Things are heating up in The International 10 (TI10) with the conclusion of the third day of the Group Stage.
Dominant performances from Chinese powerhouses Invictus Gaming (IG) and PSG.LGD have made them the first teams to secure an upper bracket berth in the Main Event while South America's Thunder Predator (TP) become the first team to exit the tournament.
IG were the undisputed juggernauts through the first two days of action in Group A, where they had nine wins and just one loss heading into day three. After cruising through fellow Chinese squad Team Aster and Western Europe's Alliance improved their record to 13-1, IG locked up both an upper bracket berth in the Main Event as well as the top seed of Group A.
Back-to-back defending champions OG and top Eastern European team Virtus.pro are vying for second place in Group A. OG were forced to back-to-back draws by Evil Geniuses (EG) and Undying while VP managed to sweep both EG and TP.
The last Top 4 spot in Group A is now up for grabs between EG, Undying, and T1, who are all tied up at 8-6. While the two North American teams in the group struggled in day three, Southeast Asia surged as T1 scored huge sweeps over Aster, Alliance, and Undying to get back in the race for the upper bracket.
T1 are in a good position to grab the last Top 4 spot of the group away from EG and Undying, as both North American squads will be facing each other in day four while Southeast Asia's top team will presumably have an easy match against an already-eliminated TP.
Meanwhile, Aster (5-9) and Alliance (4-12) are both headed for the lower bracket in the Main Event while TP was mathematically eliminated from TI10 after going winless through the first three days of the Group Stage.
Over in Group B, PSG.LGD started the day with a convincing sweep over fellow Chinese team Vici Gaming (VG) to take over the top spot of their group, then cruised through South America's SG Esports to secure their upper bracket berth.
PSG.LGD now hold a 11-1 record and have practically locked up the top seed of Group B, but will still have two play to matches against another Chinese team in Elephant and Beastcoast from South America.
Despite their loss to PSG.LGD, VG (10-4) are still essentially guaranteed an upper bracket berth. However, they will have to defeat Europe's Team Secret (8-4) in day four showdown if they wish to hold onto the second place of their group.
Beastcoast maintain (7-5) a good grip on the last Top 4 spot in Group B, although Elephant and Team Spirit from Eastern Europe — who are both tied at 6-6 — can still wrest away an upper bracket berth from them.
Beastcoast and Spirit will notably be facing off in day four, with the winners of that match expected to make it to the Top 4.
Meanwhile, Southeast Asia's Fnatic (4-10) have been able to keep themselves above water and should still make the lower bracket unless things go awry. North America's Quincy Crew and SG Esports both languish with 2-10 records and are in danger of elimination, with both squads facing off in day four to determine who will live to fight another day.
Here's how every match of day three of the Group Stage went down:
OG 1-1 EG
T1 2-0 Aster
Undying 2-0 Alliance
VP 2-0 TP
OG 1-1 Undying
IG 2-0 Aster
T1 2-0 Alliance
EG 2-0 TP
EG 0-2 VP
IG 2-0 Alliance
T1 2-0 Undying
Aster 2-0 TP
PSG.LGD 2-0 VG
Spirit 2-0 QC
Beastcoast 1-1 Fnatic
Elephant 2-0 SG
VG 1-1 Beastcoast
Spirit 2-0 Fnatic
Secret 2-0 QC
PSG.LGD 2-0 SG Esports
Here are the standings at the end of the third day of TI10's Group Stage:
TI10's Group Stage features the 18 participating teams split into two groups of nine teams each. The teams will be looking to finish in the Top 4 of their groups in order to secure an upper bracket berth in the Main Event. Meanwhile, the fifth to sixth-placed teams will have to start the Main Event from the lower bracket while the bottom team of each group will be eliminated early.
TI10 is this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament. The event features 18 of the best Dota 2 teams in the world battling from 7 to 17 October in Bucharest, Romania for the right to claim the lion's share of a massive US$40 million prize pool as well as the coveted Aegis of Champions.
For everything you need to know about TI10, check here.