4 teams lock in spots at the Main Event, Group B remains tightly contested, Team Liquid, PSG.LGD, and OG surge in Group A, and Invictus Gaming and Winstrike Team face elimination after 3 days of play in Vancouver.
Day 3 in Vancouver saw the standings begin to take shape at TI8, as the field of teams began closing in on the end of their Group Stage runs. Both groups remain fairly tight after 3 days of play, as only 4 of the 18 teams are currently locked into a position at the Main Event. The North American region continues to be well represented heading into the final day of the Group Stage, as both Evil Geniuses (11-3) and VGJ.Storm (10-2) are guaranteed places in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. Joining them in the Upper Bracket will be Team Liquid (11-3), as the defending TI7 Champion put together a perfect 6-0 record on Day 3 to steal the top spot in Group A. Also making big jumps up the standings in Group A were PSG.LGD (9-5) and OG (5-1), who put together 4-0 and 5-1 records to put themselves in the top half of the group standings heading into Day 4. On the other hand, Invictus Gaming (4-12) and Winstrike Team (3-11) did not perform well on Day 3, with a single series on Day 4 set to determine which of them advances to the Main Event and which one is eliminated from TI8. Meanwhile in Group B, things remained largely the same with no team moving more than 2 spaces in the standings. Virtus.pro (8-4) and Team Secret (6-6) were the winners of the day in the group, moving themselves up 1 spot each and positioning themselves in the top half of the standings, while OpTic Gaming (4-8) found itself falling down into the 9th place position overall.
Squads ranked in the Top 8 on the Pro Circuit:
Against non-Top 8 ranked squads: 15-5 (Day 3); 40-34 (Cumulative)
Combined overall record: 21-11 (Day 3); 56-50 (Cumulative)
Squads ranked outside of the Top 8 on the Pro Circuit:
Against Top 8 ranked squads: 5-15 (Day 3); 34-40 (Cumulative)
Combined overall record: 19-29(Day 3); 64-70 (Cumulative)
With the Group Stage closing in on its conclusion and the standings beginning to lock in, we can take a short look at how each of the team’s stacked up on Day 3 of the action in Vancouver. This section will not be particularly in depth, but VODs of the official TI streams will likely be up on Twitch and Youtube and websites like dotabuff and datdota will have match information for those looking for a more thorough examination of the matches. For each of the teams, their name, records, and daily matches will be outlined as shown below, along with a short summary and a look at their upcoming matches on Day 4.
Format: Team Name (Record for Day) (Record Overall): [Matches for Day]
Evil Geniuses (2-2) (11-3): [Win vs Winstrike Team, Loss vs Team Liquid]:
Following a dominant start to the Group Stage on Days 1 and 2, Evil Geniuses managed to close the deal and get itself over the finish line on Day 3 with a 2-2 overall record. Those 2 wins, both against Winstrike Team, pushed the squad to 11 wins and guaranteed it a place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. The squad and its recently changed roster had gotten a fair bit of grief in the run up to the start of TI8, and many questioned whether the North American team would truly emerge as a legitimate threat in Vancouver. EG appears to have put those doubts to rest for the time being, and can head into its final series of the Group Stage on Day 4 without having to worry about where its position in Group A. The only downside for the team on Day 3 was that its 0-2 loss to Team Liquid dropped it from 1st place into 2nd, but the team could still have an opportunity to reclaim that top spot if it can claim a draw or win against Fnatic (7-7) in its final series tomorrow.
Fnatic (2-4) (7-7): [Draw vs OG, Loss vs PSG.LGD, Draw vs Winstrike Team]:
Although the team had 3 series to work with on Day 3, Fnatic was not able to put in the triumphant performance that it may have been hoping for in Vancouver. The team ended the day with 2 draws and a loss for a 2-4 record on the day and a 7-7 record overall. That record had the squad slipping a bit in the Group A standings, falling from 2nd to 5th overall heading into the final day of the Group Stage. With just 1 series left to play, Fnatic is going to need a little bit of help in order to secure itself a place in the top half of the standings and the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. If the squad loses its final series, then it will be stuck in the lower half of the standings, while a win or draw will still require a draw or loss from OG or a loss from PSG.LGD to force a tiebreaker scenario. The different between the Upper and Lower Bracket could be absolutely huge for Fnatic in the Main Event, so the Southeast Asian squad will be as motivated as possible to claim at least 1 win on Day 4. That might prove a bit difficult to pull off though, as Fnatic’s final series of the Group Stage will see it face off against Evil Geniuses (11-3) on Day 4.
Invictus Gaming (0-6) (4-12): [Loss vs VGJ.Thunder, Loss vs OG, Loss vs PSG.LGD]:
Day 3 did not go well for Invictus Gaming, to put things lightly. The Chinese squad was consistently out performed in its 3 series on Day 3 and ended up failing to secure a single win to drop its record to 4-12 overall. That incredibly disappointing performance puts iG in a precarious position in terms of its Group A standing, as the team sits just 1 win ahead of Winstrike Team and could still face elimination depending on the outcome of Winstrike Team’s final series on Day 4. Unfortunately for Invictus Gaming, its fate does not rest in its own hands, as the Chinese squad has completed all of its Group Stage matches and will be inactive on Day 4. In order for the squad to avoid either elimination or a tiebreaker scenario, it needs Winstrike Team to suffer a 0-2 loss in its last series of the Group Stage. All Invictus Gaming can do at this point is hope for the best, and prepare itself for a potential tiebreaker match against Winstrike Team to decide the fate of both squads.
Mineski (1-3) (5-9): [Loss vs Team Liquid, Draw vs VGJ.Thunder]:
Things didn’t go fantastically for Mineski on Day 3, as the squad earned just 1 win across its 4 matches and is now languishing near the bottom of the standings in Group A. Mineski took a somewhat expected loss to Team Liquid in its first series of the day, but ended up putting together a 1-1 split against Chinese squad VGJ.Thunder to close out its schedule. While we’ve seen VGJ.Thunder mount an impressive comeback effort in terms of its Group Stage position, this was still a match up that Mineski appeared to have the upper hand in at the beginning of Day 3. With a 5-9 record, Mineski now sits near the bottom of the Group A standings, but the good news is that the team cannot statistically be eliminated in the Group Stage with just 1 series left to play. Unfortunately, the squad is also unable to advance into the top half of the standings either, which means it is locked into a position in the Lower Bracket of the Main Event regardless of its Day 4 performance. That being said, the team will still be looking to close out its Group Stage schedule with a strong finish and build up some momentum heading into the Main Event, though it will have to face off against a tough PSG.LGD (9-5) in its final series.
OG (5-1) (8-6): [Draw vs Fnatic, Win vs Invictus Gaming, Win vs VGJ.Thunder]:
Day 3 proved to be an absolute triumph for OG, as the European squad earned 2 wins and 1 draw across its 3 series on the day for a 5-1 record. That performance brought the team’s overall record up to 8-6, which is enough to put the squad in 4th place in the Group A standings heading into the final day of the Group Stage. For a team that stumbled out of the gate over the first half of the Group Stage, OG is now in an incredible position of power in its group. The team was set up with a favorable scenario for success in its Day 3 schedule, playing 2 of the weaker teams in the group in Invictus Gaming and VGJ.Thunder. While the squad was able to claim 2-0 victories against both squads, it was the 1-1 split against Fnatic that looked particularly impressive. The Southeast Asian squad had been sitting in the top half of the standings prior to facing off against OG, but the European team was able to usurp that position with some solid play. With some momentum on its side, OG has a chance to lock in an Upper Bracket spot if it can replicate its success in its sole series on Day 4, with a draw guaranteeing it at least a tiebreaker scenario while a win would see it claim that spot outright. The team will need to be at its best though on Day 4, as it will face off against a Winstrike Team (3-11) roster fighting to stave off elimination in Vancouver.
PSG.LGD (4-0) (9-5): [Win vs Fnatic, Win vs Invictus Gaming]:
After 2 straight days of .500 performances, PSG.LGD finally broke through on Day 3 with back to back 2-0 victories to bring its record up to 9-5 overall. The team’s perfect slate across its 2 series has it sitting in 3rd place in the Group A standings, and its play against Fnatic and Invictus Gaming put the team’s skill and resiliency on display. The team pulled off comeback wins against both of its opponents, and appears to half finally gotten itself back into top form just in time to close out the Group Stage. At 9-5, PSG.LGD is sitting in a solid position, but its work isn’t done just yet with 1 series left to play on Day 4. The team hasn’t locked in a spot in the Upper Bracket yet, and will need a draw or a win in its final series to secure that position. The team will have a fairly favorable match up to work with on Day 4, as PSG.LGD will face a Mineski (5-9) squad that is already guaranteed a spot in the Lower Bracket.
Team Liquid (6-0) (11-3): [Win vs Mineski, Win vs Winstrike Team, Win vs Evil Geniuses]:
Team Liquid managed to pull off the coveted clean sweep of its 3 series on Day 3 of the Group Stage, putting together an incredible 6-0 run that has secured it a guaranteed place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event and the top spot in the Group A standings. The squad looked every bit like the defending TI Champion that it is, handling business fairly quickly against weaker squads in Mineski and Winstrike Team, and capping off the day by knocking off the top ranked Evil Geniuses as well. This was the kind of performance that many had been hoping to see from Team Liquid, and the squad now appears to be building up momentum at the perfect time heading into the final day of the Group Stage. The squad’s final series of the Group Stage on Day 4 won’t have any impact on where it ends up in the standings, but Team Liquid still has a chance to impact the squads below it as it will face off against a VGJ.Thunder (6-8) squad that is still in limbo in terms of its position.
VGJ.Thunder (3-3) (6-8): [Win vs Invictus Gaming, Draw vs Mineski, Loss vs OG]:
VGJ.Thunder began the Group Stage in about the worst way possible, as it had earned just 3 wins across the first 2 days of play in Vancouver. With 3 series to play on Day 3, the Chinese squad had a massive opportunity to improve its standing in Group A and potentially move into contention for a spot in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. While the team didn’t quite make it all the way to the top half of the standings, its 3-3 record did move it up from a tie for 7th place to 6th overall. VGJ.Thunder also still has a shot at cracking the top half of the standings, but it’s going to need both a strong Day 4 performance and some help from the other teams in the group. The team needs to win its final series 2-0, and would then need for OG to lose its last series and Fnatic to either draw or lose in its series as well. Should that happen, then VGJ.Thunder would be in either a 2 or 3 way tie for the final spot in the top half of Group A. For that scenario to happen though, the Chinese squad is going to have to win its lone Day 4 series against a surging and confident Team Liquid (11-3).
Winstrike Team (1-5) (3-11): [Loss vs Evil Geniuses, Loss vs Team Liquid, Draw vs Fnatic]:
After a disastrous 3 series on Day 2 of the Group Stage, Winstrike Team came into Day 3 needing a solid performance in order to avoid being in danger of elimination in Vancouver. Unfortunately, that solid performance did not materialize, and the CIS squad posted just 1 win in its 6 matches. Of course, the fact that the team had to play against the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams in Group A put Winstrike Team in a position where it was extremely unlikely to succeed, which makes the 1 win that it earned against Fnatic a bit more impressive. At the end of the day though, the team’s 3-11 overall record puts it at the bottom of the Group A standings, and Winstrike Team faces elimination unless it can find success on Day 4. A draw in its final series will force a tiebreaker scenario against Invictus Gaming, while a 2-0 win would guarantee the CIS squad a spot in the Lower Bracket of the Main Event. With its TI life on the line, Winstrike Team will face a tough challenge in its final series as it faces off against OG (8-6) to close out its Group Stage run.
Newbee (1-3) (6-8): [Loss vs Virtus.pro, Draw vs VGJ.Storm]:
Newbee had quite a challenge laid out before it in terms of its Day 3 lineup, as the Chinese squad had to play against both Virtus.pro and VGJ.Storm in its 2 series for the day. Though the match ups were tough and Newbee didn’t come in as the favored team, these series still represented an opportunity to push its way into the top half of the Group B standings if it could pull out a few wins. Unfortunately, the team secured just 1 win in its 4 matches, bringing its overall record to 6-8 with just 1 series left to play in the Group Stage. The team sits right on the edge of moving into a spot in the top half of the standings, as it sits in 5th place overall, but that position could change drastically based on the outcome of the Day 4 matches. Newbee could end up falling just about anywhere in the standings at the end of the day tomorrow, including the elimination position in 9th place. With that in mind, the team’s final series against Team Secret (6-6) on Day 4 has the potential to make or break Newbee’s run in Vancouver.
OpTic Gaming (1-3) (4-8): [Draw vs Team Serenity, Loss vs Team Secret]:
While the other 2 North American squads are sitting at the top of their respective groups, OpTic Gaming has not quite been able to replicate the success of its regional rivals with a 4-8 record at the end of Day 3. The team had an opportunity to reverse its fortunes and make a move up the standings with series against 2 other somewhat struggling squads in Team Serenity and Team Secret. However, the team’s 4 matches on the day netted it just 1 win in a series of inconsistent and somewhat frustrating performances. At 4-8, the team is currently sitting in the last place position in the Group B standings, and runs the risk of being eliminated if it can’t produce wins on the final day of hte Group Stage. The good news for the squad is that its fate remains in its own hands in terms of its Day 4 schedule, as OpTic Gaming is set to face the 2 squads directly above it in the standings in paiN Gaming (5-7) and Vici Gaming (5-7).
paiN Gaming (2-2) (5-7): [Draw vs Vici Gaming, Draw vs Virtus.pro]:
PaiN Gaming entered Day 3 in a 3 way tie for 7th place, and by the end of its schedule on the penultimate day of the Group Stage, the South American squad has managed to move itself up 1 spot into a 3 way tie for 6th in the Group B standings. At first glance, that move doesn’t seem all that impressive, as the squad is still just 1 win ahead of the last place team in the group and still is still at risk for elimination. However, the team’s 2-2 record on Day 3 becemes significantly more impressive when one considers the teams that it had to play against. PaiN Gaming began its day with a 1-1 split against a team 2 spots above it in the standings in the form of Vici Gaming, and then followed that up with a 1-1 split against Virtus.pro, one of the leading teams in Group B as a whole. Those 2 wins are a crucial boon for paiN Gaming heading into the final day of the Group Stage, especially considering the fact that the team still has 2 series left to play on Day 4. The team’s schedule for Day 4 will give it probably its best chance as securing more wins, as the team will play both the team ranked below it in the standings in OpTic Gaming (4-8), and one of the teams with which it is currently tied in Team Serenity (5-7).
Team Secret (2-0) (6-6): [Win vs OpTic Gaming]:
At 4-6, Team Secret’s performance during the Group Stage had been less than ideal to say the least, but the European squad had an opportunity to turn things around with its 1 series on Day 3. The team had the good fortune of playing another one of the struggling teams in Group B in OpTic Gaming, and Team Secret was able to take advantage of the favorable match up by securing a 2-0 victory. The team looked dominant against its North American opponents, limiting OpTic Gaming to just 25 kills in 2 matches and holding the net worth lead across the entirety of the series. The blowout victories improved the team’s record to 6-6, and has Team Secret sitting in the top half of the Group B standings in 4th place overall. Unfortunately for the team, that position is far from secure heading into Day 4, as the team will have 2 tough match ups to finish its Group Stage run. The European squad will have to show that it can carry over its momentum from its Day 3 win if it wants to maintain its hold on a spot in the top half of the standings and secure a place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. Team Secret will begin its Day 4 schedule against TNC Predator (7-7), before ending with a match up against Newbee (6-8).
Team Serenity (2-2) (5-7): [Draw vs OpTic Gaming, Draw vs TNC Predator]:
After the team’s impressive start to the Group Stage, it was somewhat expected for Team Serenity to regress back towards the middle of the pack in the Group B standings. However, the Chinese squad has managed to make that regression rather gracefully after 3 days of action in Vancouver, putting together a 2-2 record on Day 3 that has it sitting in a 3 way tie for 6th place overall. For a team that many considered one of the weakest in the field, the fact that Team Serenity is in a position to potentially compete for a place in the top half of the standings is a monumental achievement. With 2 series left to play in its Group Stage schedule, Day 4 will present Team Serenity with a very high pressure scenario that could leave it anywhere from the top half of the standings to the elimination position in Group B. The team will begin its day with a rought match up against VGJ.Storm (10-2) before closing out its Group Stage matches against South American squad paiN Gaming (5-7).
TNC Predator (1-3) (7-7): [Loss vs VGJ.Storm, Draw vs Team Serenity]:
TNC Predator’s Day 3 performance was not quite as strong as the display that the Southeast Asian squad put on the day before, but things are still looking pretty good for the squad heading into Day 4. The team’s 1-3 performance on Day 3 has its overall record sitting at 7-7, which is still good enough to put TNC Predator in the 3rd place position in the group. Unfortunately, that mark left it just 2 wins short of locking down a spot in the top half of the standings and a guaranteed place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. The good news is that the team will have a shot at earning those final needed wins on Day 4 of the Group Stage, though the downside is that said opportunity will be the last one for the squad barring tiebreaker scenarios. A win for TNC Predator will lock it into a top 4 position, while a draw of loss will leave the door open for a slide down the standings and potential tiebreaker matches. The Southeast Asian squad’s opponent in this final, decisive series will be European squad Team Secret (6-6) in the first series of Day 4.
VGJ.Storm (3-1) (10-2): [Win vs TNC Predator, Draw vs Newbee]:
If anyone could have truly and honestly predicted that VGJ.Storm would be the first team in Group B to secure a guaranteed place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event at TI8, then their prophetic powers far surpass mine. The North American squad certainly entered the event as a legitimate threat, but with squads like Virtus.pro, Team Seceret, and Newbee in the group it seemed unlikely that VGJ.Storm would come out on top. At the end of Day 3, VGJ.Storm has out performed all of its group mates by a rather wide margin, putting together dominant performances with incredibly few inconsistencies or weaknesses. The squad’s Day 3 performance saw it lay low the 2nd place squad in the group in TNC Predator, and surrendered just its second loss of the Group Stage with a 1-1 split against Newbee. The team’s play has been simply incredible so far, and with its place in the Upper Bracket now secure, the team no longer has to deal with the pressure of the Group B standings heading into Day 4. The lack of pressure doesn’t mean that the team will be taking things easy though, as the team’s final 2 series could still have a significant impact on the positions of the other squads in Group B. VGJ.Storm will face both Team Serenity (5-7) and Virtus.pro (8-4) on the final day of the Group Stage.
Vici Gaming (1-1) (5-7): [Draw vs paiN Gaming]:
Day 3 wasn’t going to bring about a massive change to Vici Gaming’s position in the Group B standings, as the Chinese squad had just 1 series on its schedule. Luckily for Vici Gaming, that series came against paiN Gaming, one of the teams with the worst record in the group. After the squad’s impressive performance on Day 2, this single series presented a big opportunity for the team to keep its momentum going and build up steam heading into the final day of the Group Stage. While Vici Gaming wasn’t able to pull out a series victory, it did secure a 1-1 split that keeps its hopes alive in terms of earning a place in the top half of the Group B standings. Since the squad’s Day 3 schedule was so short, Vici Gaming will play 2 series on Day 4 of the Group Stage, though it will need 3 or more wins to be guaranteed at least an elimination tiebreaker. The Chinese squad’s opponents in its Day 4 series will represent opposite sides of the Group B standings, as Vici Gaming will be playing against Virtus.pro (8-4) and OpTic Gaming (4-8) in its final Group Stage series.
Virtus.pro (3-1) (8-4): [Win vs Newbee, Draw vs paiN Gaming]:
Day 3 ended up going rather well for Virtus.pro, as the CIS squad put together a 3-1 record across its 2 series and moved into 2nd place in the Group B standings. The squad began its day with an impressive 2-0 win over Newbee, but stumbled a bit against paiN Gaming and came away with a 1-1 split. That split left the squad just short of the mark to lock in a spot in the top half of the standings, as VP’s 8-4 record isn’t enough to guarantee itself a place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event just yet. The squad will need 1 more win to hit that point though, and VP has the benefit of 2 series on Day 4 to earn that final victory. While the squad has not quite been the unstoppable juggernaut that we saw on the Pro Circuit this season, it has put together one of the strongest records both in Group B and in the Group Stage as a whole, and there is little reason to believe that it won’t be able to secure at least 1 win tomorrow. That being said, its opponents will likely love to play the role of spoiler in VP’s TI8 story, as the CIS squad will face both Vici Gaming (5-7) and VGJ.Storm (10-2) on Day 4.
Day 4 Notable Matches
With Day 4 representing the final day and the final series for the teams in the field at TI8, just about every match remaining takes on an incredible level of importance. For the previous days, we’ve looked at a wider range of matches in terms of what has been put on this list and deemed “notable”. Considering the fact that fewer matches are scheduled to be played on Day 4 (barring any tiebreaker matches), we’ll narrow down our list to just a handful of matches that will directly affect a team moving over or under a major threshold (i.e. Upper/Lower Bracket Divide or Elimination Divide).
Group B Series 8: Vici Gaming (5-7) vs Virtus.pro (8-4)
This match up between Vici Gaming and Virtus.pro will be the first of 2 series for both teams on the final day of play in the Group Stage, though 1 of the squads could effectively finish its day depending on its performance here. Virtus.pro currently sits at 8-4 and is 2nd in the Group B standings, and needs just 1 more win to guarantee itself at least a tiebreaker for a spot in the top half of the standings and a place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. On the other hand, Vici Gaming sits near the bottom of the standings, and needs as many wins as possible to avoid being caught up in an elimination scenario. While the teams may be on opposite sides of the standings, both squads will be hoping to close out the Group Stage on a high note and build up momentum heading into their final series of Day 4.
Group A Series 9: PSG.LGD (9-5) vs Mineski (5-9)
Both of these teams will be playing their only series of Day 4, as well as their last series of the Group Stage here, and the stakes are somewhat different for them. On one side of the match up, Mineski is already locked into a position in the lower half of the Group A standings and will advance to the Lower Bracket of the Main Event regardless of how this series pans out. However, the Southeast Asian squad’s opponent has a little bit more to play for, as PSG.LGD needs a win or a draw in order to lock in a spot in the top half of the standings and a place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. At first glance, it would appear that Mineski doesn’t have a whole lot to play for in this series, but the opportunity to deny PSG.LGD an Upper Bracket position could serve as significant motivation for the team. Making sure that PSG.LGD, a squad that entered TI8 as one of the favorites to contend for the Aegis of Champions, does not have the luxury of double elimination in the Main Event could significantly improve Mineski’s chances at advancing deeper into the Bracket. With that said, both squads have something to play for as they close out their Group Stage runs.
Group A Series 9: OG (8-6) vs Winstrike Team (3-11)
While Winstrike Team has been entertaining to watch so far over the first 3 days of the Group Stage, their matches haven’t exactly had the biggest impact on the standings, with the team earning just 3 wins overall. Despite that, the CIS squad still has a chance to survive the Group Stage and earn itself a spot in the Main Event depending on how its sole series on Day 4 pans out. If the squad earns a 1-1 split in this series, then it would trigger a tiebreaker scenario with Invictus Gaming that would force it into 1 extra match to determine which team is eliminated in Group A. Should Winstrike Team earn a 2-0 win against OG, then the tiebreaker would be avoided altogether and Winstrike Team would advance to the Main Event while eliminating Invictus Gaming. Meanwhile, OG is looking to secure itself a place in the top half of the Group A standings and earn a place in the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. A 1-1 split in this series would guarantee the team at least a tiebreaker with 1 or more other squads, while a 2-0 win would put the European squad into the Upper Bracket without any extra matches. As this is the last series of the Group Stage scheduled for both teams, this will be the last chance for the squads to make one final move to improve their standings in Group A.