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TI12 power rankings: The big 3 lead the pack in Seattle

20 teams in, one team at the end.

In October, Seattle will see the best 20 Dota 2 teams around the world try to navigate the final hurdle in the game. The Aegis of Champions is up for grabs at TI12, with everybody starting off on equal footing.

The ONE Esports TI12 power rankings judges the relative strength of each team to the rest of the field, trying to answer the all important question — which squad is mostly likely to end up as the TI12 champions?

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TI12 power rankings: What could go down at The International 2023

Credit: Valve

Happy to be here

nouns

Keyd Stars

Thunder Awaken

Team SMG

A lot to prove

beastcoast

Entity

Virtus Pro

Shopify Rebellion

TSM

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Dark horses 

Evil Geniuses

BetBoom Team 

Azure Ray

LGD Gaming

9Pandas

Quest Esports

Talon Esports

Best of the rest

Tundra Esports

Best of the best

Team Liquid

Gaimin Gladiators

Team Spirit

Tundra Esports

Credit: Valve

The defending champions present an intriguing case. The Western European organization was forced to make a roster change out of necessity, following Martin “Saksa” Sazdov’s decision to take an extended break due to health issues.

Instead of another support player, in came two-time TI champion Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen, with Leon “Nine” Kirilin instead moving to position four. It’s an intriguing change, and few will say that adding Topson to any team is a downgrade.

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But it could be argued that much of Tundra’s success revolved around Neta “33” Shapira and Saksa’s synergy in the offlane. They simply did not lose their lanes, no matter the hero combination they picked up, leaving 33 free to farm up a storm and Saksa to make plays all over the map.

If there was something that needed to be figured out, however, it would be Tundra — possibly the nerdiest team of them all. They are the defending champions for a reason, and though they might need some time to gel, expect them to remain a domineering force for the upcoming TI.

Gaimin Gladiators and Team Spirit

Credit: ESL

Throughout the DPC season, two teams were in contention for every Major title: Team Liquid and Gaimin Gladiators. The Gladiators were the ones that walked away with every championship, but to discredit Liquid’s consistency just because they were second so many times would be foolish.

At the end of it all, when the TI crown was dangling over Gladiators, Team Spirit roared to life with successive victories at the Riyadh Masters 2023 and DreamLeague S21.

In any case, these three teams are the best and most consistent teams in the world right now. Sure, they might have had their hiccups here and there, but this is a scary, diverse group.

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We have Gaimin Gladiators, now Dota 2 royalty after an incredible year, looking to add yet another feather to their cap with the Aegis of Champions.

We have Team Liquid, no stranger to some of the toughest tournament runs through the lower bracket, continuously nipping at the heels of their rivals and just so close to the finish line so many times.

And then there’s Team Spirit, the former world champions that fell to mediocrity for so long, but seemingly figuring things out and peaking at just the right time.

Nobody will bat an eye if these three teams end up at the top of TI12. But everybody will be watching to see who can lay their hands on the ultimate prize — the Aegis of Champions.

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