TI10 Predictions: Winner, MVP, Darkhorse and More
It will be more than two years between The International 9 and The International 10 when TI10 kicks off in Bucharest, Romania. A lot has changed in Dota in that span between patches and roster shakeups. So, heading into the biggest Dota 2 event possibly ever, we decided to help make sure you are caught up. We decided to take a look at the event and make our TI10 predictions so you could be more informed and know what to look out for come October 7.
TI10 Winner: PSG.LGD Gaming
PSG.LGD Gaming is the easy choice, but they are the easy choice for a very good reason. As the winners of the most recent Major, they come into TI10 with the largest amount of momentum out of all the participating teams. Their playstyle this year is reminiscent of Wings Gaming, which as we all know dominated the field at TI6 with their otherworldly understanding of the metagame.
This comes as no surprise, of course, considering that both Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida and Zhang “y`” Yiping play for LGD. The highly aggressive, devil-may-care spirit of Wings lives on in them, and it’s resulted in nothing but good things for LGD this year. Oh, and Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang could very well be the best mid laner in the world right now. That certainly helps.
TI10 Darkhorse: OG
On paper, it’s unfathomable to put the reigning, defending back-to-back champions OG as the darkhorse for TI10. They’ve won the whole thing twice in a row now, so why would they be considered for this prediction? Well, it’s because this is the hardest road OG have had to take since TI8. They didn’t qualify for either of the two Majors this year, and have looked quite mediocre over the course of the Dota Pro Circuit season. In fact, even their victory over Tundra Esports in the last chance qualifier tournament was a close shave as the series went the distance.
But as we’ve learned over the last two editions of The International, underestimating OG’s mental fortitude in the biggest esports tournament of all time will always be a huge mistake. Nothing fazes them at this point, and I think this will remain true in Bucharest.
TI10 MVP: NothingToSay
This guy has been an absolute monster this year, especially the latter half. NothingToSay’s hero pool is also particularly deep, which plays right into LGD’s Wings-like play style. He also has the mechanical skill, self-confidence, and game sense to back up his reputation. Since they’re probably going to win, the choice for MVP is also just as easy to make.
TI10 Most Picked Hero: Weaver
Weaver is a bonafide broken pick right now, in much the same vein as how Puck was extremely strong throughout most of this season. Right now, Weaver is a viable choice in every position except mid, which makes him prime first pick/first ban material. As a carry, he’s probably the strongest in the game, even with the nerfs in 7.30d. This bug is going to terrorize the metagame in Bucharest for sure.
TI10 Breakout Player: Deth
Earlier this year, Yang “Deth” Wu Heng really surprised those that don’t really follow the Southeast Asian scene all that closely. After OB.Neon took roster losses at the Singapore Major due to COVID, the organization turned to him to stand in for Rafael “Rappy” Sicat Palo. Deth had an immediate impact on the team, and was one of the biggest contributing factors to their top 6 finish in Singapore. Now that he’s with Fnatic, I do believe that he will show the world what he is capable of once again, in a team that has more star power compared to OB.Neon.
TI10 Winner: PSG.LGD Gaming
This isn’t a fun, exciting pick for the winner, but PSG.LGD still look like the best team in the world at Dota 2 right now. They’ve not slowed down since the end of the DPC season, taking victory at OGA Dota PIT against a lot of the teams they’ll be facing at TI10. What’s more, that was without their best player. Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang wasn’t even playing for the team for that event, with the squad relying on coach Zhang “xiao8” Ning. And yet they still looked dominant. NothingToSay was one of the most dominant players in recent memory during the DPC, and I don’t expect him to drop off an inch at TI10.
TI10 Darkhorse: Virtus.pro
I was torn between these guys and OG (because OG winning a third International would be such a meme). It’s been a decade since a team from the CIS/Easter European region won a TI. And while Virtus.pro aren’t quite a legendary Na’Vi team that’ll go into the history books, they are something special.
They’re a young group that no one expects to have the experience and nerves to win at The International in their first trip. But that’s where the darkhorse aspect comes from. At their best Virtus.pro is one of the best-drafting, best-executing teams on the planet. If that version of VP can come out at TI, they could pull off a miracle and win it all.
TI10 MVP: NothingToSay
Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang is the best player in the world. He’s the top MMR player in China, perhaps the world. His hero pool is appropriately deep for a mid laner who’s expected to carry his team. At worst, you expect him to go even in lane, preventing and punishing his opponent from roaming. But most of the time, you don’t get NothingToSay’s worst, you get his best: Marching up and down the river, ganking lanes and taking control of the game for his team.
TI10 Most Picked Hero: Mars
This hero is just that perfect level of “not too broken, not too bad” that’ll always find a place in drafts. It’s a safe support pick, with a lot of synergy with other heroes, and rarely gives away everything about your draft. I was tempted to pick Pangolier, but I genuinely feel it’ll get just too many bans this tournament.
TI10 Breakout Player: TORONTOTOKYO
Alexander “TORONTOTOKYO” Khertekis going to shock some people at this tournament. He’s a quietly dangerous mid player with a potent champion pool. I think against Team Spirit, his Storm Spirit deserves a 100% of the time ban, because he’s just so good at it. Any hero with a lot of mobility for that matter. If you give him something like Templar Assassin, QOP, or Morphling, you’re just in for a bad time.