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There are two games that most Dota 2 players consider the top two upsets in the game’s history. One is SG e-Sports surprising win against the top-seeded Team Secret at the Kiev Major. The other is TNC eliminating OG at 2016’s Dota 2 International Tournament. OG came onto the scene earlier that year with a team of top-talent and was looking unstoppable throughout the group stage of the qualifiers before facing the then-lowly TNC.
Both these teams know their history, but it will be repeating itself anyhow. After dropping their best-of-three game to tournament-leading LFY, TNC dropped down to the lower bracket just now. And they’ll be facing (you guessed it) OG. While LFY chose to play TNC, and no one expected OG to place in the lower bracket out of group stages, it was Valve who decided where the winners and losers might end up, and they made it so the loser of LFY vs. TNC (in which LFY was favored) would face the winner of Infamous vs. OG (where OG was favored).
When asked if setting up this potential rematch was intentional by Valve, TNC coach Murielle “Kipspul” Huisman told GameRvolution “Of course it was.”
Now, there wouldn’t be anything nefarious about Valve setting up this potential match. While it’s certainly not the neutral format of the NFL where the higher seed always faces the lowest available seed and so on, it’s also standard practice to give prominence to the most exciting matchups (hence why you never see the Cleveland Browns face the Jacksonville Jaguars in prime time). The only thing Valve is guilty of if this is true is wanting exciting matchups.
That said, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case that Valve intentionally set up the possibility of an epic rematch between TNC and OG one year after one of the biggest upsets of all time. Indeed Kipspul didn’t want to rule that out entirely, and she never indicated that she was upset by the placement, but she did say “if it wasn’t intentional, it’s highly suspicious and statistically unlikely.”
This rematch between OG and TNC will be the first match played tomorrow, Wednesday, August 9, which means it will take place just after 10 a.m, so both teams have a whole night to prepare and size up the other team. OG, facing the possibility of being eliminated for the second year in a row despite a direct invite and being heavily favored in the tournament. They avoided the trap game in a best-of-one vs. Infamous, but there is so much more behind OG’s rematch against TNC, that it’s impossible to imagine what could be going through their heads.
While both of these teams have undergone some roster changes, the core of each team’s roster is still the same from last year, with OG’s captain and their carry still the same, while TNC just lost their 4- and 5-position players (albeit one of whom was their captain). At any rate, the excitement is still abound in the Dota 2 community with this being the most-anticipated match.
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