The group stages gave Dota 2’s The International 2017 gave the world world four days of high-quality esports action. But the games are just starting.
The main event begins Monday and now, fans know which teams will face off and can begin discussing how they stack up against one another. The final group stages standings are as follows:
Now, all eyes turn towards the “real” TI7, which will take place in front of a raucous crowd in Seattle at the Key Arena. Get hype!
Behold! TI7 Main Event Bracket!
With the group stages done, the bracket for the TI7 main event is now set. You can see the full list of matches above. Note that the matches highlighted in green take place on Monday.
The first round of the lower bracket will begin with best-of-one series, which will see the losing team from each game being sent home with a 13th-place finish and (as of this writing) a $118,238 check. All other series will be standard best-of-threes until the best-of-five grand finals.
As for the actual matchups? Well...
Nobody is Safe
In theory, having a lengthy group stage will provide some insight into how the teams stack up against one another. The No. 1 seed from Group A should be able to beat the No. 4 seed from Group B. The No. 5 seed from Group B should be able to beat the No. 8 seed from Group A.
In reality, however, basically every matchup in the first round of TI is a complete toss-up and there are still many, many unknowns.
Can Cloud9 pull itself together and return to the form that brought them through the qualifiers? Will LGD.Forever Young remain hot after having some time off? Is the smashmouth style of Virtus Pro going to make a comeback? Which version of Team Secret will show up?
We don’t know, but it should make for an intense TI7 main event.
The Actual Bracket Prediction
Above, you can find my prediction for how the TI7 bracket will shake out. My prediction, officially, is that EG will make its way through the winners bracket and take the grand finals over Team Liquid.
There is plenty of room for mistake, of course, given how many tight matchups there are here. Details aside, however, Evil Geniuses remains a stack of individually excellent players that have well-honed chemistry with one another. Add to that their ability to perform in any style of game, whether it’s Farmville or Rock’em Sock’em Robots and they should be regarded as the favorite to win TI7.
Also worth discussing is how I see a relatively early exit for LGD.Forever Young. Despite being LGD.FY’s phenomenal 14-2 run in the group stages, I expect them to cool considerably after two days off and after elite-level teams get to analyze their performances thus far.
Finally, I don’t have any “surprise” teams penciled in. Every year seems to have one team that truly blows away expectations, a la Digital Chaos in 2016. This year, I think groups like Virtus.Pro, Team Liquid and EG are just too exceptional to suffer any major upsets.
But of course, they actually play the games for a reason! And the games begin on Monday morning.
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