Dota 2 pros share thoughts on TI11 Playoffs break

1Play DOTA2 News
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Oct 27

If you are wondering why there are no Dota 2 matches today, on October 26, you are not alone. This year, Dota 2’s International has a gap between the playoffs matches, a first for the mega esports event. The TI11 playoffs break is due to a new format for this year’s International.

The first part of the TI11 playoffs took place at the Suntec Arena and it had a seating capacity well below the fans’ expectations. The second part of the playoffs, the bigger stage will take place at the Suntec Arena with a significantly bigger seating capacity. The Singapore Indoor Stadium will host the final two days of competition, a format that seems very similar to League of Legends Worlds Championships.Regardless of the complaints around production and the friction to any change, the five-day format is also a break in momentum for pro players. 

The International often has its own meta – both in-game and outside of the game. Playing on the biggest arena of your life brings with it the added pressure of performing for hundreds of thousands of viewers and attendees. The TI11 vibe is quite different from any other tournament in Dota 2. The five-day break changes things and change is not always welcome.

On the TI press day, several players shared their opinions on the playoffs break. For most of them, they don’t know what to do during the break. Going out in Singapore mid-tournament is not a great option. Teams like PSG.LGD, RNG and beastcoast have seen their performance dip due to COVID. 

Team Aster’s Monet said it feels weird to have a break between the playoffs matches. It’s never been done before and he also said he preferred the previous format.

Team Secret’s Puppey provided a deeper insight into the players’ mentality when they suddenly find themselves with a long break. Playing a tournament is about focus and the breaks serve as an unwelcome distraction.

“When you have these four-five day breaks you get to the winners’ bracket and stuff like this happens. I don’t remember it ever being on TI,” Puppey recalled. “In TI, I feel like there’s always a match after each one day. I do remember playing a Major where we had a 4-5 day break. It’s really bad. You start not focusing on your objective, which is winning and playing Dota2. When you have a 5-day break you start thinking other things, you start thinking about your life and it starts making you feel kind of depressed. 

Because you’re stuck in your hotel room, you are eating the same food. You’ve already been here for a month and now you have a break. But this is not a break for me to be fair. I would want to finish this thing and then go home and live my life. Instead you just have a break for no reason. 

So it’s not necessarily a break for you. You want to finish, You want to do your job till the end.”

In the past teams have won TI after a phenomenal lower bracket run or an unexpected confidence after the group stage. The TI meta is as much about a team’s momentum as it is about player confidence during the tournament. Team Liquid (2017) and Team Spirit (2021) have had impressive lower bracket runs to win The International.

The TI11 playoffs resume on October 29 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with the remaining four teams in competition.

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