All esports news
TI8 standings and results
Here's the latest TI8 standings and results, as well as today's schedule from The International 2018 at the Rogers Arena Vancouver. TI8 results - day four (August 18) Group A PSG.LGD 2-0 Mski EG 2-0 Fnatic Liquid 2-0 VGJ.T OG 1-1 WStrike Group B paiN 0-2 OpTic VG 2-0 VP Secret 2-0 TNC Serenity 0-2 VGJ.S paiN 0-2 Serenity VG 0-2 OpTic Newbee 2-0 Secret VP 2-0 VGJ.S TI8 final group standings (August 18) In the end, it is Invictus Gaming and paiN Gaming that are going back home. paiN sealed their fate with their two defeats vs Optic Gaming and VGJ. Storm respectively. Related: TI8 Group stage roundup: Invictus and paiN eliminated TI8 schedule - Main Event Day 1 (August 20) 3pm UTC Liquid vs Optic 6pm UTC VP vs PSG.LGD 9pm UTC Fnatic vs Serenity 10pm UTC TNC vs Mski 11pm UTC Newbee vs Wstrike 12am UTC VGJ.T vs VG The International 2018 Main Event Bracket. #TI8 pic.twitter.com/4kwlazx4bV— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) August 19, 2018 TI8 results - day three (August 17) Group A Liquid 2-0 Mski Fnatic 1-1 OG iG 0-2 VGJ.T EG 2-0 WStrike Mski 1-1 VGJ.T PSG.LGD 2-0 Fnatic iG 0-2 OG Liquid 2-0 WStrike EG 0-2 Liquid iG 0-2 PSG.LGD OG 2-0 VGJ.T Fnatic 1-1 WStrike Group B Newbee 0-2 VP OpTic 1-1 Serenity TNC 0-2 VGJ.S paiN 1-1 VG Newbee 1-1 VGJ.S TNC 1-1 Serenity Secret 2-0 OpTic paiN 1-1 VP TI8 standings after day three (August 17) Who goes through? The top four teams from each group qualify for upper bracket of main event, the bottom team of each is eliminated, remaining four teams from each group qualify for lower bracket of main event. TI8 schedule - day four (August 18) 4pm UTC paiN v OpTic VG v VP Secret v TNC Serenity v VGJ.S 6.30pm UTC PSG.LGD v Mski EG v Fnatic Liquid v VGJ.T OG v WStrike 9pm UTC paiN v Serenity VG v OpTic Newbee v Secret VP v VGJ.S TI8 results - day two (August 16) Group A Fnatic 1-1 Mski EG 2-0 OG iG 1-1 Liquid PSG.LGD 2-0 WStrike PSG.LGD 0-2 EG iG 1-1 Fnatic VGJ.T 2-0 WStrike Mski 0-2 OG Group B Secret 1-1 VP VG 2-0 Newbee OpTic 1-1 VGJ.S paiN 1-1 TNC VG 1-1 Serenity VP 1-1 TNC Newbee 0-2 OpTic paiN 1-1 Secret VG 1-1 Secret Newbee 2-0 Serenity paiN 0-2 VGJ.S TNC 2-0 OpTic Related: TI8 predictions from industry experts TI8 standings after day two (August 16) TI8 schedule - day three (August 17) 4pm UTC iG v VGJ.T EG v WStrike Liquid v Mski Fnatic v OG 6.30pm UTC paiN v VG Newbee v VP TNC v VGJ.S OpTic v Serenity 9pm UTC iG v OG PSG.LGD v Fnatic Liquid v WStrike Mski v VGJ.T 11.30pm UTC paiN v VP Newbee v VGJ.S Secret v OpTic TNC v Serenity 2am UTC iG v PSG.LGD EG v Liquid Fnatic v WStrike OG v VGJ.T TI8 results - day one (August 15) Group A Liquid 1-1 Fnatic PSG.LGD 1-1 OG EG 2-0 VGJ.T iG 1-1 Mski PSG.LGD 1-1 VGJ.T Mski 2-0 WStrike iG 1-1 EG Liquid 2-0 OG PSG.LGD 1-1 Liquid EG 2-0 Mski Fnatic 2-0 VGJ.T iG 0-2 WStrike Group B Secret 1-1 Serenity VP 2-0 OpTic VG 0-2 VGJ.S Newbee 2-0 TNC VP 1-1 Serenity VG 0-2 TNC paiN 1-1 Newbee Secret 0-2 VGJ.S TI8 standings after day one (August 15) Here's the TI8 standings after the first day, with Evil Geniuses topping Group A and VGJ.Storm leading the Way in Group B. TI8 schedule - day 2 (August 16) TI8 scheudule day two - all times UTC (BST -1). Group stage matches best of 2. 4pm UTC paiN v TNC VG v Newbee Secret v VP OpTic v VGJ.S 6.30pm UTC iG v Liquid PSG.LGD v WStrike EG v OG Fnatic v Mski 9pm UTC paiN v Secret VG v Serenity Newbee v OpTic VP v TNC 11.30pm UTC iG v Fnatic PSG.LGD v EG Mski v OG VGJ.T v WStrike 2am UTC paiN v VGJ.S VG v Secret Newbee v Serenity TNC v OpTic Day 1 #TI8VG.J Storm 4-0Evil Geniuses 5-1Top Farmer: @SumaaaaiL 747gpmTop KDA: @Resolut1on_ 16.40Top ave kills: @w33haa 11.50Best gpm: Sumail 963Heroes played: 83Heroes picked or banned: 93Longest game: 67:42 TNC v VGShortest game: 18:24 Secret v Serenity— Redeye (@PaulChaloner) August 16, 2018
TI8 Group stage roundup: Invictus and paiN eliminated
A dramatic final day of groups at The International 2018 saw Group A won by the early leaders, while Group B was a more convoluted affair. Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid made light work of taking the top two positions in their half of the draw, followed by PSG and OG Esports, but behind VGJ Storm Group B was much closer. Group A One of the stories of day four was Winstrike, who started what was potentially their last day at TI8 at the foot of the Group A table. A tight map one victory over OG gave them hope of salvation, with Invictus Gaming at risk of dropping into bottom spot, and the fact Invictus had already completed their group stage programme meant there was nothing they could do if Winstrike could step it up. As it was, Winstrike weren’t able to take the 2-0 which would have sent IG home, and played off in a best-of 3 for the final spot against their Chinese groupmates, with both teams going in on a 4-12 card. Eventually the series ended 2 - 0 in Winstrike's favour, with a heartbroken IG quitting out of game two after a disastrous start. The result against Winstrike meant OG were never in serious danger of losing their top four spot, with Fnatic the most likely to disrupt and unable to do so, falling 2-0 to Evil Geniuses. There is no shame in losing to EG, and Fnatic have the pleasure of picking their first-round opponent, with VGJ Thunder in sixth and Mineski finishing seventh in the table. Hard work, dedication and relentlessness. See you in the Upper Bracket on Monday OGs. #DreamOG #TI8 pic.twitter.com/iTEfrIivbS— OG (@OGesports) August 18, 2018 Group B In Group B, Serenity and paiN played off for the right to progress, with the two tied at 5-9 going into their last-place decider. The Brazilian side are fan favourites, and some had even tipped them to be a good dark horse pick, but their performance over the first three days was too inconsistent to feel they were a real threat, especially with the way teams like VGJ Storm played. Liquid and VGJ Storm top their groups at #ti8.Historically, the winner of TI, five times of the seven, the champion has come from a group winner.— Redeye (@PaulChaloner) August 18, 2018 The Brazilians lost the first map in fairly convincing fashion, and needed to win the second to have any hope of making it to the main stage. Sadly for their fans, they weren’t able to draw level in the series, and ended up as the first team eliminated from TI8, a title nobody wants. Their draft versus Serenity was a real issue, with the team coming into the game woefully unequipped for what unfolded, although praise must also be given to the winners. The aforementioned American arm of the VGJ organisation has looked incredibly impressive, despite drawing the likes of Newbee and VP in their group, and entered what was a dead rubber (for them) against Virtus.pro with a 12-2 map record, which might have showed in the performance. Earlier in the day they had comfortably 2-0’d Team Serenity to stretch their lead in the table, but seemed a bit lacklustre vs VP, losing 2-0. There was one fly in the ointment for the group winners, who were found to have used two coaches in the draft for their group stage games. The ruling was that the team had acted in good faith, on bad information, but VGJ were still handed down sanctions for the first series of the main event, namely that they will not be allowed to use a coach during the draft and will have a level 2 draft time penalty. Today we learned that VGJ.Storm had used two coaches during their group stage drafts. When we asked VGJ.Storm, they said that they asked a PGL employee if they could have more in the draft, and he told them that he doesn't care as long as they left at the end of the draft. (1/4)— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) August 18, 2018 Going into the final set of matches, only VGJ Storm knew where they would finish, which is a sign of just how competitive this year has been, after the 1-15 or 2-14 run some teams endured at TI7, with Newbee facing Team Secret and Vici up against OpTic Gaming. Vici lost their series, which guaranteed OpTic a place on the main stage regardless of results elsewhere. TIEBREAKERS— Redeye (@PaulChaloner) August 18, 2018 The middle of Group B was where the real intrigue seemed to lie with one map left to play, as Newbee, Vici and Secret were all sitting at 7-8 and staring down the barrel of a tiebreaker. The second match in Newbee vs Secret was all important, with the potential for two very different scenarios, and in the end Newbee took the 2-0 to create a three-way, BO1 round-robin tiebreaker scenario in Group B to see who made upper bracket. This finished with Secret and OpTic into the upper bracket, and Newbee missing out, dropping into the lower bracket for the main event. With Sunday a day off it’s a chance for the players and fans to recharge, but the action begins again on Monday with another set of potential classics. It will be interesting to see who the group winners select as their opponent, and how that changes mentalities, but for now it’s time to relax before what is sure to be a perfect storm of Dota 2.
TI8: Group stages reach crunch time
With one day of group play left at The International 8, there is nothing to be won, but everything to be lost for a few unlucky teams. Those who have already secured a spot in the upper bracket will be delighted of course, but know there is nothing guaranteed yet, while the unfortunates at the other end of the scale have just a day to rescue their TI8 dreams. The story of TI8 is only halfway through, but the way the groups are set up means that the first set of real headlines will be negative, and nobody wants their team to be the first to pick up return air miles. Some of the results yesterday shook up the pack, and with less than 24 hours to go before the first eliminations the biggest event in esports is starting to ramp up the pressure on the competitors. The best At this point, it is fair to say a lot of people are looking to Evil Geniuses to set the pace, but their match with Team Liquid last night showed how competitive the event is at the sharp end. Going into the game, EG had dropped just one map, but a combination of good play from the defending champions and possibly a bit of complacency from the already-top four boys in blue led to a 2-0 loss for EG. Over in Group B, it’s only VGJ Storm that will feel comfortable, being as they are qualified for the upper bracket already, while Virtus.pro still don’t seem to have hit top gear. The pre-event favourites started well yesterday, but errors in the draft vs paiN saw them drop a map, and go into the final day still not assured of a place in the upper bracket. For VP, their first game, against Vici Gaming, is a must-win. This is due to the fact that if they fail to do the job there, the only other chance they have to secure points on the day is vs VGJ Storm, who have looked massively impressive. Sure, VP would still have a great chance, but nobody at TI8 would fancy a BO2 vs VGJ Storm for a crucial upper bracket spot, at least in their current form. Middle of the pack In Group A it looks a lot like PSG.LGD and OG are in great position to take the final two spots in the winners side, especially with their matches taken into account. Both have a single game today, vs Mineski and Winstrike respectively, and the form says OG should be very confident of a win against their opponents. PSG are likewise playing a side below them in the table, and have a player in Ame who looks to be in great form, having managed a frankly insane triple rampage yesterday. Mineski need a miracle to jump from the lower to upper bracket, so confidence should be coursing through PSG.LGD ahead of their phase two match. Over in Group B, it looks like the main question to be answered is which of Team Secret and Newbee makes it into the upper bracket. The Chinese team came into TI8 hot, but have rather fallen away since then, with losses to VP and a tough map 1 against VGJ Storm, before Sccc’s Invoker singlehandedly got them back into the latter series to tie it up 1-1. Now, it’s all to play for, with Newbee taking on Secret in the final phase of Saturday’s action. The stragglers In Group A, it’s really a question of whether Winstrike can do anything to change what looks like their fate, or if they are already condemned to an early flight home and having to sit through the same stream audio issues everyone else has endured. A 2-0 win in their battle with OG would give them a good chance of overtaking Invictus Gaming and continuing their TI dream, but the form that has seen them rush straight to the foot of the table needs to turn around. It may be that the threat of elimination motivates the Winstrike boys to reach new heights, and with IG already having played all their matches Winstrike at least know their fate is in their own hands. On the other side of the bracket, it’s make or break for OpTic Gaming, with the green wall having a tough weekend after their CoD boys crashed out of Worlds, and needing a big win after some narrow scrapes already. When you see your life flash before your eyes @ccncdota2 @OpTicGaming #TI8https://t.co/wo3XMdl97M— Luckbox (@Luckbox) August 18, 2018 With a 4-8 record, and their players struggling to make sense of the TI8 meta it seems, OpTic have two games on the final day they must win to have any chance of playing on the main stage. Vici and paiN above them have a chance of being sucked in, but only if OpTic show massive improvement, which there is no real reason to think will happen. Overall, we know a lot of what will unfold on the first day of the main event, but the devil is in the details, and the details here are delicious. Massive orgs are just a day from crashing out, unexpected levels of performance have come out of some squads, and we’ve seen some of the best Dota in a while. With just hours to go of phase one, it’s fair to say TI8 has already delivered, and then some.
TI8: Who looks good going into the weekend?
The opening days of The International 2018 have produced some amazing results, with a level of play that you’d frankly expect from this competition, the biggest in esports. Early favourites have suffered heavy losses, some teams have come from nowhere to surprise many, and by the time we were a few hours into day two there wasn’t a single team without a map win on the board. The early signs were fairly tricky to interpret, with some of the pre-tournament favourites not looking as sharp as expected, and others looking too good to be true. The weekend is coming, and we’re sure to get a better idea of who can survive the grind, but so far these are our impressions of who has the magic and who might need a kick in the pants. The pre-event favourites Of the teams that were attending, Virtus.Pro and Team Liquid were the picks among many of the more informed groups, but both have shown significant weaknesses to this point. There is obviously an argument that teams might not show their full hand given the fact eight of the nine teams from each group make it into the main event, but there have been rumblings among the fans that neither team is quite as impressive as expected, yet. This has been especially true of Team Liquid at points, with the holders losing one game 39-1 to Fnatic, last year’s last-placed team. The defending champions do sit second in Group A with a 5-3 record, and again all they really need to do at this point is finish in the top four, but there are causes for concern to come out of any loss so emphatic, even to a team that has the same record as Liquid in the group. Winners of day one and two Evil Geniuses, who have looked as good as anyone in the tournament, and sit top of Group A, are the standouts so far. It is hard to say anyone has looked as impressive as EG, especially when you consider they have both Team Liquid and PSG in their half of the draw. Over in Group B, TNC and VP are hovering, but the real shock is just how good VGJ Storm have been to this point. Many thought the American team was good, but they didn’t drop a map on day one, and only EG themselves have a better record than Storm at this point. Just one map loss in two days, to OpTic, and the sort of drafts that other teams cannot read or counter-strat have made VGJ-S a real contender, and there is no reason to think they’ll slow down when it gets to the main stage. The disappointments With this due to be another Chinese win, according to the tea leaves and so on, it is surprising to see PSG and Newbee the highest-rated Chinese sides, both sitting fourth in their groups, but they have the quality to improve as the event progresses. Likewise, both OG and OpTic Gaming have probably fallen short of their expectations to this point, as have Team Serenity, the Weibo-owned Chinese org that sits bottom of Group B. There is a lot of Dota still to be played, but for Serenity and Winstrike, who sit bottom of Group A, the aim is simply not to go home before everyone else does. With a generous qualification system no player wants to be part of a team so bad they couldn’t finish in the top eight of a nine team group, in the way Fnatic’s awful 2-14 performance from last year is remembered. We should have a better idea of who is going to be strong after the weekend, of course, and there is an argument to say you don’t want to play your best Dota in groups. One thing is very clear - the standard of play at this year’s event is as high as it has ever been, and there is no team so good or bad that a result is utterly predictable before the game starts, except maybe EG. This is what competition is all about. Image credit: Dota2
Win TI8 merch - share your clips for the chance to win signed by...
The International produces some amazing Dota 2 play and we want your help to pick out the best moments of TI8. During this year’s Main Event, we want you to send us your clips in our Play Of The Day contest. To enter, simply share your clip or a link to your clip on Twitter and mention @Luckbox. Luckbox ambassador Paul ‘Redeye’ Chaloner will pick out his favourite and will sign merchandise from TI8 for the winning entry. The winning moment will be revealed in the post-TI Luckbox Podcast. Clips must come from the Main Event (not the group stages), which starts on Monday August 20. The contest will close at 6pm UTC on Monday, August 27. If the same play is submitted by more than one person, the entry we received first will qualify. Clips should be no longer than 2 minutes. The winner will be contacted by Luckbox to arrange delivery of the prize. Contest terms Clips must come from the main event at TI8. Entry closes at 6pm UTC, on Monday, August 27, 2018. Entry is free. All elements of the contest are governed at Luckbox's discretion. Entrants must be over 18. The winning clip will be selected after TI8 and the winner will be contacted by the Luckbox team. If the same play is submitted by more than one person, the entry we received first will qualify.
Ferocity of competition at TI8 tops previous Internationals
The level of quality in Dota 2 has never been in doubt, but statistic from the first two days of The International 2018 show just how fierce the competition has become over recent years. According to a tweet posted by self-proclaimed "esports economist" Alan ‘Nahaz’ Bester, the increase in competitiveness from TI7 is significant even at this early stage. Through six rounds of bo2 play at #TI8, no team is undefeated and every team has at least one win. 12/23 series played so far have been 1-1. Compare this to TI7 where 41/72 group phase series were 2-0's.— Nahaz (@NahazDota) 16 August 2018 As you can see, even just over a day into the action, every team has already registered at least one win, and VGJ Storm were the last undefeated roster before dropping map two of their series against OpTic, leading to a draw. The difficulty in picking a favourite is another sign of just how tough it is to exist at the top, with six different teams appearing in the experts’ predictions, none of which were VGJ Storm, who were undefeated at the start of day 2. According to tradition, this should be the year a Chinese team once again lifts the trophy, but at present it is either Liquid or VP many people seem to fancy, with PSG.LGD having a slightly rocky start on day one. On the other hand, Liquid were stomped so far down into the ground by Fnatic in their match that it’s hard to draw conclusions on individual teams early on, even if it’s clear the tournament itself is extremely strong. Stark comparison This stands in stark comparison to majors in some other games and drew instant praise, where the qualification systems are nowhere near as robust as the points system Valve have implemented for the Dota 2 circuit. In CSGO, for example, there are often a number of teams at a Major that have held on to a spot due to historical success or some kind of mild chicanery, but have no realistic hope of making a splash. This Liquid vs PSG LGD game ... It's what Dota is meant to be. #TI8— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) 16 August 2018 This was driven home on commentary too, when a member of talent remarked not just on how hard it is to pick a winner but, equally, a team to finish last. In 2017 the bottom teams, of which the aforementioned Fnatic were one, went 2-14 and were utterly outclassed, but the opening salvos of 2018’s event have all come from tall ships, carrying equal numbers of cannons and crew. Once the action heats up and the pressure of playing on the main stage for millions of dollars becomes more of a reality, we may see gaps appear between those truly elite players and the ones on their way to the top, but the signs today are good. The showpiece event for Dota 2 is more competitive than CSGO Majors, and even the football World Cup, but some margin in the latter case, once again showing the incredible strength and depth in esports today.
Praise for the stars of esports giving something back
The power of sport to make positive changes to the world is well known, but when it comes to esports the headlines aren’t always so positive. Be it figureheads using racial slurs on stream, analysts praising the likes of far-right radio host Alex Jones, or just the latest allegations of bullying, esports has a gift for generating negative press and, in all honesty, a lot of the time negative press that is fully justified. For that reason, it’s always great to see the reverse, and this week we’ve had a couple of great stories that went under the radar for some reason. There are those that say the reason is obvious, that the media isn’t interested in publishing positive stories about gamers, but that’s a conversation for another pub. Here and now, let’s try and focus on the good, starting with one of the world’s greatest CSGO professionals. Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard represents FaZe Clan in the greatest esport going, CSGO, and is generally very good at what he does, too. To put his ability into perspective that makes sense to everyone, this year has seen him drop off from his previous level, achieved in 2017. Even with that, he is still one of the best performing players in the game, while playing a support role in a team packed with stars. Recently, he took time to meet a young man who is a big fan of CSGO and FaZe, not for any headlines or posed photo, but because he wanted to. Later, again unprompted, the CSGO legend also gave his personal knife (an in-game item with a very high value), that he used in multiple competitions, to the young supporter, much to his delight. As we’ve already highlighted, you won’t find this story in any of the papers that are so keen to report on the way Fortnite is turning your child into a Satanist, or how Dota 2 water is making the frogs gay, but it made it to the CSGO subreddit at least. Likewise, our second tale of a player made a slightly bigger splash, but still won’t generate anything like the headlines it should. Make-A-Wish Nairoby ‘Nairo’ Quezada is a 21-year-old Smash Bros player, who has found success in two versions of the game, Brawl and Smash 4 for WiiU. While he’s never been world number one, he is comfortably one of the elite in Smash, which isn’t a game that makes a lot of money, but does generate a fair amount of attention despite that. The Make A Wish Foundation is a group that connects children with life-threatening diseases to their heroes, in the hopes of giving them a magical experience, which is pretty much as admirable as it gets. Sports stars, films stars, musicians and many more have participated down the years, with WWE star John Cena the record-holder for most ‘wishes granted’. This week I'm going to meet Riley. I learned about Riley when @MakeAWish reached out to me recently. Riley's wish is to meet me and for us to play Super Smash Bros together. I'm very honored by this and excited to meet him!— NRG Nairo (@NairoMK) 13 August 2018 Nairo tweeted that Make A Wish had reached out to him regarding a kid called Riley, who really just wanted to play some Smash with his hero, and that he (Nairo) was genuinely thrilled to be asked. The experience will maybe not be an easy one for a man of his age, it isn’t for anybody, but his reaction online seemed to be of genuine joy about being able to turn his ability in a game into something way more meaningful on a world level. I would always see like John Cena fulfill these wishes when watching wrestling and I don't think I ever thought it would be possible with a Smash player, let alone me. So I was kinda speechless when I was first approached.— NRG Nairo (@NairoMK) 13 August 2018 Obviously, there are still the people who give esports a bad name, in the same way some footballers do for their sport, and most boxers are unable to stop doing, but the reporting needs to focus on both the good and the bad of any story. At the heart of every esports story is a human, and within that human is a heart, but too often we forget that our heroes are humans too. These are the stories that reaffirm not just the humanity of esports, but also the fundamental decency at the centre of a scene that was built on inclusion, and they deserve more light than they get.
TI8 opens with a stutter
Day one of The International 2018 produced some amazing gameplay and even a couple of surprises, but the show was marred by production issues, including stream drops and a lack of commentary on games, as Valve’s flagship event opened on Canadian soil for the first time. Alex ‘Machine’ Richardson’s introduction to TI8 itself saw a brief interruption, and the concluding parts of some matches went unseen by many as the streams broke off intermittently. There were some fantastic moments in the opening hours of the tournament, with Fnatic stomping Team Liquid in almost record-breaking fashion to tie up their series 1-1, but Valve will be unhappy to see the jewel in their crown obscured, even momentarily. The causes of the issues are not clear at this point, but the fact all of the streams to drop simultaneously seems to suggest internet issues in the venue, rather than production, were the cause of the problems. The biggest event of the year, The International, opens with audio issues. When @ODPixel's voice is finally heard, it's with the opening line: "I'm telling you Gabe, a $40 million stretch goal for caster audio is not going to go down well with the community". What a legend!— Jacob Toft-Andersen (@TheMaelk) August 15, 2018 That is good news for PGL, who are rumoured, but not confirmed to be taking care of production for the second year in a row, having worked with Valve to make TI6 and TI7 a reality. This may be due to the fact Valve have change their production process, as they did for 2017, and PGL aren’t involved, although many on social media assumed it is the Romanian company. What isn't likely to be down to the internet in the venue is the way audio issues on various streams seemed to occur, including a lack of commentary on games. The scenes backstage are likely to be frantic until the event has got back on track, although the fact this is not the 'main' event will be of some comfort. UPDATE: The official account for Dota 2 tweeted the following later in the day, explaining that the problems had been caused by power issues at the venue. We are sorry about the repeated stream downtime today. We are working through some power problems that have caused issues with stream encoding and network hardware at the event.— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) August 15, 2018 Changes to production process in 2017 As mentioned, in 2017 Valve made changes to their previous model, where PGL had taken care of the production for the game publishers. In an interview with Cybersport, Toby ‘TobiWan’ Dawson, a commentator at TI, confirmed that a local TV company had been brought in to run live production, rather than PGL. If that is the case for TI8, it would make sense, with Valve using a temporary base while their ‘home’ in Seattle, the Key Arena, is being renovated. This isn’t the first major esports event, or even International, to experience hiccups on the first day, and with the resources Valve have at their disposal the scope for improvement is certainly there. They will be pleased to have learned about these gremlins prior to the main event, and it may also be that more resources have been dedicated to the latter stages than the early rounds of a tournament that runs for ten days. As expected, when given the chance, the presenters and commentators on show did a fantastic job, handling the issues professionally and never missing a beat, which makes sense given that Valve have assembled a dream team of esports talent. The new qualification system seems to have produced a terrific standard of play too, making for a perfect storm of Dota 2, if they can just get the wrinkles ironed out of the broadcast.
EPICENTER 2018: First details of leading CIS region event confirmed
One of the CIS region’s best events will make a return this year, as EPICENTER announced their 2018 competition, due to be held in Moscow. The group stage is scheduled for October 22–25th, and the finals will take place on October 27–28th in the Park of Legends Ice Palace. With a prize pool of $300k, it is sure to attract some of the biggest names in CSGO, too, with last year’s event won by SK Gaming, who defeated a resurgent Virtus.Pro in Grand Finals. So far the invites have not been announced and, with the regional qualifiers still to come, it will be interesting to see who attends but a few names can probably be banked on. With Na’Vi in amazing form and representing the CIS region, it would be amazing to not see them at the tournament, and likewise there is no way Astralis could not be considered world number one if the invites went out today. Interestingly, the prize pool for the 2017 event held in St Petersburg was slightly higher, at $490k, where this will only have $300k split between the attendees. With the event happening in the wake of the London Major, it may be that the organisers are expecting less attention, but with the way the CSGO scene is right now that may be a very erroneous assumption. The reality is that in the wake of the major we could see shuffles across a number of regions. Teams from NA, Europe and even Asia might make moves, and the likes of Cloud 9 or G2 have been rumoured to be looking for a few weeks already. Once the need to hold onto qualified players has subsided, the moves that happen have a great chance of making EPICENTER 2018 one of the most anticipated non-major events of the year. The event is run by ESForce, the money behind a number of large projects in the CIS esports scene, and the former owners of Na’Vi’s media rights among other things, including Cybersport and the Russian version of the same site. Controversial ESForce owner Alisher Usmanov is among the most wealthy folk operating in esports today, and his influence over the scene in the CIS region will only be strengthened with another excellent event. Life without Yanko As an interesting aside, it will be fun to see who events begin to hire in the wake of Yanko ‘ynk’ Paunovic’s move to coach MiBR, having formerly been the premier on-desk analyst for tier one tournaments. Duncan ‘Thorin’ Shields is an option, but struggles to steer clear of controversy, while an entire raft of ex-players like Sean Gares and Mathieu ‘Maniac’ Quiquerez are rising through the ranks and able to provide amazing play by play insight. A total of ten teams will take part in the tournament, five of which will receive direct invitations to the group stage. Four more will come from regional qualifiers in Europe, CIS, Americas and Asia, with one last side due to receive the 'VP' Wild Card, as it should be known by now, for a team that brings enough eyes to justify airlifting them in despite the hopelessness of their situation. Open qualifiers start on August 19th in Europe and on August 21st in Americas. The sign-ups in these regions are already live. The CIS open qualifiers will begin on September 24th and run through October 1st. Sign-ups notice will be given at a later time. All qualifiers will be held on the FACEIT platform. The closed qualifiers in Europe due to take place on September 5–6th, with the Americas event due over September 8–9th and the CIS closed qualifier set for October 5–6th. After that, the highest ranked of the four + one group (qualifiers and the Wild Card) will be put directly into the groups, with the other four fighting it out for two remaining spots in the eight team final bracket.
The International 2018 schedule, live stream information, groups and...
This is your one-stop shop for all things TI8. This overview includes The International 2018 schedule, live stream information, a look at the groups, players, teams and talent. TI8 live stream The International 2018 live streams are available on Twitch. English streams Feed 1 Watch live video from dota2ti on www.twitch.tv English Feed 2 English Feed 3 English Feed 4 Russian streams Russian feed 1 Russian feed 2 Russian feed 3 Russian feed 4 TI background The International is the Dota 2 showpiece event of the season. It is the biggest esports event of the year and is the final event of the year in the Dota Pro Circuit. Organised by Valve Corporation, the creators of Dota 2, TI has been staged since 2011. Related: Redeye's TI8 preview and prediction The International 2018 schedule The International 2018 group stage August 15 to August 18: 18 teams play round robin format in two groups, best-of-two (BO2). Top four teams from each group qualify for upper bracket of main event, bottom team is eliminated, remaining four teams from each group qualify for lower bracket of main event. Matches are scheduled to start at 5pm BST, 7.30pm, 10pm, 12.30am and 3am. Full group stage schedule The International 2018 main event August 20 to August 25: 16 teams play double-elimination format (teams that lose twice are elimnated). First lower bracket round is BO1, other rounds are B03, before Grand Finals is B05. Main event messages are due to start at 6pm, 9pm, midnight, 1am, 2am and 3am. Full main event schedule Which teams are at TI8? The teams lining up for TI8 are: PSG.LGD Liquid Mineski Vici Gaming Newbee Secret Virtus Pro VGJ Thunder OG Winstrike Evil Geniuses OpTic Gaming VGJ Storm paiN Invictus Gaming Serenity Fnatic TnC Predator TI8 venue The 2018 International will be held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. It will be only the second time the event has been held outside Seattle, US, where it moved after 2011, when it was staged in Cologne. Rogers Arena hold about 19,000 people and tickets are sold out. TI8 prizepool The prizepool at Dota Internationals is the highest in esports, thanks largely to crowdfunding. For every TI since 2013, fans who buy the Compendium contribute to the prizepool. The base prizepool for TI is $1.6m but the total prizepool since 2016 has been more than $20m thanks to contributions from fans. The prizepool for TI8 is $23,700,000 at the time of writing, with contributions adding to that tally until just before the tournament ends. The International 2018 talent Production values at TI are extremely high and some of the finest broadcasters and content creators in esports will be in attendance. English-language hosts for 2018 are: William Cho, AKA Chobra Alex Richardson, AKA Machine Paul Chaloner, AKA Redeye Jorien van der Heijden, AKA Sheever English-language commentators at TI8: Capitalist (Austin Walsh) Godz (David Parker) GrandGrant (Grant Harris) Luminous (David Zhang) Lyrical (Gabriel Cruz) ODPixel (Owen Davies) TobiWan (Toby Dawson) TrentPax (Trent MacKenzie) AdmiralBulldog (Henrik Ahnberg) Blitz (William Lee) BSJ (Brian Canavan) Fogged (Ioannis Loucas) Kyle (Kyle Freedman) syndereN (Troels Lyngholt Nielsen) WinteR (Chan Litt Binn) Nahaz (Alan Bester) March (Park Tae-won) Purge (Kevin Godec) Being selected to brodacst at TI is a huge honor for esports broadcasters. Paul Chaloner said: "It's an incredible honour to be asked to host the richest esports event in the world and after missing out last year and putting in a lot of work on my hosting, my game knowledge and even more preparation throughout the season, it's very gratifying to find that paid off. "I'm grateful to Valve for giving me the opportunity to host my third TI." Predict your champions to win Arcana Predict TI8 champions to win a free Arcana with Redeye autograph TI8 Pubstomps Tickets for TI have long sold out but that doesn't stop you watching the action with fellow Dota 2 fans. A series of TI8 Pubstomps will be hosted across the globe, from Australia to Vietnam. Find your nearest one in this Reddit thread dedicated to TI8 Pubstomps. TI8 Short Film Contest Every year, in the weeks building up to TI, Valve asks fans to submite a short Dota 2-inspired film, with the chance to be broadcast during TI and win up to $25,000 in prize money. We've collated the latest entries for the TI8 Short Film Contest here. What makes TI so special? Finally, another word from this year's host on why TI is so special. Redeye said: "It's special for the fans who attend, those who watch it online, the players, the managers, the teams, the production staff and of course the talent and everyone in between all those. "It's hard to pinpoint exactly why, I think it’s a mixture of things, the size of the event, the fact it’s the end of the Dota season where a year of your life has been spent working hard, praying and hoping you get to go and the ultimate fight for the Aegis. "The money is great for players, of course, but ask most of them and it’s about the glory, proving you are the best in the world when it most matters and making history."
Debate over relationship between betting and esports flares up again...
With less than 48 hours to the start of The International, the thorny issue of betting on esports reared its head again with a report that Valve have “advised” teams not to partner with betting websites. There has been no official word from Valve but, as publishers of Dota 2 and CSGO - two of the biggest games in esports - the news, via VPEsports, has potentially significant ramifications, not least for the teams. Several of those that will contest TI8 in Vancouver, including Virtus.pro, Team Secret, Na'Vi, Vici Gaming and Newbee, are supported by betting companies. Confirmed or not, it is the latest development in a long-running debate about esports and gambling. The discussion is deep, nuanced and often heated but, put simply, there are two main schools of thought. There are some who believe gambling is not welcome in esports while others say that betting companies have much value to add. Members of the latter group argue the contribution exists not only in the form of financial support but in providing an enhanced viewing experience for fans, most of whom are adults, at least according to research. According to the Newzoo 2018 Global Esports Market Report, 74% of esports enthusiasts and 77% of occasional viewers are aged 21 or older. Paul Chaloner - an ambassador of Luckbox - is among those who believe betting has a place in esports - if it is done correctly. “I think gambling has a place and it needs to be done responsibly,” he told Esports News UK. "I think that we've had far too many problems with gambling, both underage gambling and illegal gambling in esports over the years. "It's always been my belief that we shouldn't condone that and we should actively go out there and get rid of that. “I don't want to see underage gambling and I don't want to see irresponsible gambling. I want people to be educated so they understand what they're doing and the risks involved.” Esports is not the first sport to wrestle with such a dilemma and a similar debate around football is topical, with traditional betting companies being very prominent sponsors of clubs, competitions and even stadiums. However, it is perhaps more acutely felt in esports, which has a relatively recent relationship with gambling, some of which has been negative. The sector has been dogged by a series of high-profile, gambling-related scandals involving companies acting irresponsibly or, in many cases, illegally. On a mission to clean things up The past 18 months or so has given rise to companies seeing the opportunity to tackle the issue head-on, companies like Luckbox committed to raising standards by being fully licensed and responsible. Luckbox CMO Vadim Soloveychik said: “There are a lot of unknowns. What does it mean for existing contracts? What will happen to teams if they don’t follow the advice? A blanket ban sponsorships from all betting operators is not beneficial for fans “We believe that credible betting companies - those like Luckbox, which are responsible, fully licensed and adhere to the highest levels of jurisdictions - can benefit esports by enhancing the experience for adult fans and bringing more financial support to the ecosystem. “Obviously, some fans are underage and it’s fully understandable that Valve wants to protect them. As a licensed betting operator, this is also our position - underage gambling is an issue that has plagued esports in the past and we are committed to cleaning that up. “In my opinion, a blanket ban sponsorships from all betting operators is not beneficial for fans as it makes it harder to pick out the good guys from the bad guys who operate in the shadows.” “Longer-term, we hope to see publishers willing to work with teams, event organisers and reputable, licensed operators - perhaps with the support of an independent body such as the Esports Integrity Coalition - to define the industry standards on promotion of responsible betting that will protect underage fans, benefit the industry and allow responsible operators to plan their marketing activities accordingly.”
Play Rainbow Six Siege for free: Ubisoft announces free weekend dates
While (almost) all eyes are on TI8, Ubisoft is doing its utmost to grab a share of the limelight for Six Major Paris by announcing that Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be available to play for free for a limited time. The free weekend is available from August 16 to August 20 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. In a press release, Ubisoft said: "Players who try the game during the free weekend can carry over their progress and continue to play uninterrupted if they purchase the game. "They will also benefit from a discount of up to 60% off on the Starter, Standard, Advanced, Gold, and Complete Editions between August 16 and August 27, on select platforms and editions." Play Rainbox Six Siege for free: Details The Six Major Paris is running until August 19 when Operation Grim Sky will be revealed during Sunday's finals. The tenth expansion for Siege will feature two new operators, one American Attacker and one Defender hailing from Great Britain, and the first fully reworked map, Hereford Base. Play Rainbox Six Siege free - FAQ (Taken from Rainbow Six official site) HOW CAN I ACCESS RAINBOW 6 FREE WEEKEND? PC: Click on the PC link above or go to your Uplay PC Launcher. PLAYSTATION 4: Find the game on the PSN Store or click the PS4 link above, and click on the "Try free Demo" button located next to "Add to Cart" button. XBOX ONE: Click on the Xbox One link above or check your Games with Gold section. CAN I PRELOAD THE GAME? Yes, preload is available for this free weekend only on PS4 & PC. You can preload the game from August 14. Xbox will be available at the start of the Free Weekend. CAN I PLAY WITH MY FRIENDS DURING THE FREE WEEKEND ? Of course. You can play with anyone who already owns the game or is enjoying the Free Weekend like you are. ARE THERE ANY OFFERS AVAILABLE? If you like the game and want to keep playing after the Free Weekend period is over, your progress will carry over to the full game if you purchase. Rainbow Six Siege is available at 60% off across all platforms for a limited time! Please check your favorite store to see the available discount. WILL MY PROGRESS FROM THE FREE WEEKEND CARRY ON IF I PURCHASE THE FULL GAME? All of your progress and Operators will carry over if you decide to upgrade to the full game, except if you purchase the Starter Edition on PC. WHAT CONTENT IS AVAILABLE? The full game! The free version of Rainbow Six Siege offers access to all of the maps, modes, and Operators present in the full version, giving you the full Siege experience over the Free Weekend.
TI8 predictions - what the experts expect at The International 2018
The biggest event in esports is just days away, and the excitement is reaching extreme levels. No, we don’t mean the much-anticipated Clash Royale Championship that is sure to be a defining moment in mobile esports, honest, but that thing over in Canada, with the heroes and the dollars. The International is the name, and when it comes to the mainstream media, TI8 means esports. With that in mind, TI8 predictions are obviously hot stuff, and the biggest names around the game have been pretty vocal about who they think will take the title. Our own Dota royal Paul Chaloner had a really deep dive into what he thinks might happen, and why, so we decided to round up some of the more interesting calls made by others who may or may not know as much about the game as three-time host Redeye. With all that said, let’s get into it, and have a look at who Merlini picks out of the hat, who Tobiwan believes is the chosen one, or who AdmiralBulldog will be cheering on from his couch at home, for the second year running … TI8 predictions: The winners Virtus.Pro are an amazing team, and boast one of the longest-standing rosters in esports. One of the reasons for that stability is the fact their owners are not the sort to give up a good thing, or even a bad one judging by their CSGO team, and the experts seem to agree. Merlini, AdmiralBulldog, TobiWan and Noxville are among the names picking VP as their winners, and it’s pretty obvious they know their stuff, based on previous TI predictions, and their history in the game. On the flip side, NS, Purge and DotaPlusz.ru are going with an American win, and have picked Team Liquid to continue their astonishing 2018 with the biggest trophy of them all. The other name making a frequent appearance is PSG.LGD, who have been at every International since TI2 (even before the French football club rebrand) and are Redeye's pick for glory. SyndereN, bafik and Gui ‘PDS’ Pullin all have the ‘French’ side as their number one, with only Team Serenity and Evil Geniuses appearing in the list of predicted winners but not mentioned so far. The heroes The meta of Dota 2 is constantly changing, and that is one of the big challenges when making TI8 predictions, but it seems like Valve have left it a bit late to completely rebalance ahead of the event, as their reputation suggests they like to. More than 45% of those who had given predictions picked out Crystal Maiden The list of heroes that experts believe we’ll see a lot is fairly diverse, but at the sharp end two names keep appearing. Crystal, nee Frost, Maiden, and Phoenix both appear fairly regularly, but it’s the former rather than the latter that really dominates the list. Overall, more than 45% of those who had given predictions picked out Crystal Maiden, making it one of the more dominant picks, only behind the likes of Meepo for experience per minute average and Zues in the assist average lists, at 78% and 58% respectively. The title of most banned hero is more contested, but the majority think that Enchantress will spend more time on the sidelines than any other hero at TI8. TI8 predictions: The players When it comes to the violence, a few names are at the top of most lists, and for good reason. Highest kill average and most kills per game see Vp’s No[o]ne and LGD’s Maybe top the sharp end of the table, but when every vote is taken into account, it’s Team Liquid’s Miracle that actually comes out in on top in the latter category. Each player represents one of the strong favourites for the title, so it should be no surprise that they are fancied to do damage here. Liquid’s star also tops the lowest death lists, the gold per minute rankings and the most heroes played list in the TI8 prediction stakes, so it’s clear the experts expect him to have a significant impact at this tournament. If his side go deep, it is inevitable he will of course, but prediction TI results is not a simple thing to do. The event The event starts on Wednesday of this week, and is the first one in a while to see no players suffering from visa problems, although the same cannot be said of the talent. While the plan is for Valve to move back to Seattle once the Key Arena is renovated, if this goes really well we might see the event go International, which would be nice, given that that is what it’s called. Fingers crossed, but whatever the future holds, our TI8 prediction is simple. This is going to be amazing. The full list of experts' predictions can be found here, with thanks to /u/Kainaabz on Reddit. Your chance to win Now make your prediction for the chance to win a free Arcana. Predict TI8 champions to win a free Arcana with Redeye autograph Pictures: NVIDIA Corporation
Stick or twist? Does roster stability equal success in esports?
In traditional sport, the debate about stability has raged for decades. On one hand, you have Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, and a dwindling group of managers focused on long-term success with one team, while on the other you have sides such Chelsea and Real Madrid, that go through managers at an astonishing rate. Equally, although players are more tradable as assets in sport than in esports, it is rare for many teams to stay together in totality. However, the way squads work in football means that sweeping changes to rosters are rare, and in cases when entire teams are brought in there is usually a period of adjustment. Virtus.Pro announced that their remarkably successful Dota 2 lineup had signed new contracts, due to take them through TI8 and tie the five to the org until the end of 2019, making the team one of the most consistent and stable rosters on the international esports scene. Best Dota in the world. Guaranteed in 2019 #GOGOVPRead more: https://t.co/IK4yxlE77o pic.twitter.com/wTYpqOdE5w— Virtus.pro (@virtuspro) August 9, 2018 Currently ranked first in the Valve DPC (Dota Pro Circuit) rating system, this VP team has won more than $2.5m and lifted the trophy at an incredible four Majors, including ESL One Hamburg 2017 and ESL One Birmingham 2018. They are among the favourites to win TI8, but have never placed in the top three of the event, making this lineup very interesting for their potential, and their stability. In esports, though, there are rarely subs, or roster options, and the word means "player we want to sell" in 90% of cases, so any team that sticks together is a rare and wonderful thing. There have been recent examples, such as the G2 French superteam in CSGO, but you rather suspect that stayed as it was for so long due to the owners throwing good money after bad and chasing an investment that should have worked. There are some examples of teams that have stuck it out, though, and we thought we’d have a look and see what, if any value there is to a team staying together when the first flush of success has swirled down the pan… Virtus.Pro CSGO It’s clear VP don't have commitment problem, as their Dota team is the second roster that org has kept around for more than a year. From January 2014 until February of 2018, the same five-man roster represented the organisation, reportedly on wages of $25k-a-month. The team was made up of three Polish legends, combined with up-and-coming talent, and won a fair amount before the decline set in. They were able - if not notorious for finding ways to reinvent the wheel when the team did slump - but were eventually forced to make changes, and have cut TaZ and lost Snax in 2018. The org has looked to retain their Polish identity, though, with the two new signings both hailing from that part of the world. Newbee Dota 2 The Chinese org has had the same continual lineup since September 2016, when Moogy, Sccc and Faith joined up with kpii and Kaka, and they have the gold to show for it. Ranked seventh on the Dota Pro Circuit lists, the org has a litany of titles to their name, and arrive at The International with a good, if not great, chance of doing some serious work. They're not among the favourites, but the power of Chinese CS is not to be underestimated, and Newbee have all the experience and ability they need to succeed. Here's a great deep dive into stability, as it pertains to Dota in particular. OpTic Call of Duty There is some debate as to whether this team should be included in the list, but it has great analogies with sport, and stands as a good example of how loyalty can be really easy. Playing your entire career for a team that wins nothing is one thing, but if you find yourself a setup of players that can deliver constant success and huge money, leaving makes no sense. Examples from sport include players such as Paul Scholes and Raul, of Real Madrid, while OpTic CoD are a great one from esports. The org managed to assemble a dream team of talent at the perfect time, combing talent and experience in a blend that dominated multiple Call of Duty titles. They joined forces on 17th May 2015, and only split this year after a long period of poor results in CoD:WW2. Vega Squadron CSGO Prior to their losing mir to Gambit, Vega had actually kept their lineup together since late 2016, which may come as a surprise to some, but there is a good reason for that reaction. Mainly, because this is a team that has consistently failed to make it to the sharp end of tier-one events, and are probably the one that does most to dispel the myth that any stability is good, regardless of other factors. That’s not to say Vega were ever truly bad, and they appeared at Majors along the way, but they are proof that there is only so much you can do, even if you have the sticker money and stability, with limited talent. Their 9-11th place finish at the ELEAGUE Major was good, and saw them lose their best player to Gambit as a result of his performances, but probably represents the ceiling for an org that has limited ability to punch up. And finally ... everyone else There are hundreds of examples of teams that consistently make roster moves, but it’s hard to find an esports Chelsea, who are able to rotate players and coaches but maintain a pretty consistent level of success. Teams that do well tend to take a more considered approach, where they will work out why things are not right, and then change the one aspect that is broken. You’ll know if you’re onto a winner within a few months of putting a team together However, that is easier said than done, as CSGO shows. Astralis were forced to change a player, with all pundits convinced the replacement was inferior, but it turned out Magisk is twice the player Kjaerbye is and has taken them to a new level. Likewise, SK/MiBR are praised for their ruthlessness and intelligence with transfers, but appear to have shot themselves in the foot repeatedly in the last few months with moves for players who clearly don’t fit. Overall then, stability is key, if you can find the right people to do it with and, generally speaking, it seems like you’ll know if you’re onto a winner within a few months of putting a team together. If you do what G2 is, and spend too much, you might be compelled to think they need more time, but that isn’t the case in esports in general, and naturally limits the chances of teams staying together. It’s nice if you can get it, but not something to pursue above all considerations.