The International 10 (TI10) has arrived. The International 10 (TI10) is finally here. This year, 18 of the most elite Dota 2 teams will compete in the annual tournament’s world championship. They are competing for the chance to win a huge prize pool of US$40 millions and the Aegis of Champions.

The Yahoo Esports Southeast Asia team (senior producers Kurt Lozano and Jay Chan and esports leader Bryan Huang) has made their predictions about which team will win the championship, which team would have a breakthrough performance, and which hero will be the meta’s defining figure.

What do you think the two most successful teams will be?

Kurt: One of the most storied rivalries in Dota is that between two-time TI champions OG (North American juggernauts Evil Geniuses) and OG (two-time TI champions). The two have never met in the grand finals. This year, I believe, is the year.

Although both teams have made significant roster changes from previous encounters I believe there are still scores between Artour “Arteezy”, Babaev and Andreas “Cr1t” Nielsen on EG, Topias Topson “Topson” Taavitsainen and Sebastien (Ceb) Debss on the sideline of OG.

Sumail “SumaiL”, Hassan, is now on OG. Arteezy fans will be mad at me, but it would be beautiful if, after all the years of trying to win TI together in the past, SumaiL won his second by continuing to refuse Artour his first. This is a set up for a dramatic rivalry in future TI’s.

Jay: This will be the North America vs China finals that we all have been waiting for. I expect EG and PSG.LGD again to compete in the finals. Both EG.LGD and PSG.LGD performed well in Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) and consistently finished in the Top 3 of the previous 2 Majors (PSG.LGD also won the last).

Their consistency won’t disappear just because it’s Ti. EG will likely drop into the LB, while I expect PSG.LGD this tournament to go far like the last few TIs with a different roster.

Bryan: Bryan, I will go with an OG – EG grand final. OG will be in the upper bracket, and EG will be in the lower. I think EG will do well as long as they don’t get tripped up by the Chinese teams (as Aloysius Low, our colleague, stated in his commentary). OG are just… OG. They were my first choice, but I was wrong. Ceb’s return from eye surgery will give them a huge boost in their morale.

What do you predict will happen in your grand final?

Kurt: OG 3 – 2 EG

Jay: Probably PSG.LGD3 – 1 EG

Bryan: OG 3 – 1 EG

Which three teams are your favorites and why?

Kurt: I already stated that OG and EG were my Top 2. Although I am torn between Team Secret and PSG.LGD, I will take PSG.LGD for this one. They’ve been just too good in the run-up to TI10. Although I do predict PSG.LGD third in my predictions, it is not the best pick. I still believe any of my Top Three picks can win the Aegis of Champions.

Jay: PSG.LGD. Did you see the performances of Wang “Ame”, Chunyu, and Cheng “NothingToSay”, Jin Xiang at the last DPC. It felt at times like they were in a completely different league. EG will take second place. They have certainly looked better with Daryl “iceiceiceice” Koh in this DPC. Team Secret. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s experience is not to be underestimated. The roster has remained consistent and strong. They will make another strong run for the grand finals, I believe.

Bryan: I’m a fan of Kurt and OG, so my top two teams are EG and OG. So, I believe that PSG.LGD will be the third team. They are the strongest Chinese team I think will go far. And they did a fantastic job at the WePlay AniMajor. They should be able to continue this in TI10.

What do you think will become the defining hero for TI10?

Kurt: Dawnbreaker. She is the first hero to be introduced into Captain’s mode shortly before a TI, so she will be joining the meta as a wildcard. Although I doubt she will be as well-known for her bans and picks than Io, I think she will make an impression on drafts.

It’s exciting to see how neutral products will change the TI meta. Although neutral items have been around for nearly two years, TI10 will mark the debut of neutral items in the game. Although I am certain that the teams will continue to play the same way as before the addition of neutral items, I am curious about how the RNG component will work once the stakes get high.

Jay: Tinker, actually. He’s a nuisance to be around, and his new skills have given him some life. I also want to see NothingToSay’s Tinker.

Bryan: Dawnbreaker is my favorite, as this will be Dawnbreaker’s first TI. It’s possible that there will be some new strats revealed during the tournament. Although she’s been used as an offlaner and position 4 support, I would love to see a team doing something wild like a roaming strat.

Which team/player do you believe will emerge as the best in TI10?

Kurt: I believe PSG.LGD’s NobodyToSay will be the player that stands out most during TI10. His team was outstanding during the DPC, and they are heavy favorites going into TI10.

Team Spirit is my choice for the breakout team. Although they are still a young team, they have shown great promise during the DPC. I am confident that they will make a big impact in TI10.

Jay: I want T1 to have a breakthrough performance. I want the TI10 team from Southeast Asia to be successful. They should be able to go far, and finish at the Top 6.

Bryan: I hope we see some surprises from South American teams. They are always so much fun to watch. Although I may be biased, I hope that an SEA player makes his mark. I believe NothingToSay has had a great season. T1 and Fnatic will also make an impact at TI10.

Every TI’s final day has been memorable. It is the day the TI champions are crowned. Valve Software, Dota 2’s developer, also makes special announcements about what’s coming to the game in future. What announcement do you think Valve will make on TI10’s last day?

Kurt: I am sure there will be some new heroes, but I would also like to see the scene address some of its problems over the past few years. It doesn’t seem like we’ll ever get rid of the pandemic. I believe that teams and the entire competitive scene could use some assurance that they will be able to continue competing without worrying about the future.

Jay: These are new heroes. Also, I’d like Valve introduce an esports strategy for the next DPC. This would solve all the issues from the previous seasons. It is impossible to imagine.

Bryan: Bryan, another new hero? Next year’s location is something they should probably not announce. Pandemics and all.

What are the things that have happened in past TI’s and will happen again in TI10

Kurt: I would love to see an underdog team run deep like Infamous in TI9. I believe we can all agree that OG will have something insane like carry Io in TI9 and that they’ll ride all three-peats.

Jay: OG will probably figure out a game-breaking meta once again. Perhaps SumaiL will play Mirana on the safe lane, and OG does that. At this point, who knows?

Bryan: I believe OG will discover something that no one has ever thought of before, and it could very likely bring them the Aegis.