TI8 Fantasy Guide: card tips and predictions

TI8 Fantasy Guide: card tips and predictions

Maximize your points in The International 8 Fantasy League by using the best cards in each role. Matchups, performance, and card bonuses have a huge impact on the score.

In this guide, we will explain all the factors to consider when selecting a player for the Fantasy League, and the best bonuses for each position. Finally, I will also present my personal predictions on the best choices for each day.

Number of games played

The chances of a player with only two matches in a particular day to outscore one with three are nearly zero. Independently from their general performance and the bonuses on your card, always avoid any player from teams that have fewer games.

In the table below, I showed all the teams that will play three games during each day of the Group Stage (two games on the last day) - All matches are Bo2.

1st Day 2nd Day 3rd Day 4th Day
Team Games Team Games Team Games Team Games
IG 3 Pain Gaming 3 IG 3 Pain Gaming 2
PSG.LGD 3 VG 3 Liquid 3 VG 2
EG 3 Newbee 3 Fnatic 3 Secret 2
Liquid 3 Secret 3 OG 3 VP 2
Mineski 3 TNC 3 VGJ.T 3 Optic 2
VGJ.T 3 Optic 3 Winstrike 3 Serenity 2
VGJ.S 2

Game difficulty and length

Longer games reward more points, so it is mandatory to examine each individual matchup, and avoid potentially fast pubstomps.

Usually, balanced games last longer, thus the cores will have the chance to get more kills, creeps, and GPM, while the supports will take part in more ganks, and obtain a higher score on runes and warding.

Card rarity and stat bonuses 

If you are uncertain about the best pick among players on the same position and with a similar performance, take into consideration the rarity of a card, and if its bonuses fit the strength points of a particular player.

For example, Miracle- is commonly considered as one of the best choices, but a Moon’s card with a +25% bonus on kills might profit you more points because the player is well-known for his capability to score several kills per game.

 Image: Valve

Image: Valve

Best stats for each position

Cores

  • Midder: kills, team fights, GPM, creep score, and runes grabbed.

The mid laners participate in more fights during the game, potentially getting more kills. Their farm priority is slightly behind the main carry, and most of them tend to maintain the control of the runes in the early game and when ganking.

  • Carry: GPM, creep score, and kills.

We prioritize the farm stats as the carries join fewer battles until they buy the required items. Their kill score goes up in the late game as they become fight-ready.

Offlane

  • Offlane: team fights, deaths, stuns, and runes grabbed.

Even in the actual dual lane meta, the off lane is still a favorite placement for heroes with team fight skills, therefore we will prioritize this aspect. A bonus on the death score is also useful because sometimes they will have very hard lanes, and the initiators might be the first heroes to engage (and die) in ganks and team fights.

In the offlane there is more variety than in the past, but I still suggest betting on the stun stat as in most games there will be a disabler. Finally, the offlaner will try to pick the bot rune as much as possible, thus the importance of this bonus.

Supports

  • Position 5: wards placed, wards placed, and then wards placed.

The poor position 5 will reward you with lots of points from placing wards. This prediction is never wrong.

  • Position 4: team fights, stuns, and wards placed.

Gankers and roamers usually fill this position. They will participate in many fights while helping the lanes. Later on they might transition in semi-carries, but will also help the position 5 with the support duties.

All Predictions

Group Stage

Day 1 matchups - 15/08

  • Liquid: 8/10.

Opponents: Fnatic, OG, and PSG.LGD.

These matchups look solid enough for Liquid, but they might still end some games in 20-30 minutes because...they are Liquid!

  • VGJ.Thunder: 7/10.

Opponents: EG, PSG.LGD, and Fnatic.

A few matches might be a little hard for VGJ.Thunder, but I expect long games mostly.

  • Mineski: 9/10.

Opponents: IG, Winstrike, and EG.

All the matches should be fair and balanced, so most of them will last over 30 minutes.

  • PSG.LGD: 8/10.

Opponents: Liquid, VGJ.Thunder, and OG.

PSG.LGD are a really solid team that might win all the games, but I am uncertain about the confrontation against Liquid.

  • IG: 6/10.

Opponents: Mineski, EG, and Winstrike.

Very hard matchups, so I predict they won’t have great results.

  • EG: 7/10.

Opponents: VGJ.Thunder, IG, and Fnatic.

The first game should be balanced, the second easy enough, while the Fnatic game will depend on how EE approaches the match.

Results

According to the matchup score, get a player each from Mineski, Liquid, and PSG.LGD. It is desirable to not put all your eggs in one basket, so we will add two more teams: EG and VGJ.Thunder. We will select a player from each team in our first fantasy day, and Mineski has the priority on the core pick because they have the highest matchup score.

 Group Stage day 1 cards.

Group Stage day 1 cards.

Day 1 players - 15/08

  • Cores: Miracle- and Mushi.

Miracle-. Not deploying Miracle- is always a huge risk. His lifetime performance and the success at the past TI proved that he is one of the top scorers. Considering Liquid’s matchups on day 1, I believe their games will last long enough, and that he will maximize GPM, creep score, and kills.

Mushi. Most people might prefer Somnus丶M, SumaiL, or Moon, but I think that Mushi is a better choice. Usually, he gets a solid GPM and creep score, and I expect long games in which he will have the space and time to farm.

  • Offlaner: Yang.

It is better to not concentrate all your resources and hopes on a few teams, so I suggest picking an offlaner from the remaining three: VGJ.Thunder, EG, and PSG.LGD. I believe only MinD_ContRoL and IceIceIce can outscore Yang, while S4, Srf, and Chalice got no chance of keeping up with him due to their matchup score.

We already have both a Liquid and Mineski player, so my choice goes on Yang. But, if you have a golden IceIceIce with good percentages, feel free to utilize it and replace Mushi with Somnus丶M or SumaiL.

  • Supports: Fy and Cr1t-.

Fy. A great player with amazing skills, and we can easily consider him as one of the best supports in the Dota 2 pro scene. If you have his card with a bonus on wards, you will reap a lot of points even during a bad game.

Cr1t. I recommend picking a player from the fifth team: EG. Both Cr1t- and Fly are solid options, and personally I went for the former because I got a gold card.

Day 2 matchups - 15/08

  • PaiN Gaming: 7/10.

Opponents: TNC, Secret, and VGJ.Storm.

Balanced fights mostly, so I doubt any of the matches will be a total pubstomp. PaiN Gaming are still considered as one of the underdogs at this TI, and therefore a higher matchup score can’t be justified.

  • Vici Gaming: 6/10.

Opponents: Newbee, Team Serenity, and Secret.

Newbee and Secret will be challenging opponents, and the games should have a long duration. The game versus Team Serenity won’t be as difficult. After their poor performance on day 1, they became an unreliable team to bet on, so I gave them a low matchup score.

  • Newbee: 8/10.

Opponents: VG, Optic, and Team Serenity.

Newbee are a very solid team that are not known for ending matches too fast. Their opponents are balanced and long games are to be expected. Considering also the excellent results on the first day, they are undeniably one of the best teams for your fantasy league today.

  • Team Secret: 6/10.

Opponents:VP, paiN Gaming, and VG.

These matches are fair and I predict most of them to last over 30 minutes. But, Team Secret’s inconsistency during day 1 is a big dilemma, so I suggest staying away from them.  

  • TNC Predator: 6/10.

Opponents: paiN, VP, and OpTic.

The matchups range from extremely hard to completely balanced. Everything depends on how TNC approaches these matches, so due to the unpredictability a higher score can’t be justified.

  • OpTic Gaming: 7/10.

Opponents: VGJ.S, Newbee, and TNC.

The first game should be easy enough, the second hard, while the TNC one is perfectly balanced. Their performance during the first day wasn’t satisfactory, but they were against one of the best Dota 2 teams of the moment: VP. I expect more points from them today as they have already played against the favored team in their group.

Results

According to the matchup score, get a player each from Newbee, PaiN, and OpTic. Usually, I prefer to not bet all on a few teams, but the remaining ones are unstable, while Newbee seems to be very solid. Therefore, we will go with three players from Newbee, and pick only one each from PaiN and OpTic.

 Group Stage day 2 cards.

Group Stage day 2 cards.

Day 2 players - 16/08

  • Cores: w33 and Sccc.

w33. He is known for his high-skill plays, and it is safe to assume that he will be a top fantasy scorer in each game won by paiN. The strategy of the team is based around him, so they will do their best to secure his farm and kills. His performance on the first day further proves why you need him in your team.

Sccc. Initially, I wanted to deploy paparazi, but Sccc awesome conduct on day 1 and VG overall game play propelled him to the front line. Also, I have a good card for him.

He is the safer bet, but paparazi is a valid choice too as he might collect a monstrous amount of points in GPM and creep score, especially considering he is one of the top farmers in the Dota 2 scene. A card with good bonuses on these two traits might land you more points than a standard Sccc one.

  • Offlaner: kpii.

My first option was Fata, but he didn’t play well during day 1, while kpii and Newbee proved their worth. You might think that Sam_H is a better choice in this position, and he is the top scorer in his team, but I prefer kpii because he is more stable and has a better history.

  • Supports: kaka and PPD.

Kaka. He surprises everybody for the amount of kills he can get even when playing as a support. If the matches go as expected, he should acquire many kills for a support, and thus having him is critical to obtain lots of points.

PPD. We want also a player from OpTic in our draft, and PPD is the position 5. He had a bad score on day 1, but do not forget that OpTic fought only one match, and against the favored team of the tournament: VP.

Day 3 matchups - 16/08

  • Liquid: 7/10.

Opponents: Mineski, Winstrike, and EG.

Liquid will have some hard matchups as EG is the current leader of the group (and they want to maintain the crown) while Mineski will try to earn a place in the upper seed. The game against Winstrike might end early and thus bring less points.

  • Fnatic: 9/10.

Opponents: OG, LGD, and Winstrike.

Fnatic is the dark horse of the tournament. They displayed a remarkable performance so far, and I expect them to continue playing well also on day 3, while having very long games. As a bonus, the top two average scorers in Fantasy are Abed and pieliedie, therefore the team gets the highest matchup score of the day.

  • IG: 6/10.

Opponents: VGJ.Thunder, OG, and LGD.

All IG’s opponents have something to lose, so they will do their best in today’s matches. The results are very unpredictable, so I advise to bet on another team.

  • OG: 7/10.

Opponents:Fnatic, IG, and VGJ.Thunder.

Losing more games isn’t an option. OG must secure at least a place in the lower bracket, and they can’t just rely on Winstrike’s mistakes, so today I think they will play better games.

  • VGJ.Thunder: 6/10.

Opponents: IG, Mineski, and OG.

I expect fair games, but considering VGJ.Thunder’s average fantasy score during the first two days, I suggest staying away from them.

  • Winstrike: 6/10.

Opponents: EG, Liquid, and Fnatic.

The lowest seeded team in the Group A, and to make things worse, they got their hardest matches today.

Results

We will select players from OG, Fnatic, and Liquid. In particular, we will invest more on Fnatic as they have the best matchup score.

 Group Stage day 3 cards.

Group Stage day 3 cards.

Day 3 players - 17/08

  • Cores: Abed and Ana.

Abed. The most obvious choice as he is the highest-scoring fantasy player at TI8. Having him in your draft is a must, especially considering Fnatic’s games of the the day.

Ana. Yesterday, I wanted to deploy Fata, but in the end I went for the safe pick: kpii. Today, Miracle- is your safest choice, but if you want to trust my intuition, and potentially earn more points (or less!), use Ana.

OG must absolutely perform well if they want to continue their adventure at TI, and I believe Ana will do great things today. Unfortunately, even after recycling several gold cards, I only got a normal one for Ana. Hope you had more luck.

  • Offlaner: Universe.

The top scoring offlaner of the tournament and a member of the team with the highest matchup score. He is an indisputable choice.

  • Supports: Pieliedie and KuroKy.

Pieliedie. The top scoring support of the tournament; not picking him would be a huge mistake.

KuroKy. He gained lots of points thanks to his stable performance in the past two days, and to a few tricks up his sleeve (Clinkz anyone). I expect him to surprise us again and score greatly also today.

Post day 3 note: Ana showed a remarkable performance and turned out to be a very nice pick, still Miracle- ended beating him thanks to the prodigious success in the match versus EG, an outcome that nobody expected.

Day 4 matchups - 17/08

  • PaiN Gaming: 9/10.

Opponents: OpTic and Serenity.

This is a do-or-die situation for all the teams involved. PaiN will do their best as losing both matches will certainly see them out of the competition. They also got a chance to play a 3rd tiebreaker match and thus earning you further points.

  • Vici Gaming: 8/10.

Opponents: VP and OpTic.

VG under-performed for the whole tournament, and risk the elimination if they do not step up their game. They will start the day against the second best team in their group, VP - it won't be an easy match. The game versus OpTic might be fair yet challenging as both teams are risking everything. Just like PaiN, also Vici Gaming got a chance for a tiebreaker situation.

  • OpTic Gaming: 5/10.

Opponents: PaiN and VG.

OpTic are at the very bottom of their group, and I don’t think they will have the upper hand versus PaiN and VG, so they get the lowest matchup score of the day.

  • Team Serenity: 5/10.

Opponents: PaiN and VGJ.Storm.

Serenity proved they can play well, but they will have two very hard games. Considering also their instability, I gave them a low matchup score.

  • VGJ.Storm: 6/10.

Opponents: Serenity and VP.

VGJ.Storm already secured a position in the top 2. Some can argue that they might hide their strategies now and not play at their best, but I believe they want to maintain that top spot. Just keep in mind that if they perform too well, Serenity will be pumbstomped.

  • Virtus.pro: 6/10.

Opponents: Vici Gaming and VGJ.Storm.

Very fair matches. I predict great games from VP as they want to achieve the top spot in the group.

  • Team Secret: 7/10.

Opponents: Newbee and TNC.

All the teams involved are risking the lower bracket. They will all fight like there is no tomorrow to avoid this circumstance, and I expect Secret to come on top. In a very rare turn of events, they might also go for a tiebreaker match.

Results

We will select players from PaiN, VG, and Secret, but focus our cards on the first two as they have more chances for a tiebreaker game, and thus to give us extra points.

 Group Stage day 4 cards.

Group Stage day 4 cards.

Day 4 players - 18/08

  • Cores: W33 and Ori.

W33. Two games and a chance for one more, you don’t have to look further. W33 always performed  well, and he should bring as many points as usual also today.

Ori. Vici Gaming are not at their best lately, but I can see them fighting hard, and I expect Ori to show us great games. Noone is a safer bet, but Ori will certainly outscore him if Vici will play a tiebreaker.

  • Offlaner: Fata.

I ended up not picking him on day 2, a mistake I won’t repeat. Secret relies on Fata’s experience and gameplay to gain an edge over the opponents - trust him!.

  • Supports: Fenrir and Kingrd.

Fenrir. He is one of the most renown pro players, and knowing VG, I believe there is a big chance for a tiebreaker. He might gather a lot of points.

Kingrd. I decided to not pick any player from VP and VGJ.Storm, so there are only Secret, VG, and PaiN left. We already have two players from VG, and Secret has low chances to play a tiebreaker, so I suggest Kingrd from PaiN.

All Predictions

Main Event

 Bracket Predictions

Bracket Predictions

All the games played during the main event are Bo3, but the first round of the lower bracket (Bo1) and the Grand Finals (Bo5).

Only the highest scoring two games of a Bo3 count towards a player’s score. For example, if you picked Miracle- and he obtained 10, 19, and 22 fantasy points in a Bo3, only the highest two scores - 19 and 22 - are considered.

Day 1 matchups - 20/08

During the first day of the main event there will be four Bo1 and two Bo3. The Bo3 games will certainly bring more points as two matches per player are guaranteed, so we must pick players from the teams in the upper bracket.

Team Liquid vs OpTic Gaming

  • Liquid: 7/10.

  • OpTic: 6/10.

In the last day of the Group Stage, OpTic activated the God Mode, so I believe they might even win a game against Liquid. But, it is still almost unthinkable for them to claim the Bo3. KuroKy and PPD are two extraordinary captains, and I expect a fantastic show with potentialy long matches.

Liquid are the top team of the Group A with a 13-3 score: they tied three Bo2, but never lost a series. All the players are very experienced, and there is a great synergy between them as they didn’t change a single member in the past year.

OpTic won 5 games on day 4, but mostly against already struggling teams, while they lost their earlier matchups versus established squads.

Virtus.pro vs PSG.LGD

  • VP: 8/10.

  • PSG.LGD: 8/10.

This is what I call "a fight between giants". VP got the second place in their group with a 10-6 record, PSG.LGD the third one with 11-5 - the games will be very close, and potentially give us lots of points.. There is no way to predict who will come out on top as both teams are strong and have the potential to win The International 8.

PSG.LGD won four out of the last five Bo3 against VP - both teams had the current lineup. All their confrontations (but one) ended with a 2-1 score, so it is very likely we will see a third game also today.

Results

According to the matchup score, we will get a player from Liquid, and two players each from VP and PSG.LGD.

 Main Event day 1 cards

Main Event day 1 cards

Day 1 players - 20/08

  • Cores: Noone and Somnus.

Noone. After Miracle-, he is the second top scoring core of the day. I favor him over Miracle- because I believe his Bo3 will feature longer games. I will pick another player from Liquid.

Somnus. He earned the best score as a core during the first day of the Group Stage, and he is a member of the team that should have the longest games. It is absolutely necessary to use his card today.

  • Offlaner: MinD_ContRoL.

He is the offlaner with the highest average score who will play today. A versatile and skilled player able to adapt to different tactics, and who can even surpass his teammates in the scoresheet.

During days 2 and 4 of the Group Stage, I had a very positive feeling towards Fata, and he ended being the top scoring offlaner on both days - today, my intuition tells me to bet on MinD_ContRoL.

Note: If you decide to go with Miracle- over Noone in the core position, feel free to replace MinD_ContRoL with 9pasha.

  • Supports: xNova and Solo.

XNova and Solo will face each other in the same matches. As the positions 5 of their respective teams, they will place a lot of wards. I believe the games will be quite long, so they will amass a huge quantity of points in each match. Regarding their fantasy points average per game, they obtained similar results: xNova tops in wards placed, and Solo in team fight participation.

KuroKy is another possible option, and actually he is a better choice if we look only at the fantasy points earned on average, but keep in mind that Liquid might pumbstomp their opponents, and thus KuroKy won’t have the time to gather enough points.

Note: as you can see, we got no players from OpTic Gaming, and the reason is that I still don’t trust them to achieve great results. They showed us awesome games during the last day of the Group Stage, but I don’t think they will continue with the same performance.

Day 2 matchups - 21/08

VGJ.Storm vs OG

  • VGJ.S: 7/10.

  • OG: 8/10.

VGJ.Storm finished first in their group while OG barely made it to the upper bracket with a 9-7 score. You might think that VGJ.S is unquestionably the stronger team, but OG had a rough start, and stepped up their game only on days 3 and 4, securing a 4th place in the group A.

Also, VGJ.S used two coaches during the drafts - going against Valve’s rules - and they will be punished in this series: they are not allowed to use a coach during the draft and have a level 2 draft time penalty.

OG’s performance improved match after match, and they have considerable chances to claim victory in this Bo3 as VGJ.S might not adapt to every strat that N0tail will throw at them due to the coach ban.

Considering the penalty, it is very hard to predict if these matches will be close or not, so I suggest staying away from VGJ.S. I will just get a player from OG.

Evil Geniuses vs Team Secret

  • EG: 8/10.

  • Secret: 8/10.

A very close matchup that might go either way. Personally, I think EG will have the upper hand, but it isn’t an easy task against one of the finest minds of the Dota 2 history: Puppey.

I expect three games lasting between 30 to 45 minutes - not too long, but also not too fast, thus they will award a fair amount of points. Selecting a player from each team is the safest option to maximize your potential fantasy points.

OpTic Gaming vs Team Serenity

  • OpTic: 6/10.

  • Serenity: 6/10.

Stay away from this match! Both teams reached the fourth day of the Group Stage risking the elimination, and they both displayed a godlike performance which secured a place in the Playoffs.

During the first day of the main event, OpTic have been annihilated by Liquid, while Serenity surprised everyone by beating Fnatic. Independently from their motivations, these games are highly unpredictable, so it is preferable to bet your cards elsewhere.

Virtus.Pro vs Mineski

  • Virtus.Pro: 8/10.

  • Mineski: 8/10.

It will be a very interesting game. VP came to this TI as one of the favored teams, but they unperformed against LGD yesterday. Indeed, I predicted the victory of the Chinese team, but no one expected VP to not deliver in their second game after a very close first match.

Mineski are surely the underdogs in this confrontation, but we can’t overlook they have very experienced players in their team. I expect VP to win the Bo3 with a 2-1 score, and both teams should amass a good amount of points. Having a player from each team in your lineup is a solid choice.

Results

Considering the matchup score and our analysis, we will select a player each from Mineski, EG, VP, Secret, and OG. In this way we won’t put all our eggs in one basket.

 Main event day 2 cards.

Main event day 2 cards.

Day 2 players - 21/08

  • Cores: SumaiL and Ana.

SumaiL. He is simply the best core of the day. I think EG will draft Storm Spirit in one game, and SumaiL will get a massive number of kills while also controlling the runes in a way no one has ever witnessed before. I hope you have a card with bonuses on runes grabbed and kills ;).

Ana. We trusted him on day 3, and he delivered. I believe the rest days greatly helped the team, and N0tail might have found a way to make an even better use of Ana’s skills. I bet OG will rely heavily on him to secure this Bo3, so he will have all the space and support to generate lots of points.

Other options

  • Resolut1on, but I am staying away from VGJ.Storm.

  • Noone, but his performance yesterday was subpar.

  • Ace from Team Secret. He is the most stable pick if you decide to not go with Ana, or if you have a great golden card.
     

  • Offlaner: Fata-.

We want a player from Secret, and Fata- is the best choice. He has never failed us and is the second best scoring offlaner of the day. At the first place, we find Xinq from Serenity, but as explained we won’t bet on their game. If you have a different opinion on that Bo3, then Xinq is a viable option.

  • Supports: ninjaboogie and Solo.

Ninjaboogie. The second top scoring support, and third top scoring player overall, considering this day.

He places wards like there is no tomorrow, and only SVG from VGJ.Storm beats him in wards placed and in the total score as a support. Staying away from VGJ.S emphasizes the importance of having this player in your lineup.

Solo. He had a great performance on day 1, and as we need a player from VP in our fantasy draft, he is one of the best choices. I strongly recommend to not neglect VP completely today as they might accumulate lots of points, but even if they have a poor performance, Solo proved he can earn a solid fantasy score even in the most difficult game.

Note: We picked a support each from Mineski and VP because the games should be very close, so they will have the time to accumulate points; but also because the cores and offlaners from the remaining teams got higher chances to score more points.

TI8 Bracket Predictions before day 3.

Day 3 matchups - 22/08

Yesterday, we achieved a 154.2 total score (without bonuses). It is not the best result out there, but still among the most outstanding ones of the day, and it is mostly caused by our decision to pick players from as many teams as possible. We will continue using this tactic.

VGJ.Storm vs Winstrike

  • VGJ.S: 7/10.

  • Winstrike: 6/10.

In my bracket predictions, I expected Winstrike to succeed, but we must take note that even without a coach and the bonus time penalty, VGJ.S showed a solid performance yesterday.

Winstrike’s captain, Nofear, has been in the pro scene since 2012 while SVG, VGJ.S’s captain, joined it in 2015. It is clear which team got the most experienced leader, and considering that VGJ.S's draft and strategy are somehow predictable, I still think Winstrike will come out on top.

This Bo3 is quite uncertain, but even during yesterday’s defeat VGJ.S got lots of fantasy points, so I will give them a fair matchup score.

Vici Gaming vs Team Secret

  • Vici Gaming: 7/10.

  • Secret: 7/10.

A very close matchup that might go either way. During their last six encounters, VG had the upper hand three times, and drew in their last match during the Group Stage. Personally, I think Vici Gaming will be victorious, but we will witness great games and a fight between two of the best captains in the Dota 2 history: Puppey and Fenrir.

Secret averaged somehow long games so far, and Puppey amassed a good amount of points even during their loss yesterday. I gave both teams an equal matchup score: the Bo3 should be very close, and we might even witness a third game (all Bo3 at TI8 ended with a 2-0 score so far).

Team Liquid vs PSG.LGD

  • Liquid: 7/10.

  • PSG.LGD: 8/10.

This will be the match of the day: two giants fighting with everything they got to reach the upper bracket final. I strongly believe both teams won’t find a harder opponent during the whole tournament. PSG.LGD had the upper hand in 5 out of their last 8 matches against Liquid, but they also tied 1-1 in the TI Group Stage.

There should be three very close games packed with action. I think PSG.LGD will claim victory, so they received a higher matchup score.

OG vs Evil Geniuses

  • OG: 6/10.

  • EG: 9/10.

EG and OG already met each other in this tournament, and EG won 2-0 by annihilating OG in the first battle and securing a close second game.

I think EG will win 2-0 again, and the games will have an average length. I suggest to not pick any player from OG because if also today they will badly lose one of the matches, your fantasy points will be severely hurt.

Considering EG’s current performance, and how well they’ve been playing so far, they get the highest matchup score of the day.

Results

According to our analysis, we must have players from EG and PSG.LGD, and we can pick extra ones from Liquid, Secret, Vici Gaming, and VGJ.Storm. Check out the player picks below to see who we favored and why.

 Main Event day 3 cards.

Main Event day 3 cards.

Day 3 players - 22/08

  • Cores: SumaiL and Somnus`M.

SumaiL. Once again, he is the best core of the day. During the last two matches against OG, he picked Storm Spirit and scored lots of kills in both games. After seeing his performance on day 2, I am sure he is in a great shape, and will earn us many fantasy points.

Somnus`M. The third best core of the day. Miracle- is the second one, but as we believe PSG.LGD will have the upper hand on Liquid, it is logical to choose Somnus`M over Miracle-.

Other options

  • Miracle-, but conforming to my matchup explanation he might not be the best choice.

  • Ana, but I think he will have a very hard time today against EG.

  • Resolut1on, but their game is highly volatile so I suggest staying away from the VGJ.Storm’s cores. Yesterday, he showed us an excellent performance, but I believe it won’t happen again today.

  • You can also pick Arteezy if you are fine having two cores from the same team, or if you prefer him over SumaiL.
     

  • Offlaner: S4.

The best offlaners you can deploy today are Fata, MinD_ContRoL, and S4. The latter is the second best scorer in this position, just 0.15 points on average behind Fata.

MinD_ContRoL earned an impressive fantasy score so far, but he will face a difficult matchup, and when a team loses the offlaners are the ones who get hurt the most. I suggest avoiding him, particularly because PSG.LGD are very experienced, thus won’t allow him to have an easy game.

Fata seems the obvious choice, but again, the offlaner is hurt the most in a defeat, and Fata proved it with his atrocious fantasy score after losing the first game yesterday. According to our analysis, VG will come out on top of Secret, so picking Fata isn’t a good idea.

S4 is our final choice because EG must let him play his game if they want to succeed versus OG. S4 usually follows two strategies: he can be a damage dealing offlaner who will give us many points via kills, or a team fight based offlaner who will initiate most fight, and therefore earn us points via the team fight and stuns scores.

If you have a card with bonuses on both team fights and kills for S4 - as I do - you will get extra points whatever the strategy EG will use.

  • Supports: SVG and Puppey.

SVG. The highest average scorer during the whole tournament, both among cores and supports alike. He proved that he can earn lots of points even when his team is losing, in fact he was the top scoring support yesterday even if VGJ.Storm lost 2-0. He should secure many points also today, and I also have a card with a +25% bonus on observer wards placed ;).

Puppey. For our last pick, we are missing a player from either Liquid, Secret, or Vici Gaming. VG’s supports don't have the best score, so I will avoid them. You must pick one between KuroKy and Puppey.

KuroKy is the highest average scorer between them, but we are yet to see how he performs when his team is losing. Instead, Puppey already demonstrated his value on this aspect yesterday by finishing second in the support fantasy score even if Secret lost against EG.

I still expect Secret to lose today, but VG are an easier opponent than EG, and the Secret vs VG matchup is way easier than the PSG.LGD vs Liquid one.

Day 4 matchups - 23/08

Yesterday, we got an excellent 186.4 total score (without bonuses) which is one of the best results of the day. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about our bracket predictions, but we still have 9 correct predictions out of 14.

Virtus.pro vs OpTic Gaming

  • VP: 9/10.

  • OpTic: 6/10.

VP won 6 out of their 7 matches against OpTic. Their last battle took place at this TI, where VP won 2-0 in one-sided games.

I expect VP to come out on top also today. PPD’s experience might cause troubles, so they could steal a game or even cause a big upset, but considering their record against VP, I would not hold out much hope.

Invest heavily on VP, and stay away from OpTic.

VGJ.S vs Team Secret

  • VGJ.S: 7/10.

  • Secret: 7/10.

A very close matchup that might go either way. Each team won 2 of their last 4 encounters, and VGJ.S won the last one during this TI 2-0. I expect them to claim victory again, but both teams should have the chance to earn many fantasy points as it will be a very close contest.

TBD vs EG

  • TBD (expecting VP): 7/10.

  • EG: 7/10.

The EG vs OG Bo3 showed us that EG have troubles ending games even after leading by far, and I believe VP will be able to take advantage of that. This match can be either amazing or disastrous as if one of the team loses their concentration, it could turn into a pubstomp.

A fight between two teams that were expected to secure a respectable placement in this TI. The battle will be very close, and thus the fair matchup score.

Results

I predict VP beating OpTic, and then having a great game against EG which may end with a second victory. We will select 5 players from VP because I expect them to play more than a Bo3 today.

 Main Event day 4 cards.

Main Event day 4 cards.

Day 4 players - 23/08

Today, there is really nothing to explain. We must deploy the entire VP’s lineup as they are the team with more chances to play two Bo3.

Other options include mixing VP and OpTic players in order to be safe in case the latter ends up prevailing, but I don’t think it will happen.

Day 5 matchups - 24/08

Yesterday, going all in on VP proved to be very lucrative as they won the Bo3 versus OpTic, and had the chance to play an extra battle versus EG, accumulating lots of points. We are sitting at 10 correct predictions out of 17, and this result is great is you consider the domino effect one bad prediction can have on the bracket.

Team Liquid vs Team Secret

  • Liquid: 7/10.

  • Secret: 7/10.

KuroKy and Puppey used to be teammates a long time ago, and now they are excellent captains who assembled a selection of the best Dota 2 players in the world. Both teams are very close in terms of strength, so this game can swing both ways.

It is worth to note that the Liquid’s squad is stable since the past TI, without a single modification in the lineup. These guys became a family, and now they should be able to adapt to any kind of challenge, so I expect them to have the upper hand in this game.

PSG.LGD vs OG

  • PSG.LGD: 8/10.

  • OG: 7/10.

OG are having a great run in this tournament, winning unbeatable matches, coming back from over 15k net worth deficit, and succeeding even with unfavourable drafts. Each time we get that ominous feeling about their next game, they manage to overcome all obstacles.

PSG.LGD were and still are one of the favorites to win this TI. The teams already faced each other earlier this tournament - scoring 1-1 in the Group Stage - so OG showed they can give PSG.LGD a run for the money. I believe the games will be very close, and we might even see a third match, but eventually PSG.LGD should prevail.

TBD vs EG

  • TBD (expecting Liquid): 8/10.

  • EG: 7/10.

The teams competing in this matchup already secured the top 4, which grants 1.7 million dollars, but right now every game has a huge impact on the earnings as the 3rd placed will bring home 2.6 millions.

Fly certainly did his homework and studied both Liquid and Secret anticipating their match against any of them. No matter which team they will fight against, the encounter will be unequivocally close, hence the decent matchup score.

Results

I believe Liquid have the highest chance of playing another Bo3 today, therefore we will invest heavily on them.

 Main Event day 5 cards.

Main Event day 5 cards.

Day 5 players - 24/08

Similarly to yesterday, to maximize our points we must have 5 players from the team that should play two Bo3: Team Liquid.

To be on the safe side, you might want to include some player from Secret in your draft in case they end up triumphing today.

Day 6 matchups - 25/08

TI8 is ending, and we are very proud of what we achieved so far. 11 correct bracket predictions (not a perfect score, but still among the best), and we are acing the fantasy card predictions.

It is important to note that today there is a final Bo5 game, and only the highest scoring three games of a Bo5 count towards a player’s score, just like highest two games count for Bo3 matchups.

EG vs PSG.LGD

  • EG: 7/10.

  • PSG.LGD: 7/10.

Just as we predicted, PSG.LGD were very close to claim victory in the upper bracket finals, but a last-minute fluke caused OG to bounce back and secure the final game.

EG got knocked down into the lower bracket by OG, but then have been able to defeat one of the tournament’s favorites: Team Liquid.

I believe both teams are ready to give their best today, and are looking to advance in the Grand Finals in order to obtain revenge against OG. Most probably, the squad with the best draft will win the Bo3, so we will enjoy a battle of wits between two legendary captains: Fly and fy.

EG already fought versus PSG.LGD once in this tournament, beating them 2 to 0. After the fail versus OG yesterday, I doubt PSG.LGD will be in a state of total concentration, so I guess EG might succeed again. Still, due to their relatively close strengths, I gave both teams the same matchup score.

TBD vs OG

  • TBD (expecting EG): 7/10.

  • OG: 8/10.

After finishing 4th in their group, just one position away from the lower bracket, OG managed to win against every team in the upper bracket and to reach the Grand Finals. They are the team that sent both EG and PSG.LGD in the lower bracket.

Independently from their opponent, I am sure we will see one of the greatest TI finals ever, and I am expecting at least four games.

Results

I believe EG will succeed versus PSG.LGD, so we will deploy their entire lineup.

 Main Event day 6 cards.

Main Event day 6 cards.

Day 6 players - 24/08

Similarly to the past days, to maximize our points we must have 5 players from the team that should play both the Bo3 and the Bo5: EG.

Safe bets:

  • A mix of players from EG and PSG.LGD, so you will have at least 2 cards earning points in the Grand Finals.
     

  • Two players from EG or LGD (depending on who you believe will win), and the remaining players from OG (we suggest Ana, Ceb, and N0Tail). Depending on the outcome of both matchups, it is safe to assume that the players from OG (3 games) might even outscore some of the others (5 games).
     

  • All players from OG. They have 3 games at their disposal to amass points, but if for some reasons they end up being annihilated, the points gathered won’t be many.

 

Header image: Valve