posted by SmittyW.,
The International is the culmination of any DPC season and marks the end of a year in Dota. At the same time, it heralds a new era, a new beginning. The International 2019gave us a small glimpse into the future: what key takeaways can we get from TI9 and what does the future hold for Dota esports?

OG's TI8 win wasn't just a fluke

Many critics claimed that OG's victory at The International 2018 was just a random event in the history of Dota – surely this squad just entered the tournament by accident and took the trophy due to... well even more accident.

OG's lack of results after TI8 gave some credit to the TI8 fluke thesis, but ever since Anathan 'ana' Pham rejoined the team, their performance became better and better again. Prior to TI, they were not a total underdog, but no hot favourite either. They proved all their critics wrong.

At times, OG really made it look easy, obliterating teams such as Evil Geniuses, PSG.LGD, and of course Team Liquid. Topias 'Topson' Taavitsainen turned out to be the surprise of the tournament, playing like a god. Nobody is laughing now at them, they have achieved the greatest accomplishment any team ever has in Dota 2.

Adding w33ha to Liquid was the right move

Shortly after the replacement of Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen with Omar 'w33haa' Aliwi, people weren't sure whether this was the right decision. At the EPICENTER Major the new line-up played really well, but could they do the trick at TI again?

Their group stage wasn't Team Liquid's greatest moment, but they rolled through the Lower Bracket like no other team has at an TI before. Liquid are the first to make all the way to the Grand Finals through the LB and could only be stopped by almighty OG.

w33ha turned out to be one hell of a player: especially his Meepo and Alchemist became two of the most dominant, game-deciding heroes in the tournament. At times, even Liquid's star carry Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi didn't look as dominant as w33ha. The got a well-deserved second place at TI9 and we can only hope that the outfit will keep on playing together.

Winning Majors doesn't mean much

Traditionally, teams that win lots of tournaments during a season are deemed to fail at TIs. Once again, this was the case with, Team Secret, and Vici Gaming who all played a great season. Especially VG and Secret have shown dominant performances in the later parts of the season but couldn't quite reenact that at TI9.

We can expect that we are going to adjustments to the teams during the Post-TI roster shuffle which will begin shortly. While finish fourth or fifth place isn't too bad, the Major winners certainly aimed for more at the world championships.

TI10 will finally return to Europe

Dota 2 is returning to Europe! Yes, we've had some tournaments there this DPC season, but we are talking about a TI of course. The International 2011 was the first and only Dota 2 world championship held there. For TI10, the best teams in the world will return to European soil to determine the new champions among them.

TI10 will take place in the Swedish capital Stockholm. This is a great choice, as TI3 winner Alliance are from Sweden. Also, the country is regarded as avant-garde when it comes to esports.

The game is going to be changed

The announcement of both Snapfire and Void Spirit was set in context with a new game update hitting the servers this fall. "The Outlanders" will introduce the two new heroes to Dota 2 and people are speculating about their skill sets and the rolls they can fulfill.

We can assume that this upcoming patch will also alter Dota's gameplay, as the TI announcement seems to tease a greater patch. Will we see adjustments to the map, revamps of heroes, or other changes? Time will tell but one thing is certain: there are interesting times ahead of us.

What was most remarkable about TI9 in your opinion? Have your say in the comments!

Photo credit: Valve