characteristics, and despite beginning in the lower bracket, they can go all the way to the grand final.
An OG vs Team Nigma TI9 Grand Final rematch
A rematch from TI9's grand final is the most plausible and intriguing storyline for this TI10 EU qualifier. Both OG and Team Nigma will be viewed as the most fierce competitors in this qualifier if they are in form heading into it. Though the five men of the two teams are not the same as they were in the past, there have been glimpses of their glory days in recent times, especially at the ESL One Summer 2021 and the WePlay AniMajor.
OG's new roster looked comfortable and coordinated at ESL One Summer 2021, while Team Nigma played incredibly well during the Major despite it being ILTW's first LAN event in a long time. The two teams play quick paced Dota 2 most of the time. Even when SumaiL or iLTW are placed on late game carries, the rest of the players ensure that they stick to their fast-paced playing style.
Teams OG and Nigma battled for the lion's share of the $34 million USD prize pool in 2019, but now we may see them facing each other to even qualify for the World Championship stage.
It is unfortunate that only one of these teams gets to compete on the grandest stage of Dota 2 esports. In the end, the team with the best strategy, the best execution in the game, and the best mental fortitude will prevail. We are four days away from finding out who that team is as we get ready to witness a historic TI10 EU qualifier.