Who to look out for at The International 2017, The Favorites

facebook.com Courtesy of facebook.com/OGDota2

Eighteen teams will compete to raise the Aegis of Champions at the International 2017. I have chosen 3 of those teams as teams to look out for at this event; Team OG, Evil Geniuses & Cloud 9. Team OG have attended every Valve Major since 2015 and their current roster won both the Boston and Kiev Major’s. N0tail, ana, s4, JerAx & Fly are Team OG and together they are my favorites to win the International 2017.

Team OG Have Won 4 Out Of 5 Valve Major’s

While the first incarnation of Team OG won both the Frankfurt Major and the Manila Major; this version of Team OG have gone on to win the Boston and Kiev Major’s. What makes those wins at Boston & Kiev special was the change in format. In some Dota 2 tournaments the event is structured to give the attending teams some leeway; after a typical round of group stage play each team then enters into a double-elimination bracket wherein the majority of teams have to lose two series to be eliminated. This format is beneficial for very consistent teams since one surprise loss wouldn’t prevent them from exiting a tournament early.

In 2016 Valve adopted a single elimination bracket for its major tournaments, this dramatically increased the difficulty of each event for every team involved. Unlike some of their peers Team OG were completely unaffected by this change and the continued their dominance at major events. The group stage at the International can be the most dangerous stage of the entire event, since even the most consistent team can be surprised or downright cheesed into an easy loss. Unlike many of their peers Team OG have an unnatural gift for navigating the draft stage in group play which will afford them a favorable draw going into the knockout stage.

Team OG Consistently Rise To The Occasion

Team OG are not my favorites to win because they have the best players in the world. Team OG haven’t even had solid performances prior to The International 7; their results at EPICENTER and the Mars Dota 2 League leave a lot to be desired. Team OG are my favorites because Team OG show their strengths when it matters the most. Only one other Dota 2 team has won a Valve major and that was over a year ago (with significant roster changes since then). Team OG have the most major success of any individual roster in the International 2017 and significant expertise in navigating group stage play. These qualities are what makes Team OG my favorite to win the International 2017.