Main Event – Day 1 Schedule
The International 2018 has delivered so far with great games, and very close standings – especially the crazy Group B fiesta. With the Group Stage results, we saw Invictus Gaming and Pain Gaming take an early exit out of the tournament.
The top upper bracket teams (Team Liquid and VGJ.Storm) then had the ability to choose who to match up against, similar to the top lower bracket teams (Fnatic and Newbee). After choosing, the remaining teams have to face off against the lower-seeded team on the opposing group. With that, we have the following schedule:
With that, here’s the rundown of the Day 1 Matches:
Team Liquid vs Optic Gaming
Prediction: Team Liquid 2-1 Optic Gaming
Barring any surprises, this one should be a walk in the park for Team Liquid – who are top of Group A. Optic Gaming have not found a consistent rhythm and barely made it to the upper bracket. However, last year we saw Team Liquid drop to the lower bracket in the first round – so who knows if it’s possibly something they plan for.
I’m calling a 2-1 here because I expect Team Liquid to try stuff out while they still can, and drop that game to Optic, who can easily take a game from the top teams.
Virtus Pro vs PSG.LGD
Prediction: VP 2-1 PSG.LGD
While their records may be worse, VP had a more difficult Group Stage schedule. The top DPC team has been growing stronger every year, and with the addition of RodjER to the team, this is their most dominant iteration yet.
Fun fact: Either of Virtus Pro and PSG.LGD are the only two teams that have a good chance of winning, and maintaining the TI curse (no repeat winners, West-East parity, yes Russia is East!).
VP should take the series, however PSG.LGD are not going down without a fight.
Fnatic vs Serenity
Prediction: Fnatic 1-0 Serenity
Serenity had quite a run, but showed inexperience in the group stage games. Fnatic, on the other hand, showed great potential, but faltered in the latter days, ending up in the lower bracket. I think experience is king here, and with TI Winner Universe in the offlane, they will plausibly take this do-or-die.
TnC vs Mineski
Prediction: TnC 0-1 Mineski
A sad day for SEA Dotes – one of their beloved teams has to go home on the very first day. TnC has shown improvement, but nowhere close to their upset days where they took down the Miracle- iteration of OG in TI6. Mineski have shown great potential, bagging DAC late in the DPC season – however they’ve also shown great inconsistency in their play and look like they don’t have the meta figured out yet.
Expect Mineski to find their identity for this TI and make a deeper run.
Newbee vs Winstrike
Prediction: Newbee 1-0 Winstrike
Another straightforward prediction. Winstrike could have just as easily been a Group Stage exit. Formerly known as FlyToMoon, Winstrike had two players from Team Empire, and have the pieces to take the CIS qualifier (Navi and Vega Squadron are relatively on the weak side now), but do not have enough to win it over last year’s finalist Newbee.
VGJ.Thunder vs Vici Gaming
Prediction: VGJ.T 0-1 VG
Confused yet? That’s 3 VG teams in TI this year! VG was top 8 in the DPC rankings, however were on the blink of elimination in Group B. VGJ.T has a better record, but also had an easier group. I expect VG’s more experienced lineup to prevail.
TI8 Bracket Prediction
Here’s my prediction for TI8. I think that VP are a strong team, but will need a second chance to defeat Team Liquid at their current state. Once they find their groove, they should be able to take out EG and Team Liquid for a chance to win.