Hard to believe I'm back here after so long. Everything looks so limited and 4:3, but at least it's nostalgically endearing.
With The International 5's qualifier just ending, I suppose this should be an apt time to do a little review/look back of it. After all, I was casting the EU and AM qualifier up until the near end. It's somewhat of a shame I didn't manage to stay up until the absolute finish, but with having held out for 16+ hours and having work early in the morning, it was impossible for me.
Because of this, I'm not going to talk about the open qualifiers. I've already expressed my feelings at length in my casts, and I obviously can't talk about the games I haven't personally watched. So, this entire piece is going to be for the main qualifier instead. Overall, the impression is quite positive. Though I have a flawless rate in invite prediction, my qualifier predictions didn't match up. So let's look at those at length, from most least correct to most correct.
* EU Qualifier
- Expected: Alliance - Na'vi - NiP - LC
- Actuality: Na'vi - Vega - 4ASC - NiP
I've to say these results didn't even occur to me. Sure, I expected Na'vi to get top 2, but I put Alliance at the first spot. As it turns out, it's TI season again, and so here's Dendi and XBOCT. Alliance was just completely destroyed. They had 0 chance at the end of the day, and so nothing else could be said. Perhaps their strength really was too patch dependant. Loda throwing like mad certainly didn't help. LC also disappointed greatly, but their performance is mostly potential, so it doesn't strike me as that surprising. Vega and 4ASC however were completely off my radar, and I admit my shortcomings regarding EU in general.
* NA Qualifier:
- Expected: Mouz - CoL - NAR - NoT
- Actuality: CoL - NAR - Mouz - Void Boys
This one was mostly because of Black^ crashing out like mad. He was the reason VG lost DAC, sure, but I certainly didn't expect a 3rd place finish. NoT also crashed out completely, catching me off guard. The rest is mostly just placing issues. CoL was the obvious 2nd place, but I never expected them to be so dominant. They brought their A game, and boy am I impressed. I don't know if they'll show it during TI5, but at least there's room for cautious optimism.
* CN Qualifier
- Expected: VGP - EHome - CDEC - EP
- Actuality: EHome - CDEC - EP - Wings
You might look at this and ask why I have VGP so high up? Here's the truth: I just have a tonne of hope in this team. I expect them to do great things comes next year, but I suppose Infi was right in saying that their time just isn't now. You may say that this is 'heart over head' , and you're probably right. All I know is there's really nothing else I can say, since the rest turns out expected.
* SEA Qualifier
- Expected: MVP.Hot6 - MVP.Phoenix - Rave - TnC
- Actuality: MVP.Hot6 - MVP.Phoenix - Rave - TnC
There you go, 100% in picking and placing. As it turns out I know my SEA Dota quite well. I actually have doubt that Rave will even make top 3, but they surpassed my expectations. If you find that questionable, yes I indeed have that much doubt in them. Still at the end of the day that's where we stand. and I really have very little input. The Koreans have been super strong for a while now, and Rave's miracle run at DAC didn't change that standing one bit.
So with TI5 2 months away, I'm going to wait for at least a little bit to place my predictions. With how the patch's working out, it's important to do more observing. Let's just see how well time will tell.