OG's last trophy before TI8
We all know how OG's last season ended: they won The International 2018 although they lost two important players and had to play in the open qualifier. However, OG would have started in the open qualifier, or maybe closed qualifier anyway, because they released Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok and didn't gather enough DPC points to make it to the top 8.
In fact, all OG players — even Tal 'Fly' Aizik and Gustav 's4' Magnusson — had only 210 points. 30 points each from making it into the top four of DOTA Summit 8 and Captains Draft Season 4. On top of that, they received 150 points for winning a Minor — the Mars Media Dota 2 League: Macau 2017.
The new TI champion?
The only event the reigning TI champion won that season was the first edition of MDL Macau, back when the old OG was still intact. Also, they didn't win the event, because only bad teams were on the participant list in Macau. Virtus.pro, TNC Predator and PSG.LGD were also competing. VP already won a Major, but LGD was still without Yang 'Chalice' Shenyi and Yap Jian 'xNova' Wei.
However, OG had an astonishing performance in the autonomous territory in East Asia: they topped the group stage with only two losses out of eight games. In the playoffs the European squad beat Natus Vincere and TNC convincingly without losing a game.
Is it possible that the winner of this year's edition of Macau will be crowned as TI9 winner? VP, Team Liquid, EHOME, Vici Gaming and Evil Geniuses are competing — some of the favourites to lift the Aegis.
The new support is a king
Let's go back to Europe and last year's edition of ESL One in Poland. Although Katowice is already very popular in esports since 2014, Dota 2 fans had to wait until last year to see their favourite teams competing in the legendary Spodek Arena. It was the second ESL Major of that season and Virtus.pro demonstrated that they're unbeatable at ESL events.
The Russian squad lost in the Finals of their group against Vici Gaming, but were seeking revenge in the playoffs.
Aleksey 'Solo' Berezin and his team-mates beat Evil Geniuses and Fnatic to reach the Grand Finals where they beat VG with 3-1 this time. Vladimir 'RodjER' Nikogosyan was voted as MVP of the tournament — the perfect proof that he was the right choice for the team.
The Russian position four player joined VP a month earlier to replace Ilya 'Lil' Ilyuk. VP was struggling by the end of 2017. they just won a Minor after ESL One Hamburg 2017 - they definitely needed a change. Katowice was the start of VP's actual Major run. From that point on VP was the best team in the world until The International 2018 started.
VP won't be attending ESL One Katowice. So who'll be their successor?
Photo credit: Mars Media/ ESL - Adela Sznajder