The International is the biggest event in esports, and its tenth edition will boast a record-breaking $40 million prize pool, mostly crowdsourced by the loyal Dota 2 community. Not getting a coveted invite to this showpiece event can be both heart- and career-breaking, and these teams unfortunately couldn’t make it past the finish line.
This is the big one without a doubt. KuroKy was just one of two players to qualify for every single TI up until this edition, and with Nigma’s heartbreakingly close calls all going the wrong way, now it’s just Team Secret’s Puppey who can boast this record.
The squad that broke off of Team Liquid to found their own franchise with Nigma were losing finalists at TI9 and were quite close to making it work in this Dota Pro Circuit season as well for another shot at the big time, finishing 13th in the DPC where the top 12 get a direct invite.
They then made it to the semifinal rounds of the last chance qualifier for Europe, but it simply wasn’t to be this time around. Dota 2 betting enthusiasts saw them as one of the most likely teams to qualify for TI10 based on the odds, but OG eventually pipped them to the post, much to the disappointment of many fans.
The premature elimination of Southeast Asia’s pride stings all the more considering how well they did in the past DPC season whose results ultimately didn’t amount to anything TI-wise due the tournament’s postponement on account of the pandemic.
This means that despite winning the MDL Chengdu Major and topping the 2020-21 charts before the season got canned, they won’t even get a chance to compete for the biggest prize pool in esports history.
Though Na’Vi have not been a part of the Dota elite for a long while now, the yellow-and-black org still remain Dota 2 royalty because of their early heroics. Having won TI1 and TI3 coupled with a runners-up finish at TI2 makes them the ultimate team of early Dota 2 esports, and any appearance at the business end of big tournaments would enhance their legacy, which unfortunately won’t happen at The International 10.
Finishing 24th in the DPC standings thanks to their one decent showing in the CIS regular season, Natus Vincere were eliminated in the fourth round of the lower bracket in the regional last chance qualifier.
Though most Dota 2 fans will cheer OG’s return to the big stage for a chance of a truly unprecedented three-peat at The International, Tundra Esports made quite the waves with their explosive play in the Western European last chance qualifier, pushing the back-to-back TI winners to their limits in the grand final after having already secured a win over them in the upper bracket.
We can only hope that the team sticks together despite this massive disappointment as they earned themselves many new followers with their excellent run and they could definitely be real contenders in the next DPC season should the chips fall their way.
Last but certainly not least, the ex-Alliance side couldn’t live up to expectations and carry the big-name org to TI10, though admittedly they had quite the stern opposition to face in the Western European last chance qualifiers. Perhaps the real issue here has to do with their poor showings in the regular season: you can’t help but think that a team of their quality should have done better in the regional leagues, or even the Majors.
With Alliance actually making it to TI with their new roster and Evil Geniuses topping the CPS charts for the season with a whopping 1700 points, a rethink is clearly in order for Liquid on account of their miserly 400 points and their early elimination from the last chance saloon.
Another tenured org in the Asian scene, RNG failed to make it through the gauntlet of the Chinese last chance qualifiers, losing to eventual winners Elephant in the upper bracket before succumbing to Team MagMa with a 2-1 scoreline. This means that RedPanda and co. will also only be able to watch the tenth TI from home, though the region will still have four representatives in Bucharest in the form of Invictus Gaming, Vici Gaming and Team Aster, plus, lest we forget, DPC runners-up PSG.LGD, who are seen as one of the favorites to take down the title.