The 10th edition of Dota 2's premier tournament, The International will take place in August 2021 at Stockholm, Sweden.
Two Majors were announced for the season. The Majors will follow 6 regional leagues, which will act as qualifiers for the Majors. The regional leagues were further divided into an upper and a lower division. Both divisions are played online while the Majors are played on LAN.
The first Dota 2 Major of the season, The Singapore Major, took place in March. It became the first LAN Dota 2 tournament in over a year. Invictus Gaming became the Champions after defeating Evil Geniuses in the grand final.
Regional Leagues and Majors grant teams DPC Points. Accumulating these points is the only way for teams to get an invite to The International. With the 2nd season halfway complete, some teams are looking likely to miss out on an invite.
Missing out on The International is a huge blow to any Dota 2 team. The financial blow is also massive, since The International has the largest prize pool in all of esports.
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Top 5 Dota 2 teams that might miss The International
The Chinese Upper Division is one of the most competitive DPC leagues in the world. The winners of the Singapore Major, Invictus Gaming, currently sit at 7th in the league table. They have a good chance of getting relegated from the upper-division after winning the Major.
IG had accumulated enough points in Season 1 to get an invite to TI. However, another legendary Chinese Dota 2 team, Ehome, is in a worse situation. Ehome is one of China's biggest Dota 2 organizations. But it seems unlikely that they will make it to The International this year.
Ehome scored 0 points in Season 1. They are 6th in the Chinese Upper Division table at the moment. With their last 2 matches being against league leaders Team Aster and Invictus Gaming, their chances of qualifying for the Major look bleak. Their last hope will be the Chinese Open Qualifiers which promises to be a bloodbath.
4. TNC Predator
TNC Predator are one of South East Asia's biggest teams. The organization famously defeated OG in a monumental upset at TI6. TNC had won the last Major tournament before the Covid-19 pandemic began. However, their fortunes have dwindled since then.
TNC scored just 100 points in season 1. That amount got reduced to 72.25 after they removed Kpii and Febby from their team. They currently sit atop the South East Asian Upper Division league table. But winning the league won't be enough to get an invite to TI.
To avoid the dreaded Open Qualifiers, TNC needs to win the division and manage a top 8 finish at the next Major to accumulate enough points for an invite.
3. Quincy Crew
Quincy Crew is one of North America's best teams. They made it to The Singapore Major alongside Evil Geniuses but bombed-out early. They have 300 DPC points from finishing 2nd in season 1 and currently sit at 3rd in the NA DPC League.
However, North America has just 2 qualifying spots for the Major. Quincy Crew will face tough competition from Undying and Evil Geniuses for those 2 spots. Failing to qualify for the Major means they will not get a TI invite.
Even if Quincy Crew manages to qualify for the Major, they will need a top 8 finish to secure an invite to TI. Open Qualifiers will be the only alternative if they fail to get an invite. But Dota 2 Open Qualifiers are always very unpredictable.
2. Team Nigma
Team Nigma finished 2nd at The International 2019. But since then, the team has struggled to find form. They have managed only 200 DPC points from season 1. However, they suffered a 30 point deduction after removing W33 from the team and currently have 170 DPC points.
They must qualify for the next Major to get an invite to TI. The Western European Upper Division is one of the most competitive Dota 2 leagues since Alliance, Liquid, Nigma, OG, Secret, Brame, and Tundra are all in contention for just 4 spots. Nigma currently sits 4th tied with OG.
At the Major, Nigma needs a top 4 finish as well to secure an invite to TI. If they fail to secure an invite, the European Open Qualifiers will be their last chance at getting to TI. The European Open Qualifiers is expected to be the most competitive Dota 2 open qualifiers of the year.
OG are the defending two-time Dota 2 International Champions. However, their chances of securing an invite to The International 10 look slim. The team only has 42.5 DPC points after they removed MidOne from their roster.
As a result, the only way for them to get an invite is to qualify for the Major and secure a podium finish. Even then, other results need to go their way for them to get invited to TI. They currently sit at 3rd in the Western European DPC league and must finish as high as possible to amplify their chances.
OG has qualified to TI via the Open Qualifiers before, but the level of competition in this year's European Open Qualifiers will certainly be tougher than ever before in Dota 2 history.
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