We waited it out, it took Closed Qualifiers to do it. But, yup, we qualified for The International 2018!
Over the weekend, we came out of the SEA Qualifiers for TI2018 as the top performers and now head to the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada in mid-August. The event will be held away from Valve's hometown of Seattle for the first time since the inaugural year in 2011, and we all eagerly await what the current $15 million prize pool can rise to in what we can all consider a big highlight of any esports' fans year.
We've attended every TI since 2013 and our current Dota roster has accumulated over twenty appearances at the event between them. Saahil 'UNiVeRsE' Arora now joins an esteemed list of players who have attended all eight Internationals, including the TI in 2015 that he won alongside his in-game love, Fnatic Dota Head Coach Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling.
The 2017-18 season was the first time with Valve's new Dota Pro Circuit format, where Majors and Minors since TI2017 gave points to top performers, leading to a top 8 being directly invited to this year's TI. We initially finished 12th after a heart-wrenchingly close semifinal loss at the recent ESL One Birmingham. However, we took to the SEA Closed Qualifiers in style this weekend, beating sister teams TNC Predator and TNC Tigers 2-0 each in the playoffs.
"Getting to The International is the pinnacle of a DOTA player's career, and I couldn’t be more grateful to my team for helping me attend my eighth TI now.
This is what we play for, to be crowned champions at this world renowned event. As a team, we’re dedicated to playing the best we can at all times and having that dedication rewarded by getting to attend The International is a fantastic feeling.
We’re aware the next stage isn’t easy and every team that makes it to TI is capable of winning, but we’re confident that our present gameplay and strategy can put us in good stead moving onto Vancouver." - Saahil ‘UNiVeRsE’ Arora
The start of the Closed Qualifier gave a mixed bag of results, where we went 4-3 in a round robin of best-of-ones. But, when it came to playing against what can be considered our new arch rivals, TNC Predator, we showed the world exactly why we're going to Vancouver. We had shared the SEA qualification for Majors and Minors throughout the DPC with TNC Predator, but they came up against a team of TI veterans this time...
"I couldn’t be prouder of the guys right now. Even though I’ve come into the team recently, I’ve seen how hard they’ve been working as a team and that’s paid off this weekend.
We’re all experienced at this game and have attended many TIs, but you never know what the event brings until it arrives. This weekend we felt good, the spirit and determination of the team shone through and has been rewarded with a trip to my hometown in Vancouver for the finals in August.” - Kurtis ‘Aui_2000’ Ling, Fnatic Dota Head Coach