TI: Group Stages of previous years
TI 2015 group stage wasn't successful for Na`Vi at all: it got 3 scores of 21 possible. Only MVP HOT6ix with 2 scores played worse. Still our guys have a chance to fight over $ 6 000 000. Let's recall Na`Vi performance at the group stages of previous TIs.
The International 2011
The International 2011 was a triumph, which will forever remain in the memories and hearts of many people. Both the organization and the fans crave the repeat of this triumph for our team. However, the tournament of 2011 substantially differs from TI 2015. The number of serious rivals has substantially increased as well as the average level of the players' skill. Perhaps this is the reason why the favorites and leaders of The International 2015 are the teams, which recently emerged on the scene, e.g. CDEC Gaming, whereas the champions of the recent year hardly acheive 1 victory in the group stage.
Speaking of the first TI, there were 4 groups and 16 teams. Natus Vincere's rivals were Scythe Gaming headed by one of the heroes of Free to play movie by Valve — Hyhy, NeVo with a well-known caster, host and streamer Synderen and the mix of GosuGamers.net, in which future Na`Vi player KuroKy played.
Our team took first place in group D, having defeated all the rivals. Later in the play off stage they encountered Scythe Gaming once again and defeated them 2:0. We think. there's no need to announce the result of the tournament, as it is known for every Dota 2 fan, so let's proceed to the next year.
Prominent Ivan-Balanar in action
The International 2012
The event of the next year was also remarkable: the tournament moved to Seattle and grew substantially both in scale and duration time. Our favorite team stopped one step away from the main prize. However, we won't recall the play off. Instead we'll discuss the group stage.
The new format of conduction was introduced, which was no surprise due to the increased popularity of both the game and the tournament. 16 teams were divided into 2 groups. Four best teams of each group got to the upper brackets, while others went to the lower brackets. Each team we to play bo2 matches against other teams in its group, similar to The International 2015.
Our guys got to group B along with the finalist of the previous tournament - EHOME, the future winners of TI 2012 - Invictus Gaming and the team Darer, leaded by the former captain of the Born to Win. Below is the full list of participants:
Natus Vincere began the group stage awfully: a defeat to IG was followed by 2 draw matches with compLexity Gaming and EHOME. The dramatic loss was "achieved" in the match against Orange eSports, headed by Asian eSports star of the time - Yamateh.
Fortunately, straight after the unsuccessful beginning the team gathered its strength and won 3 matches in the row, which enabled the team to get to the fourth line of the tournament table. Thus the Born to Win got to the upper brackets of play off. We still wonder, what prevented the team from making a similar comeback this year.
It's so nice to slide into pleasant memories, isn't it?
The International 2013
This tournament is considered by many fans to be the most accomplished. It had it all: the best teams, cool All-Stars match, huge prize pool and an outstanding final. Natus Vincere conducted the group stage of 2013 at the highest level. The first match, lost by Na`Vi 0:2 against Fnatic, was a kind of an ice bucket. Next were 5 in a row, won by the Born to Win proving they're worth their name. The seventh match had no influence on the tournament table, so Pudge was picked for Dendi, who showed his outstanding performance. The result was the first place in the group and a slot in upper brackets.
The further destiny of our team is well known: only Alliance, which eventually became the champions, stopped the Born to Win. The members of Na`Vi's group at The International 2013 were very powerful. The only weak team was MUFC, which achieved no victories at the tournament. All other teams had the stars, we all know today: Team Zenith with extraordinary iceiceice, mousesports with a prominent "farmer" Black^. These teams were as powerful at the time, as the rivals of Na`Vi at the current TI. What is happening to our team? We don't know.
The International 2014
A splendid feast of all Dota 2 fans was spoilt by a most dull final of 2 Chinese teams. However, we will recall Na`Vi's performance in group stage. New format was once again introduced to The International. It proved to be too heavy and uncomfortable, which resulted in the introduction of the more deliberate format in 2015.
The format determined both outsiders and the favorites. The winners of TI 2013, Alliance didn't reach the next stage of the tournament, while Natus Vincere took a more comfortable fifth line of the tournament table, though the Swedes were more powerful in a game against our team. Nevertheless, the group stage wasn't that important, as the Born to Win lost the match against Cloud9 in the first round of play off.
The prize of All-Stars match was a piece of cheese, but our guys didn't receive any prize
In the end, we'd like to say that notwithstanding much skepticism about out team, true fans continue supporting it. Maybe one day the hooks by Dendi will frighten the teams once again, and XBOCT will overfarm BurNIng and Arteezy. Go, Natus Vincere! Go, the Bron to Win!