The Summit tournament is always a fun experience for both players and fans. A relaxed tournament with players, community members and pros casting games brings a wealth of knowledge for the casual viewer. This is valuable preceding The International in order to understand not only the current meta but also the teams power rankings. The Summit 9, which ran from July 25 to July 29 featured 5 of the 6 teams that will attend The International. So viewers were able to witness what a summer of boot camps has done for various teams.
The Summit chiefly features teams from the Americas, including the most promising North American team, Evil Geniuses. They looked dominant in the group stage winning 7 of their 10 matches, earning them a winners bracket spot. Additionally, they managed to win the main stage event in stellar fashion by not dropping a single game. There has been much speculation during the run up to The International that EG’s star mid player Syed “Suma1l” Hassan would not perform to the standards he has been held to. Those criticisms have been silenced following his tournament performance though, as he seems in peak form. Furthermore their stellar play at The Summit looks promising going into The International and could secure EG as the first organization to win two Internationals.
VGJ.Storm secured the second winners bracket spot also winning 7 of their 10 games. While they are a relatively new team, their players are seasoned veterans. In fact their mid player, Yawar “YawaR” Hassan, is Suma1l’s brother, and has been a consistent and reliable core for the team. Additionally, their carry player, Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok, has been consistently solid for years on CIS teams and only recently has made the move to other regions. Unfortunately though, their group stage success could not be mirrored on the main stage as they did not win a single game. Despite that fact they show promise of being a threat to weaker teams at The International allowing them to progress further than many fans may expect them to.
OpTic, another North American team, had a more disappointing group stage performance than expected. Former EG player and International winner Peter “PPD” Dager has long been coveted as one of the best captains and drafters in North America. However, he was unable to bring that same success to his new team despite their strong roster dropping 2 games to Fnatic in a main stage elimination series. Despite their tournament performance, they still demonstrated more than adequate strategy and team play which is a positive sign moving forward. Furthermore, PPD has veteran experience in not only himself but also his supporting cast to be un-phased at the more important International.
Similar to OpTic, Fnatic performed poorly in the group stages, but proved they are not a force to be reckoned with further in the tournament. Although their carry player, Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao, makes it appear as though he cannot play well in a tournament setting, it feels as though that style works very well for his team. Furthermore, their team has a solid supporting cast in former EG offlaner Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora and Phillipino support player Djardel Jicko B. “DJ” Mampusti who turn the team into a four core lineup. Their style allows players besides EternaLEnVy, such as DJ and UNiVeRsE, subsequently allowing EternaLEnVy to catch up. This play style allowed them to dominate the main stage, not dropping a single game leading up to their grand finals appearance against EG.
And the final team attending The International is paiN Gaming, a South American team from Brazil featuring Romanian mid player, Aliwi “w33” Omar. The South American scene has been plagued by match fixing scandals for some time which have resulted in competitive bans. Last year at The International 7 however South America made its first appearance with the Peruvian team Infamous. And although they lost in the losers bracket first round after a poor group stage performance they demonstrated the fact that the South American scene was on the rise. paIN Gaming shows promise going into the tournament managing to beat weaker teams in the group stages and putting up a fight against the bigger fish like EG.
“From Our Haus to Yours”