Team Faceless fails to attend The International 7 (unless they attend as viewers). Competing at TI7 is now out of the question. I certainly didn’t expect this. I didn’t predict this, and now it’s time that I admit defeat regarding Team Faceless. I’ve given them a lot of credit, but now their position upon the SEA totem pole is in question. However, not as much as you might think.
Everyone knows The International is the biggest deal in Dota 2 esports. It’s not even far-fetched to claim its the biggest deal in all of esports. My problem with The International is that it’s just like every other tournament in Dota 2 if you take away the large prize pool. The International tells you who played best when the money was on the line, and who was in form at that moment.
Team Faceless’s form has been on the way down for months. I thought that EPICENTER 2017 would be the beginning and end of the issue, but the issue is dragging on. Faceless was off their game at the EPICENTER 2017 SEA Qualifier, and lost two series to Clutch Gamers. These losses also forfeited their chance to play for a $500,000 prize pool. Clutch Gamers lost every game at EPICENTER, essentially proving that Faceless should have been there.
Given these results, I thought TF would get over the slump quickly. A 5-4 group stage record at The International 2017 SEA Qualifier was unconvincing, and so was the 73 minute loss to Execration in the tiebreaker for the playoff stage. Any team remotely ready for TI7 wins that game handily. That’s no offense to Execration, but they’re not supposed to be in Faceless’s league when there are much bigger fish to fry ahead.