With invites to The International at stake along with money and prestige, expect teams to bring their A class game. In this article, we will be going over the exact dates of the tourney, the prize pools, the crews participating, and my betting predictions for top ten. Your time is valuable, so without further ado, let’s get started!
We should discuss the exact dates of the various stages on the Kiev major. The qualifiers were held in early March, but the group stages start on the twenty-fourth of April. They will span two days and will consist of a four round swiss system bracket to determine the playoff squads. The Swiss system is growing in popularity in eSports, with most tournaments in a popular game called Counter Strike: Global Offensive.
The way the swiss system works is that it pairs losing teams against other losing guys and winning teams against other winning guys. The goal of this is to try to prevent a playoff squad to draw three extremely good opponents and be knocked out in the groups, and this system has done its job quite well. After the group stages, there is an off day, which is followed by the playoffs. The playoffs are also known as the main event.
The main event starts on the twenty-seventh of April and will end after four days of grueling competition. The main event is a single elimination bracket that features a best of three for every match other than the final, which will consist of a best of five. The tournament will take place in Kiev, which is fairly obvious considering that its name. The major is sponsored by Valve itself and will take place in the National Palace of Arts, which is a huge honor.
The prize pool for the high stakes major is a whopping three million dollars. As always, Valve sponsored majors feature an ever increasing prize pool. The first place winner will take home a cool million dollars ($1,000,000), which is a nice chunk of change indeed. The second place team won’t be terribly disappointed with their share, which amounts to a nice five hundred thousand US dollars ($500,000). The losers of the semi finals will have to settle for a quarter million dollars ($250,000) each, which is not a bad payday. The losers of the quarter finals will have to settle for one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars ($125,000) apiece. Those who got knocked out in the group stages will also receive a prize of about sixty two and a half big ones. That’s right, they will receive $62,500 simply for participating!
There are a total of sixteen teams participating in the major, as you can probably tell by the prize pool distribution. Eight crews received a direct invite while the other eight had to fight through the aforementioned qualifiers to get through. The directly invited guys are Wings Gaming, OG, Mousesports, Liquid, VGJ, Newbee, Thunderbirds, and Evil Geniuses. These squads are known as good crews and were invited because of the past and recent accomplishments.
The qualifiers allotted one spot for North America, as well as one spot for South America. Europe got a spot, as did the CIS region. China got two spots, and so did Southeast Asia. The teams that made it through without an invite are Digitas Chaos, SG e-sports, Secret, Virtus.Pro, iG Vitality, Invictus Gaming, Faceless, and TNC Pro Team. The order of the squads are the same as the order in which I listed the regions.
Some facts about a few of the participants I mentioned are quite interesting. For example, iG Vitality is actually the sister team of Invictus Gaming, which means that IG took both spots in the Chinese division. Mousesports actually bought a roster which qualified for the major in an attempt to gain relevance in the Dota 2 scene. Due to the inclusion of South America, SG e-sports gets to compete on a magnified stage. I’ll finish off this article my ranking my top ten heading into the competition in the next paragraph.
Kiev Major Betting Predictions
In my tenth spot, I have Wings Gaming. This is almost entirely due to their reputation and accomplishments, as they have looked quite flat lately, only managing to win five matches since the beginning of March, while losing ten and drawing seven in the same time frame. They underperformed at the DAC 2017, and they have to step up their game to have a chance in Ukraine. You can never count out this legendary crew however, so keep an eye out for them.
At number nine, iG Vitality are trying to challenge their brother crew of Invictus Gaming. This Chinese squad lead by Super have a good chance to make the playoffs but will have to have a good group stage to do so.
At number eight, I think Team Faceless will make a push for the playoffs. This roster from Singapore is probably the best in Southeast Asia, and is a force to beware of. Perhaps a dark horse with less than a hundred thousand dollars in career earnings, this roster has shown promise. Lead by iceiceice, they are a decent squad who will give anyone a good match.
Coming in at seventh we have Digital Chaos. The American crew has three point eight million dollars to their name in terms of career earnings, and are not a roster to scoff at. They are a contender, but not a favorite. Look for them to make the playoffs but be knocked off in the first round.
At sixth, I have Team Liquid. They are on a downtrend, but can always be relied upon to turn in a solid performance. Similar to Digitas Chaos, I have them making the playoffs but losing in the first round.
In the fifth spot, I have Evil Geniuses. The champions of The International 5, their embarrassing exit at the DAC 2017 has forced me to remove them from my top three. They are a dangerous roster, however and have a good chance at threatening to make the semifinals or even the finals.
The ever popular Chinese crew of Newbee takes the fourth spot in my rankings. With over seven million dollars in career earnings, the roster is an experienced group that knows what they are doing. They have been rock solid lately and will turn in a good showing at Kiev.
Squeaking into my top three is Virtus.Pro. This Russian crew has been impressive lately and is on a thirteen game win streak. One of the longest tenured rosters out there, they have the experience and the momentum behind them. I think they will be the surprise winners of this whole thing but should at least make the semifinals.
Invictus Gaming is second to only a dominant team that I will discuss later. The crew has been solid and has looked good lately. However, I think they will be upset by Virtus.Pro in the semifinals. You cannot leave this dominant crew outside any respectable top two, however.
The clear number one squad is OG. Simply put, when they are on their A-game, no one can touch them. They are a great roster, and I think they make the finals. They will probably face either Invictus Gaming or Virtus.Pro, and win in a blowout or lose a close 3-2 series.
Thanks for reading my article on the Kiev major. I hope you enjoyed this preview and betting tips of the tournament. Make sure to tune in on Twitch or in person to watch the spectacle. I will see you in my future articles, but bye for now! Good luck!