With groups finally drawn for Dota 2's TI10, I have everything I need to simulate outcomes for the group stage. Placement in groups will determine main event seeding (and potential elimination), so the stakes are raised.
Here's the overall prediction, for everyone in need of a TL;DR:
Group stage setup
First, here's a quick rundown of how the group stage will operate. The eighteen attending teams were split into two groups of nine.
Each group plays a double round robin, which means that each team will face each other team in a best-of-two match. Placement within the group is determined by overall record (wins and losses).
The bottom team from each group is eliminated. The top four teams advance to the Upper Bracket of the main event. The remaining four teams (places five through eight) advance to the Lower Bracket of the main event.
In the case of a tie for placement:
- If the tie is along the Upper Bracket and Lower Bracket or the Lower Bracket and Elimination divider, a tiebreaker game will be played
- Otherwise, the following will be considered, in order:
- Head-to-head result among the tied teams
- Results against lower seeded teams
- If multiple teams are tied, and a tie can be broken along the way, restart back at head-to-head results for the remaining teams
- Coin toss
Here are the nine Group B contestants, and how they got to The International:
- beastcoast: #11 DPC points
- Elephant: China Qualifier
- Fnatic: Southeast Asia Qualifier
- PSG.LGD: #2 DPC points
- Quincy Crew: #4 DPC points
- SG e-sports: South America Qualifier
- Team Secret: #8 DPC points
- Team Spirit: Eastern Europe Qualifier
- Vici Gaming: #7 DPC points
First, I generated a prediction for every matchup in this group:
PSG.LGD are easily the strongest team in this group. After them, there's a fairly smooth dropoff in team strength, though the bottom three teams (Fnatic, SG, and beastcoast) are a noticeable step below the rest.
Using the above matchups, I simulated the round robin group stage 50000 times. For each match, I assumed that each team would have one game as Radiant and one game as Dire. The average win-loss record of each team is:
We see quite a bit more spread here than we did for Group A. The top team is expected to win almost 65% of their matches, while the bottom team is looking at 35%. Again, some nice symmetry there, for whatever that's worth. PSG.LGD stand noticeably above the rest, while QC, Secret, and Vici are all reasonably close contenders for second place. The other teams all have fairly consistent differences with to each other. This is Dota, however, so anything can happen.
From these simulations, I can also generate each team's distribution of expected records:
Records feed into final group placement, but aren't the whole picture. Each iteration of the simulation walked through the tiebreaker rules as well to determine a final placement for each team. Here is the probability for each team to win the group overall:
|% 1st Place
PSG.LGD have almost double the chance to top the group that anyone else does, and the bottom teams would require practically a miracle to do so.
First place isn't a necessity to do well at the main event. Any of the top four teams in each group start in the upper bracket, which helps their chances significantly. Here is each team's probability of taking a top four spot:
|% Top 4
The four strongest teams all look like the most likely roster for that upper bracket start. Team Spirit have a fighting chance, but odds drop off precipitously from there.
Missing out on the upper bracket stings, but at least you're still in it. Any place other than dead last avoids elimination at this stage. One team will bite it, so let's see who is most likely to:
|% Top 8
No team is more likely to get eliminated than not. With one elimination out of nine teams, there would have to be a pretty severe power imbalance for that to be true (for example, if every team was exactly even, then every team would have an 8/9 = 88.89% chance to stay in the top 8). beastcoast and SG are the likely candidates, and the top six teams all have above a 90% chance to stay afloat.
Finally, here's each team's full distribution of possible placements:
As with Undying, my model is very bullish on Quincy Crew. I'll echo my previous sentiment here: sure, they came from an easier region, but their roster has still competed outside of the North American bubble enough to prove themselves.
As I mentioned, my model puts a little bit less weight on region strength than your average pundit. This may hold less true for certain events or teams, but trying to guess which those are is an easy way to second-guess a systematic approach and introduce human bias.
This group will have some fierce competition for that top slot, but the overall outcome feels like it's already been written in stone. With any luck, though, Dota will continue to surprise and excite.
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