Valve has released the TI5 direct invite list. Ten invited teams, four qualified teams from each of the major regions, and two Wild Card winners will travel to Seattle for this year’s most prestigious Dota 2 event, The International 5.
UPDATE (August 9):
Evil Geniuses are your TI5 champions! Grand Finals VODS, summaries, pictures and highlights: here.
10 teams have received TI5 direct invites:
1. ViCi Gaming
2. Evil Geniuses
3. Team Secret
4. Invictus Gaming
5. LGD Gaming
6. Cloud 9
7. Team Empire
10. Team Malaysia
40 teams in the Regional Qualifiers, 36 invited, 4 qualified through Regional Open Qualifiers:
Each of the four regional qualifiers (Americas, China, Europe, Southeast Asia) will feature 9 invited teams. In an utterly unprecedented move, Open Qualifiers for all regions will be held. The winners the four Open Qualifiers will earn the 10th Qualifier spot of each of the four Regional Qualifiers. Registrations are now open.
Teams invited for the TI5 Europe Qualifier (May 29-June 1):
Vega Squadron, Burden United, Natus Vincere, Power Rangers, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Alliance, London Conspiracy, Hellraisers, 4 Anchors + Sea Captain
Teams invited for the TI5 China Qualifier (May 25-28):
TongFu, CDEC Gaming, Newbee Youth, HyperGloryTeam, Old Boys, Energy Pacemaker, Vici Gaming Potential, EHOME, TongFu WanZhou
Teams invited for the TI5 Americas Qualifier (May 25-28):
ROOT Gaming, Summer’s Rift, Not Today, Team Leviathan, Team Tinker, Void Boys, compLexity Gaming, North American Rejects, Wheel Whreck While Whistling
Teams invited for the TI5 Americas Qualifier (May 29-June 1):
5eva, Mineski, Can’t Say Wips, Rave, TnC Gaming, MVP.Phoenix, Signature.Trust, G-Guard, MVP.Hot6
1. ViCi Gaming (TI5 direct invite, China region)
ViCi Gaming are widely regarded as this year’s favorites. Founded in October 2012, ViCi Gaming were unfortunately eliminated in The International 3 qualifiers. Between TI3 and The International 4, the organization had a series of management and team roster changes. Although ViCi Gaming enjoyed some success after the changes and took part in RaidCall EMS LAN finals in Poland and Kingston HyperX Dota 2 League Finals in Las Vegas, having grabbed first place in ESL One Fall, the team struggled overall for solid and consistent achievements. Despite the lack of championship titles, they received a direct invite to TI4, where they were placed first in their group stage and second overall. Since then, the Chinese team has been dominating both the region and the world, seizing first and second placements all throughout the season. The direct invite to The International 5 was expected for the team.
ViCi Gaming roster
After obtaining second place in TI4, on August 1, 2014, rOtk Bai Fan announced his retirement. Only days later, Sylar Liu Jiajun left the squad and joined LGD Gaming. Daryl Koh “iceiceice” and German player Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier both joined the team. Black^ was already living in China, having been a part of LGD.International and CIS Gaming. They got off to a flying start, however inside dynamics continued to be unstable. On March 10, Black^ announced that he would be joining Team Tinker. Chen Zhihao “Hao” replaced the German player on ViCi Gaming.
Chen Zhihao “Hao”
Xie Junhao “Super”
Daryl Koh “iceiceice”
Lu Chao “Fenrir”
Xu Linsen “fy”
Three of the current members, Super, Fenrir and fy were part of the ViCi Gaming squad that placed second in TI4. Super had also competed in The International 2, taking fourth place with Team DK while teammate iceiceice participated in TI2 with Zenith and had also participated in TI4 with Team DK, placing fourth. Hao was part of fourth place TongFu at The International 3 and the defending champions Newbee, at The International 4.
ViCi Gaming achievements since The International 4
Second Place – The International 4
Third Place – World E-Sports Championship
Second Place – Sina Cup Season 5
First Place – i-League
Fourth-eighth place – World Cyber Arena
First Place – ESL One NY
5-8th Place – National Electronic Sports Tournament
First Place – The Summit 2
Second Place – Dota 2 Asian Championship
First Place – VPGame Pro League
First Place – StarLadder Season XII
2. Evil Geniuses (TI5 direct invite, North-American region)
Evil Geniuses is one of the top teams in the world and THE premier team of the North American region. Since the organization’s foundation in 1999, it has always featured highly successful players. This past year has been no exception, leaving little surprise about their TI5 direct invite. Since placing third at The International 4, the team has continued to be a powerful foe and prove the talent of their players.
Evil Geniuses roster
Evil Geniuses found themselves in a unique situation when Clinton “Fear” Loomis was out on injury the month before TI4. They were forced to require a Valve approved temporary replacement. Mason “Mason” Venne ended up replacing Fear during the event. Upon Fear’s return at the end of July, Mason parted ways with the team. Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Ludwig “zai” Wahlberg left the team on January 6, as part of a controversial reshuffle involving EG, Cloud 9 and Team Secret. EG picked up Cloud 9’s support Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling and the sixteen year old protegee Syed “Sumail” Sumail Hassan on the same date.
Clinton “Fear” Loomis
Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan
Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora
Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling
Peter “ppd” Dager
EG participated in The International 2 and placed third at TI4. Fear took part in the first International, together with Online Kingdom (OK.Nirvana.int). Both Peter “ppd” Dager and Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora competed in TI4 with the team. Aui_2000 took part in TI4 with Cloud 9, taking fifth-sixth place. This will be the first International for Suma1L.
Evil Geniuses achievements since The International 4
Third Place – The International 4
First Place – World E-sport Championship
Second Place -ESL One NY
First Place – StarLadder Season X
First Place – Dream League Season 2
Fourth Place – The Summit 2
Third/Fourth Place – Dota Pit League Season 2
Third Place – Dota 2 League Season 5
First Place – Dota 2 Asia Championship
Second Place – MLG Pro league Season 1
3. Team Secret (TI5 direct invite, Europe region)
One of the newest teams on the block, Team Secret was originally comprised of players from Natus Vincere, Fnatic, and Alliance, who formed a team during the post-TI4 shuffle, in August 2014. Keeping to their namesake, the team was announced to be participating in various tournaments, but without any official or known roster. Since then, Team Secret has continued to surprise and break the conventional team norms by not being associated to a larger organization and having a private investor. The star studded team has been in the spotlight since their inception, placing high in numerous major and premier tournaments in their relatively short period of time together. The TI5 direct invite proves that both individual talent and stable performance will pay off in the end.
Team Secret roster
Originally, the team consisted of former members of Na’Vi, Fnatic and The Alliance and included both Tal “Simbaaa” Aizik and Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein from Fnatic. Both members however departed from the team within two weeks of each other and were replaced by Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, both from Evil Geniuses, during the January reshuffle.
Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
Gustav “s4” Magnusson
Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov
Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi
Since the team was only formed post-TI4, they didn’t get the chance to take part in any previous International championships as an ensemble. However, none of the Secret players are any strangers to The Internationals, having performed in previous ones, including becoming champions in the past. Arteezy and zai are the “greenest” to The International tournaments on the team, having participated only (third place at TI4, as part of EG). Veteran s4 was part of the TI3 champions Alliance, in 2013, and placed twelfth with the same squad, at TI4. KuroKy participated in The International 3, grabbing second place. A year later, he placed eighth at TI4 with Na’Vi, alongside Puppey whose TI track record is impressive. Team Secret‘s captain took first place at The International 1, second at TI2 and TI3, and ended up eighth last year, at TI4, while he was still a part of Natus Vincere.
Team Secret achievements in the past eight months
Third-fourth Place – ESL One NY
Second Place – StarLadder Season XI
Third Place – The Summit 2
First Place – XMG Captains Draft
First Place – Dota Pit League Season 2
Third Place – Dota 2 Asian Championship
Seventh-Eighth Place – StarLadder Season XII
4. Invictus Gaming (TI5 direct invite, China region)
Invictus Gaming was founded in 2011 by the son of the 10th richest man in China. He hoped the team would not only dominate with skill, but also set a high level of professionalism and player compensation. IG is indeed a team stacked with high skill and has been present in almost all major and premier tournaments, providing a high level of competition to their Chinese and world rivals. Although their placement rankings seemed to have slipped following TI4, IG are still considered one of the Chinese giants.
Invictus Gaming roster
YYF Jiang Cen departed within days of TI4‘s conclusion, after three years with the team. Zeng Hongda Faith parted ways with IG approximately one month after TI4. Although the organization found replacements for both members, the roster continued to be unstable and impacted both team performance and attendance to some of the events, while they were scrambling to address the matters. In March, Faith Zeng Hongda returned and Burning Zhilei Xu also officially joined the roster.
Luo Feichi “Ferrari_430”
Wong Hock Chuan “Chuan”
Yinqi Luo “Xi”
Zeng Hongda “Faith”
Zhilei Xu “burning”
Invictus Gaming was invited to The International 1 but did not perform well overall. In 2012, the organization was again invited and in stark contrast secured first place, becoming the Champions of The International 2. Still placing well, the team then grabbed fourth place in TI3, but slid to seventh place at TI4. Burning played with Team DK and placed fourth in both TI2 and TI4. Luo has competed in TI4 with IG and TI3 qualifiers with Rattlesnake Gaming. Faith and Chuanhas attended TI2, 3 and 4 with IG, Ferrari_430 has participated in TI1TI2, 3 and 4 with IG exclusively.
Invictus Gaming achievements since The International 4
Seventh-Eighth Place – The International 4
Third-Fourth Place – i-League
Fourth-Eighth Place -World Cyber Arena
Fifth-Sixth Place -i-League Season 2
Seventh-Eighth Place -Dota 2 Asian Championship
First Place – Major All Stars Touranment
Second Place – StarLadder Season XII
5. LGD Gaming (TI5 direct invite, China region)
LGD Gaming has been a Chinese powerhouse organization ever since their inception. In 2011, they lost four of their players to Invictus Gaming and had slipped from their previous height for a short period of time. With the addition of “Sylar” Liu Jiajun, the team was able to regain its former glory, eventually. LGD Gaming‘s captain is former Newbee player Zhang Ning “xiao8”. The team had few accomplishments during The International season. However, they remain star-studded and continue to appear in almost all of the major and premier tournaments and qualifiers. The TI5 direct invite for this team was debatable for many, with lack of recent achievements and roster instability weighing against individual skill and history.
LGD Gaming roster
LGD has had many roster changes since their appearance at The International 4. Only a few weeks after TI4, DDXie Bin announced his retirement, and three members left including Wang Zhang ”Rabbit”, who left the team after paying a hefty $130,000 USD transfer fee. The team replaced their losses with Zeng Hongda “Faith”, Lei Zengrong “MMY!”, Liu Jiajun “Sylar”. In September, the team once again saw a major shuffle. In March, Faith parted ways with LGD and TI4 winner xiao8 was brought on the new lineup. With the closeout of the team transfer time-frame implemented by the ACE Chinese organization, LGD Gaming confirmed their full roster.
Liu “Sylar” Jiajun
Lu “Maybe” Yao
Yao “Yao” Zhengzheng
Zhang “xiao8” Ning
Lei “MMY!” Zengrong
The organization placed third at The International 2, and returned in 2013 for The International 3. In 2014, the team placed 5th. Sylar has attended The International 2 and 3 with LGD and won second place at TI4 with ViCi Gaming. Yao has attended TI2, TI3 and TI4 all with LGD, while xiao8 has attended also with LGD at TI1 TI1, and won first place championship title with Team Newbee at TI4. MMY placed second at The International 1 and fifth-sixth at The International 2 with E-Home, fifth-sixth at TI3 and fourth at TI 4 with Team DK.
LGD achievements since The International 4
Fifth-Sixth Place – The International 4
Fourth-Eighth Place – World Cyber Arena
Fifth-Eighth Place – World E-sports Championships
Second Place – National Electronic Esports Tournament
First Place – G-League
Third Place – ECL Autumn
First Place – i-League Season 2
Ninth-Twelfth Place – Dota 2 Asia Championships
Second Place – VPGame Pro League
6. Cloud 9 (TI5 direct invite, Europe region)
The TI5 direct invite for Cloud 9 will be the team’s second invite since the organization’s debut into Dota 2, when they picked up the former Speed Gaming Roster, consisting of current members Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao and Pittner “BOne7” Armand. The team was often subject of controversial headlines – involving Eternal Envy‘s public social media rants. They went through a reshuffle in January and seem to have a reputation for “always placing second”. However, Cloud 9 has shown steady accomplishments since their appearance at The International 4.
Cloud 9 roster
Weh Sing “SingSing” Yuen parted ways with C9 shortly after TI4 and was replaced by Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks, in August 2014. On January 5th, Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling and Johan “pieliedie” Åström – two more of the original Speed Gaming members, were replaced by Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein and Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen.
Jacky “Eternal Envy” Mao
Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks
Pittner “bOne7” Armand
Johan “BigDaddy” Sundstein
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
Five months after being sponsored by Cloud 9, the team participated in TI4 and placed sixth. Both Eternal Envy and bOne7 competed in TI4 with the team. Misery participated in The International 1 grabbing fourth place under the MeetYourMakers tag and placed eleventh at TI4, with Mousesports alongside teammate Fata-. BigDaddy placed eighth at The International 3 and 14th at TI4, with Fnatic.
Cloud 9 achievements since The International 4
Sixth Place – The International 4
Second Place – World E-Sports Championship
Second Place – World Cyber Arena 2014
Third Place – StarLadder Season X
Second Place – Dream League Season 2
Second Place – The Summit 2
Fifth-Sixth Place – DotaPit League Season 2
Fifth-Sixth Place – Dota 2 Asian Championship
Third Place – StarLadder Season XII
7. Team Empire (TI5 direct invite, Europe region)
The Russian organization has demonstrated time and again that they are a force to be reckoned with. The organization is considered a premier team in Russia and the CIS, across all eSport titles, and the Dota 2 team has been contributing to keeping the reputation strong. After a lackluster performance and a disappointing 13th place at The International 4, Team Empire stepped up their game in the following months and started to earn top placements in many premier and major competitions. They became the MLG Pro League Champions, after defeating the North American giants Evil Geniuses, last month.
Team Empire roster
Shortly after the conclusion of TI4, Ivan “VANSKOR” Skorokhod left the team after one year of playing with them and was replaced by Aleksey “Solo” Berezin. Andrew “Mag~” Chipenko left the team after just over one year of playing with them and was replaced by Maxim “yoky” Kim. Two months later, Solo parted ways with Team Empire and Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin completed the current roster. The team was fortunate enough to survive the revolving door CIS Reshuffle that wreaked havoc on the other region’s teams. Their stability and consistency seems to have worked in their favor, building up their cohesion and results.
Airat “Silent” Gaziev
Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok
Maxim “yoky” Kim
Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin
Andrey “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko
Although TI4 was not the best accomplishment for Team Empire, it marked the first TI participation for current team members Andrey “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko and Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok. Airat “Silent” Gaziev had also played The International 3 wildcard match. TI5 will be The International debut for both Yoky and ALOHADANCE.
Team Empire achievements since The International 4
Thirteenth Place – The International 4
Third-Fourth Place – GameShowLeague
First Place – Excellent Moscow Cup Season 2
Third Place in Dota 2 Champions League
First Place in Esportal Dota 2 League Invitational Tournaments
First Place in StarLadder Season XI
Third-Fourth Place in Alienware Area 51 Dota 2 Cup
First Place in JoinDOTA Masters XV
Second Place in Major All Stars Dota 2 Tournament
First Place in MLG Pro League Season 1
8. Virtus.Pro (TI5 direct invite, Europe region)
Virtus.Pro has been a top Russian organization featuring star players for the last several years. Shortly after The Intenational 4, the organization picked up a second roster named Virtus.pro Polar. The team played alongside the original Virtus.Pro division and in January was renamed ASUS.Polar, after receiving additional sponsorship from the company. While players switched between the two divisions or parted ways with the team, in March the organization released their main squad, keeping the Polar division and moving remaining team members to the squad. In April, they re-branded the division to Virtus.Pro.
In the last year, the roster has shifted significantly and many changes have occurred within the organization. Ilya “Illidan” Pivccaev left in August to create his new team, NVMI, and returned in September, after being picked up by Virtus.Pro for their second division, Polar. Additionally, Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria who was part of the NVMI squad left in March to join Na’Vi during a controversial transfer involving payment of early release penalties. DkPhobos came back on the Virtus.Pro squad, in April. Ilya “LiL” Ilyuk was part of the original NVMI team as well. Both Artem “fng” Barshak and Sergey “God” Bragin had been stand-ins for a considerable amount time before officially joining the team.
Ilya “Illidan” Pivcaev
Sergey “God” Bragin
Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheria
Artem “fng” Barshak
Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk
Virtus.Pro was invited to The International 3, where they finished last in their group. They ended up 13th-16th at last year’s TI4. Illidan participated with Virtus.Pro in both TI3 and TI4. God participated with the squad in TI4. He also competed in The International 1, as part of team Moscow 5 (5th-6th place) and in TI3, with LGD.International. This will be the first International for fng, Lil and DkPhobos.
Achievements since The International 4
Third Place – Excellent Moscow Cup Season 2
Fourth Place – ASUS ROG DreamLeague Season 2
First Place – Yard Festival
Second Place – Esportal Dota 2 League Invitational Tournament 1
First Place – Battle of Central Europe Season 3
Second Place – Dota Pit League Season 2
Second Place – Dota 2 League Season 5
Second Place – Star Ladder Season XI
First Place – Esportal Dota 2 League Invitational Tournament 2
First Place – ROG Play It Cool Invitational
9. Newbee (TI5 direct invite, China region, defending champions)
The Chinese organization was founded in early 2014, during the pre-TI4 Chinese reshuffle. Originally, the team was called “Dream Team 2”. On February 23, 2014 the Chinese ACE Dota organization announced that the transfers were complete. At that time, “Newbee” consisted of Zhang Ning “xiao8”, Zhang Pan “Mu”, Chen Zhihao “Hao”, Zhou Yang “KingJ” and ZSMJ. Newbee announced that a staggering transfer fee of 500,000 RMB (~81,000 USD) was paid by the new club to LGD Gaming for xiao8’s transfer. Despite being newly created five months prior to The International 4, the team received a direct invite and would prove they deserved it by becoming the Champions of The International 4. The team has recently had spotty performances, leaving many to question if they were even going to receive a TI5 direct invite at all, despite being the defending champions.
Newbee’s roster has been through several changes since their inception. ZSMJ was replaced with Banana Wang Jiao. Almost immediately after TI4, xiao8 announced he would be taking a break from competitive gaming. He was replaced by Rabbit Wang Zhang from LGD Gaming. In March, both KingJ and Hao would leave the team. Newbee re-acquired June Lin Shiyang, followed by SanSheng Wang Zhaohui.
Rabbit Wang Zhang
Mu Zhang Pan
June Lin Shiyang
Banana Wang Jiao
SanSheng Wang Zhaohui
As TI4 was the club’s first experience at The Internationals, most members have had previous opportunities to compete. Mu, Banana and SanSheng all secured first place with Team Newbee at TI4 – Mu and SanSheng placing 7th-8th at The International 2 and fourth at The International 3 with TongFu. Rabbit took part in TI4 with LGD.CN and placed 3rd-4th. This will be June’s first attendance at the main event in The Internationals.
Newbee achievements since The International 4
First Place – TI4
Fourth Place – World E-sports Championship
Fifth-Eighth Place – i-League
First Place – World Cyber Arena
Third-Fourth Place – National Electronic Sports Tournament
Thirteenth – Sixteenth – Dota 2 Asian Championship
10. Team Malaysia (TI5 direct invite, Southeast Asian region)
Team Malaysia was founded in March, when Mushi Chai Yee Fung and Ohaiyo Chong Xin Khoo – who had been playing on E-Home.CN, returned home to compete as E-Home‘s new Malaysian division. Upon arrival to Malaysia, the team separated from E-Home, on March 26. Since then, Team Malaysia has been dominating the SEA region, The Malaysians have qualified for five LAN events in just five weeks, and they have shown cohesion and synergy in their relatively short period of time together.
Team Malaysia roster
In March, Mushi announced that he and Ohaiyo were returning to Malaysia to create an E-HOME Malaysian division with kYxY Lee Kang Yang, Kecik Imba Fadil bin Mohd Raziff and JoHnNy Siong Tait. By March 26, it was announced that the Malaysians had separated from E-HOME. The team continued to play together under the name of Team Malaysia, without any sponsoring organization.
“kYxY” Lee Kang Yang
“Kecik Imba” Fadil bin Mohd Raziff
“Ohaiyo” Chong Xin Khoo
“JoHnNy” Siong Tait
“Mushi” Chai Yee Fung
kYxY and Ohaiyo partipcated together in The International 3, with Team Orange, taking third place. The duo also competed in last year’s TI4, placing 9th-10th with Team Titan. Mushi attended TI4 with Team DK, securing 4th place, and placed 7th-8th at The International 2 and third at TI3, with Team Orange.
Achievements in the past months
First Place – CORSAIR Gaming Arena
First Place – GEST SEA Cup
Second Place – CORSAIR Gaming Arena 2
Fifth-Sixth Place – StarLadder Season XII
MY has secured placements in Red Bull Battle Grounds 2015, China’s i-League, ESL One Frankfurt, MLG Pro League and having recently completed StarLadder StarSeries Season XII.