The International 2017: Group A, Day 4 Recap Image courtesy of Dota 2 official blog

Day four of Group A is over, the Group Stage is almost finished. Group A has been decided, lets see who’s headed to the upper bracket and wish good luck to the poor souls headed to the lower bracket;

Team Series Score Game Score Points
Team Liquid 5 – 3 – 0 13 – 3 13
LGD Gaming 4 – 2 – 1 12 – 4 12
Evil Geniuses 3 – 5 – 0 11 – 5 11
TNC Pro Team 2 – 5 – 0 9 – 6 9
Team Secret 1 – 5 – 2 7 – 9 7
iG Vitality 1 – 5 – 2 7 – 9 7
Team Empire 1 – 4 – 3 6 – 10 6
Infamous 1 – 3 – 4 5 – 11 5
Fnatic 0 – 2 – 6 2 – 14 2

Now on to the final standings for Group A;

#9 Fnatic. So Long, Farewell, We Were Happy to be Here

They leave The International 2017 with two wins and 16 losses. QO’s cockiness in lane was Timbersaw was downright disrespectful. He had a terrible time in lane and never got going. Game two is not worth talking about. Honestly I’m tired of Fnatic at this point, good riddance. I sincerely hope Fnatic management does some soul searching about this lineup.

#8 Infamous, Getting This Far is Actually an Achievement

Infamous are locked into this last seed. Their opponent in the first round is unclear right now but honestly they result is practically guaranteed. At times Infamous show flashes of a team that show potential but most of the time they were fish out of water. While teams from South America will benefit from attendance to all the majors in the 2017-2018 season it will be extremely rough going for them at first. I doubt that any South American team will qualify in the new system for the International 2018 but I do wish the region luck. Every region has to start somewhere.

#7 Team Empire, Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

Team Empire will be one of the must uneven teams in the lower bracket. Almost anything could happen in their lower bracket match; granted they’re not known for outlandish drafts. I could see Empire drafting Sven plus Clockwerk or Batrider and just running at their opponents. Without a solid draft that caveman strategy could work, Empire do have a roster with a few 8K MMR players and they could out skill certain opponents.

#6 iG Vitality, We’ve Enjoyed This Vacation

iG Vitality play like a team that wants to win, just not that much. If they sense the win the whole team clicks and the go for it, like there series against LGD. Then iG.V play other series when they don’t feel it and they lose to Infamous. In this regard I feel iG.V are the opposite of Team Empire, look forward to this team losing a very winnable best-of-one next week.

#5 Team Secret, From the Ashes We Shall Rise

I know the phoenix metaphor is not quite apt but I really like this Team Secret lineup. With a solid match up in their opening match I could really see Team Secret making a run. They should use the weekend to tighten up their drafting strategies, and please pick Rubick more often.

#4 TNC Pro Team, This Year Will Not End Well, Enjoy the Ride

TNC Pro Team are very, very similar to iG Vitality. They both seem to be capable of much more than their average performance. This is a troublesome trait to have in the tournament with the biggest prize pool of the year. It’s like the players just choose to take some games off or they can only draft well every other game. Comparing game one to game two against LGD is the epitome of this. I don’t know what it is with this team. I expect a quick exit from the upper bracket followed bu what many people will consider to be an upset in the lower bracket. This team will fuel someone else’s Cinderella run.

#3 LGD Gaming, We’re Not Finished Yet

I expect the opposite from TNC for LGD Gaming, I don’t believe (at this time) that LGD are capable of winning TI7. Really depends how they draft and perform in their first upper bracket series. The lower bracket shouldn’t be end of this team either. LGD did not have the most competitive group so other teams may underestimate them right now. LGD should feel great about their last series against TNC. LGD got a solid sweep today and they should be prepared for the upper bracket.

#2 Evil Geniuses, Be Afraid Mortals, Be Very Afraid

Evil Genius didn’t just beat Fnatic, they styled on them. Fnatic were a broken team in game two, they barely showed up. QO was mercilessly neutered in game one and with Luna was easily kept down enough for an easy win. I really, really like Earthshaker and Naga Siren for EG. The late Disruptor pick has been good for them too but their execution with Siren’s Song is flawless. I cannot believe that teams keep picking Nightstalker early against EG, Arteezy has aafield day in most of his games on Lycan. This EG team is special and I hope for the world for them, I kind of expect this TI to end in heartbreak. I have too many feels about this team, moving on.

#1 Team Liquid, We Came Here Chew Bubblegum and Kick Ass And We’re All Outta Bubblegum

Alright that quote may be a bit much but seriously; Team Liquid came here to raise the Aegis of Champions. This team is not satisfied with finishing atop their group. They came here to make a run and nothing short of the quarterfinals should satisfy them. Liquid dispatched a talented Team Secret with relative ease and game two in particular was a delight to watch. I like watching Necrophos. Liquid will probably spend their free time diligently scouting their next opponent, which could be a surprisingly difficult series given the talent in Group A.

Group A is in the books and the Group Stage of the International 2017 will soon be over. Once the winners bracket is set I’ll be releasing a preview of the first round, I for one am very excited for the Main Event. One week from today the victor’s will raise the Aegis of Champions and walk away with $10,396,476. I really want the undersea theme back.