Heading to the Main Event: TI9 Round 1 predictions
After a dramatic Group Stage at The International 2019 which ended with teams Chaos E.C. and Ninjas in Pyjamas saying goodbye, it is time to put our prediction hat on once again before the Bracket Stage begins. Our previous predictions called for teams Mineski and Infamous to be leaving TI early, but both teams showed amazing performances in the groups stage and advanced forward. Although our predictions for the teams advancing to the Winner Bracket were roughly correct (Liquid be damned), the predicted teams did not really show up in their pre-TI form.
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Thus, we end up with the 2019 bracket closely resembling 2018:
The winner bracket features two identical matches from 2018. PSG.LGD vs Virtus.pro and Team Secret vs EG. Last year it was PSG.LGD and EG moving forward with 2-0 wins over their opponents and both teams going all the way lower/winner finals and ultimately losing to the title to OG. Will this year feature similar results is yet to be seen.
OG is once again in the winner bracket after an amazing performance in groups. They went undefeated in all matches and only draw-d games against NaVi and Vici Gaming. It is possible that the rumors about “The International” giving OG super strength are correct. This year their winner bracket matchup is against Newbee who didn’t look at all dominating in groups and only narrowly got into the winner bracket by a single point. The contrast in performance between both teams cannot be overstated as their matchup will surely show us.
The final matchup up in the Winner Bracket is between Vici Gaming and TNC Predator. TNC Predator had a similar run with Newbee in Group A. Both teams ended groups with 9 points, dismantled a really crappy Team Liquid and played draws in the majority of their matches. Their opponent VG looked consistent in their drafts and play, but ended up with a touch and go performance in Group B. Between the two teams it is hard to assume a better.
Let’s tally our winner bracket predictions: (Winners in Bold)
- PSG.LGD vs Virtus.Pro
- Team Secret vs EG
- OG vs Newbee
- Vici Gaming vs TNC Predator
Our loser bracket predictions will feature both the first and the second round following the winner bracket games.
We begin with Alliance versus Royal Never Give Up. The matchup strongly favors team Alliance moving forward as RNG did not really show much in the Group Stage. When losing RNG loses badly and doesn’t seem to be able to bounce back. Alliance played a lot of draws in Groups, and although they did not look like a convincing closer they do seem to be better prepared than their first opponent this year.
If we assume Alliance moves on, their Round 2 matchup should be against VP. In our books VP although underperforming is still head and shoulders above Alliance, which should result in Alliance out in 9th-12th.
Next up, Fnatic versus Team Liquid. This one should be fairly straightforward. Liquid should win against FNC handily and also win their predicted follow-up against TNC Predator. We are keen to prescribe Liquid’s underperformance in groups as an anomaly and they should go guns blazing in a best-of series.
The third matchup is between Infamous and Keen Gaming. Before TI 2019 started, I had written off Infamous as ultimate underdogs and boy was I wrong. This team fights back and does not let anything go in every match they play. They should make quick work of Keen Gaming and their follow-up versus Newbee. Yea, I am now also on the Infamous hype train.
Last up, we have Natus Vincere against Mineski in the last Losers Bracket matchup. Out of all four matchups this one is the toughest to call. Mineski has shown up big this tournament. Similarly to Infamous I had them as the team going out of TI 2019 during Groups, but an early win versus TNC and a bunch of draws means showed Mineski in a good shape this time around. NaVi on the other hand struggled in every match they played and did not seem convincing at all. I am giving this one to Mineski. Round two it should be Mineski versus EG and the end of the road for the SEA representative.
Our Loser Bracket predicted tally after two rounds should look like this: (Winners in Bold)
- Alliance vs RNG
- FNC vs Liquid
- INF vs Keen Gaming
- NaVi vs Mineski
- Alliance vs VP
- Liquid vs TNC Predator
- Infamous vs Newbee
- Mineski vs EG
For a full schedule breakdown, head over to Dota2.com/international/schedule/.
The International 2019 Main Event begins Tuesday 20th at 5AM GMT+2 at Twitch.tv/dota2ti