Just like last year, The International 2019 will be one for the books once again. This is both because of the added prestige of its $30 million (and still growing) prize pool, as well as the fact that it’s going to be held in China for the first time ever. TI9 kicks off on August 15 with its group stages, followed by the playoffs on August 20.
As per the usual, Dota 2’s The International 2019 will feature a healthy mix of hardened veterans, as well as returning and new faces, and all of them will be looking to stake their claim on the prize pool and immortalize themselves as TI champions.
So, who should you bet on? Which teams are the favourites? Who should be avoided? We’ll post below our betting predictions once the TI9 starts as well as some general tips on how to bet this tournament.
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How to Bet on The International 2019 (TI9) – Five Important Betting Tips
5. Avoid the group stages
Unlike in other esports titles, the group stages in most Dota 2 tournaments, especially Minors and Majors, as well as The International, don’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things.
Most of the time, it’s only used for seeding to see who goes into the Upper Brackets and Lower Brackets. This means that there’s significantly less pressure for teams to perform, resulting in most teams using the group stages to seize each other up and experimenting with lineups that they’ve tried out in scrimmages.
This is especially true in the final day, when the seedings have already been decided and matches are a mere formality.
4. Look for bookmakers with special offers and bonuses
From deposit bonuses to free bets, as well as cash back incentives, among others, always consider working with a bookmaker that’s trustworthy and will help give you the most for your money. Check our TI9 Betting Offers to see the latest promotions created for this event.
3. Don’t rely on pre-TI performance to gauge a team’s strength
Once The International 2019 starts, all bets are off.
No one, and we mean, no one is guaranteed to win the entire thing. The combination of a relatively new meta, and teams having had months to prepare their own strategies, as well as there not being much time for teams to figure each other out, means that the favourites and underdogs all stand on equal ground once the matches begin.
In fact, the favourites are very risky bets at The International 2019.
Teams such as Team Secret and Vici Gaming have spent the better part of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit winning tournaments, but that also means that they’ll be on every other team’s radar and everyone will be preparing to face off against them.
Remember, there’s a reason why the heavy favourites very rarely win a TI.
2. Be aware of the meta shifts
Every Dota 2 tournament has their own meta. The International is no exception.
Because teams have spent so much time preparing for the tournament, they each come with their own strategies, and eventually, they start copying or improving on what has worked for other teams over the span of a few days, resulting in a constantly evolving meta that’s as confusing and unpredictable as it is amazing to watch.
Often, the team who wins a TI is the one who dictates how the meta is going to shift.
For example, Alliance and their split-push strategy back in TI3 or Team Liquid’s lane dominance and sustain-focused lineups at TI7 or even OG’s clever use of buybacks to prolong games last year at TI8.
Being aware of these meta shifts can help you take note of teams who are better suited to playing a particular playstyle.
1. Take note of fatigue
Did you know that, of the past eight TI champions, only three times have the winners come from the lower brackets? And, in those three times, the winners either swept their opponents or dropped only one game in the grand finals?
This is significant.
Fatigue is a very real thing in any competitive sport. In Dota 2’s biggest annual tournament, even more so.
Because the structure of the tournament heavily punishes teams from the lower brackets by having them play back-to-back matches, it’s not unusual for players to feel drained and tired, especially if they just came from a hard-fought series in the lower bracket finals, which is often usually the case.
With a 5/8 winrate in the Grand Finals, it’s safe to say that whichever team makes it to the Grand Finals from the upper brackets is more likely to end up hoisting the Aegis of Champions at the end of the tournament.
Of course, the same logic applies to earlier matches. In particular, in the final two to three days of the tournament, where only a handful of evenly-matched teams are left and additional prep or rest time becomes much more crucial.