After 4 days of grueling group stage matches, we’ve decided who fights from the advantageous upper bracket, who tries to survive from the dangerous lower bracket, and who got theirs hopes and dreams dashed from joining the main event in the biggest DotA event of the year, The International 2017! In a couple of hours from now, we get to witness the start of the main event and the year that was, starting from the day after The International 2016, is all about this moment. Teams from all over the world have spent long hours to train and be the best for that shot at being called The International Grand Champions, of course it helps that winning nets you a cool 10.4 million Dollars.

While we have our favorites and have already locked in our predictions, each match could go easily turn upside down and our brackets could end up in shambles event after the first day. Check out the schedule of matches for the first day of The International 2017:

(Image courtesy of Wykrhm Reddy)

 

For the first upper bracket match, we see heavy favorites Team Liquid take up iG and with Liquid heading into the main event on a tear, coming out of their group as the top seed and while this might be an easy match to call out, Burning certainly won’t go down without a fight. iG played its best DotA early this year and while they have not been the strongest team around for the past few months, we cannot discount the fact that their roster is definitely filled with with players who know how to win. Team Liquid, on the other hand, is riding on a big wave and have masterfully regained top form heading into the main event. With GH playing out of his mind and taking Liquid to new heights, we see this going down the way of Liquid.

The second upper bracket match could honestly be a grand finals match were it any other tournament and seeing these 2 teams face off in such an early part of the tournament just goes to show how far the bar has been raised. Evil Geniuses take on Newbee in this highly awaited matchup and this could be EPIC as we see 2 of the top mid players as Sumail and Sccc square off against each other. If anybody can take a game off of EG, it is definitely Newbee and while Chinese doto have been dominant as far as the group stage was concerned, we cannot discount the fact that EG thrives in these main event situations. We’re seeing EG moving on to the next round, dropping Newbee to the lower bracket.

(Image courtesy of Execration FB Page)

 

Underdogs Execration, one of the 2 remaining Pinoy teams in the tournament, have a mountain of a task ahead of them as they face up against the giant that is Puppey and the rest of Team Secret. With the collective hopes of the Philippines, Execration has a tough road ahead of them but rest assured that they will fight tooth and nail to make another historic mark that will change the face of the lower bracket. Our mind says Team Secret, as MidOne and MP look to carry secret forward, but our heart says Execration, hoping the Filipinos can pull of an upset and move further into the tournament.

Cloud 9 and Team Empire have both struggled heavily as of late and their skill level is does not particularly reflect their TI7 progress and they know it. Now, they can only look back at how they have performed last week and brave this best of 1 that will send one of them packing. Will EE-sama and the rest of C9 advance, or will Team Empire, led by stand in Resolution, raise the victory flag? We’re calling this in favor of Team Anime, I mean, Cloud 9, as Jacky Mao will definitely try to avoid an anime comeback in this do or die.

 

Ahh OG, 4 time Major winners, nothing else to prove except to be winners at the biggest stage of them all, The International. We’re not going to skirt around the issue and simply call this in favor of OG over their relatively inexperienced opponents, Infamous, but OG have not performed up to par in the group stages. OG are actually fighting from the lower bracket again, and we all know how that ended for them last year. Will this be the year that OG stop being JUST Major winners?

DC are a bit of an odd one, and while we certainly did not figure them to fight out of the upper bracket, they have definitely not played up to their full potential. With Abed leading the way for them along with thousands of Pinoy fans cheering them on as well, can they break the iG Vitality wall that is Paparazzi and Dogfights? We’re seeing this as a toss up, as any team can take a game away from the other, but we’re going on gut feel and calling this a victory for iG.Vitality.

(Image courtesy of Wykrhm Reddy)

 

The International 2017 is already shaping up to be one of the best in the illustrious history of this tournament and many consider the meta to be the best one in years, allowing 106 heroes already chosen and leaving out just 6 left in the pool. Day 1 is upon us and stay tuned to Ungeek as we bring you our day on day predictions and recaps for what is THE e-sports event this year, The International 2017!