Lets look at the nine names in the running of winning their second The International (TI) during TI11.

The International (TI) is always a time of suspense and anticipation. The Aegis haunts the players' dreams and waking hours, always begging the same question: will I be the one to lift the Aegis this time? And for champions of the past, getting the Aegis might be easier the second time around. But is it?

UPDATE: Spoiler alert!! There are no new two-time TI champion in TI11. Defending Champions Team Spirit has fallen to BOOM Esports in the first round of the lower bracket match of The International 11. This was followed by Team Aster knocking off PSG.LGD from TI11, ending the journey of two two-time TI hopefuls, Faith_bian and y`. In the Lower Bracket Final, Team Liquid lost to Team Secret, marking the end of MATUMBAMAN's career as a pro Dota 2 player. In Team Secret's first TI Grand Finals, they didn't manage to stop the dominance of Tundra Esports and Puppey was one step short of getting his second Aegis.

TI has only been won twice by OG in 2019. They had won TI8 before going back to defend their title in TI9 with the same roster. With the old OG roster out of the way of winning their third TI, all eyes fall on these nine players and the question lingers: will there be new two-time TI champions this time?

Team Spirit defends the Aegies

Team Spirit defends the Aegis, looking to win the second TI
Team Spirit defends the Aegis, looking to win the second TI

The young CIS team rocked the world when they won TI10 as the underdog, now coming back with the same roster as last year. They could also be a back-to-back TI champion with the same roster, a feat only achieved by OG in 2019. Unlike most TI champions that falter next year, this roster has only looked stronger and they are definitely going to put on a show.

Team Spirit will defend its title with the following roster:

  • Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk
  • Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek
  • Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov
  • Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov
  • Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

Unfortunately for Team Spirit, they ended up in the pit of the lower bracket. They had to fight a best-of-one against BOOM Esports and they didn't manage to defend the Aegis, bowing out of the tournament as one of the top sixteen teams.

Puppey the TI All-Timer

Puppey now and then.
Puppey now and then.

Puppey's eleven TI streaks were almost destroyed as Team Secret had to climb their way to TI11 through the Last Chance Qualifier. He proved that he is an immortal in the Dota 2 universe when Team Secret came out of the bloodbath alive. Puppey has been trying to lift the Aegis for the second time since his first win under Natus Vincere in the first TI. Eleven years later, he still hungers for his second Aegis.

Puppey attempts to snatch back the Aegis under Team Secret with the following roster:

  • Clement "Puppey" Ivanov
  • Remco "Crystallis" Arets
  • Michał "Nisha" Jankowski
  • Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok
  • Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov

Puppey's aggressive effort landed him the Grand Finals of TI11, the first time ever since Team Secret was formed. Unfortunately, they couldn't stand the pressure of Tundra Esports's dominance and Puppey once again return home without his second Aegis.

Faith_bian and y` spreading new wings

Faith_bian and y` now and then.
Faith_bian and y` now and then.

Faith Bian and y` were on the roster of Wings Gaming, the TI6 champion. The Chinese players had gone through a hard time trying to get back into the scene, trying to prove to the world they still have what it takes to claim the Aegis. They are currently under PSG.LGD, a strong lineup formed in 2021. Not only do they want to feel the Aegis in their hands once again, PSG.LGD also carries Ame's hope of finally winning the Aegis after two unsuccessful TI grand finals.

Faith_bian and y` will battle for PSG.LGD's first Aegies with the following roster:

  • Wang "萧瑟/Ame" Chunyu
  • Cheng " NothingToSay" Jin Xiang
  • Zhang "Faith_bian" Ruida
  • Zhao "XinQ" Zixing
  • Zhang "y`" Yiping

Update: For the first time since TI7, PSG.LGD did not place top 4 in The International. They were knocked to the Lower Bracket by Team Secret early in the playoffs. They then had to face Team Aster in the round 4 Lower Bracket. PSG.LGD signed off The International in 5th-6th place. This was Faith_bian's last game in the professional scene as he announced his retirement earlier on.

MATUMBAMAN on his last TI ride

MATUMBAMAN now and then.
MATUMBAMAN now and then.

During ESL One Malaysia, MATUMBAMAN made the Dota world mourn when he announced his upcoming retirement, which means this will be his last TI. The Finnish player had been playing competitively since 2013 and attended every TI since TI6. He was with Team Liquid when they lifted the Aegis in 2017. MATUMBAMAN then made a run with Team Secret and was so close to the Grand Finals in TI10 when they dropped to Team Spirit. He is now back in Team Liquid with a completely different roster.

MATUMBAMAN will make his last TI run with the following roster:

  • Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen
  • Michael "miCKe" Vu
  • Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg
  • Samuel "Boxi" Svahn
  • Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi

Team Liquid had a powerful drive during TI11, placing them in the top three. Unfortunately, they have lost to Team Secret in the Lower Bracket Final, ending MATUMBAMAN's journey in claiming his second Aegis. This also marks the end of MATUMBAMAN's life as a pro Dota 2 player.

Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more TI11 news and updates!