Just 24 hours before the long-awaited Dota 2 The International 10 kicks off, Valve announced the group draw for the tournament. As revealed, 18 Dota 2 esports teams were seeded into two groups of nine, with eight teams from each advancing into the playoffs.
The International 10 Format
The International 10 (TI10) is an international Dota 2 esports tournament slated for October 5 – 17. The competition was initially supposed to take place in Stockholm, Sweden, but was later moved to Bucharest, Romania.
The tournament will feature 18 of the best Dota 2 teams from six regions – Eastern Europe, Western Europe, North America, China, SEA, and South America. It will mark one of the biggest and most lucrative esports events of the year, with a mouth-watering $40,018,195 prize pool.
With the +$40 million prize pool, TI10 will break the world record as the highest-paid esports event, previously held by TI9. Known as the competition whose prize pool rises each year, TI holds the records as the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth-best paid esports tournament in history.
The International Prize Pools
- 2021 – $40,018,195 (+15.3%)
- 2019 – $34,330,069.00 (+29.4%)
- 2018 – $25,532,177.00 (+3.4%)
- 2017 – $24,687,919.00 (+17.2%)
- 2016 – $20,770,460.00 (+11.9%)
- 2015 – $18,429,613.05
TI10 will use the same format as in 2019, with 18 teams divided into two groups of nine. The group stage will run from October 7-10 and use a round-robin format, with all games played as best-of-two (Bo2).
The top four teams from each group will advance into the upper bracket of the main event. Fifth-eighth-placed teams will move into the lower bracket of the playoffs, while the bottom team get eliminated.
The TI10 playoffs will run from October 12-17, with a double-elimination bracket. All games will be played as best-of-three (Bo3), except for the grand finals, which will be Bo5.
The International 10 – Group A
Valve announced the draw for Group A, which will feature mostly Western teams, with the exception of Invictus Gaming, Team Aster, and T1.
Despite the lack of Asian squads, Group A promises to provide the fans with four days of exciting matches, albeit one clear favorite.
Group A Draw (with outright tournament odds)
Betting Odds courtesy of BetOnline.
- Evil Geniuses +400
- Virtus.pro +700
- OG +900
- T1 +1400
- Team Aster +1700
- Alliance +2800
- Team Undying +10000
- Thunder Predator +15000
Evil Geniuses are billed as one of the strongest Dota 2 esports teams at TI10 and are favored to top their group. Priced at +400 to go all the way and hoist the Aegis of Champions, the NA representatives have the talent to deliver and high expectations on their shoulders.
Their closest two competitors for the top spot in Group A are CIS champions, Virtus.pro, and the two-time back-to-back TI champions, OG. Although both are excellent squads, the bookmakers have far less faith in OG and VP to win the trophy.
That’s reasonable since VP haven’t achieved much outside of domestic competitions. Meanwhile, OG made roster chances and are not the same team that won back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019.
The International 10 – Group B
Group B looks far tougher on paper, largely because it features the undisputed favorites to win TI10, PSG.LGD. However, PSG.LGD are not the only strong team in this group.
Group B Draw (with outright tournament odds)
Betting Odds courtesy of BetOnline.
- PSG.LGD +150
- Team Secret +600
- Elephant +1100
- Vici Gaming +1200
- Team Spirit + 2800
- Quincy Crew +2800
- Fnatic +5000
- beastcoast +6600
- SG esports +25000
PSG.LGD are joined by the European powerhouse and the most dominant team of 2020, Team Secret. The latter are billed as the third favorites to win TI10, at +600, which is a fair bit below EG (+400) and PSG.LGD (+150).
Other strong contenders in Group B include Elephant (+1100) and Vici Gaming (+1200), who are both priced as one of the top-six favorites to go all the way.
Who will come out ahead and which teams will justify their odds is anyone’s guess, but we should get a better idea of which Dota 2 esports teams have what it takes to claim the Aegis of Champions on Thursday, October 7, when the first round of the group stage kicks off.