StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 is the 11th Dota Pro Circuit LAN event of the 2017-2018 competitive season. It falls under the “Minors” category within the circuit, having a prize pool of 300.000 dollars and awarding 300 qualification points. Organized by StarLadder and ImbaTV, the tournament is scheduled to take place in Shanghai, China between February 1-4.
Prize distribution and tournament format
Starting with the 2017-2018 season, Valve have introduced the notion of qualification points in order to create a more transparent ranking system. As a result, tournaments that belong to the Dota Pro Circuit offer not only money, but qualification points as well.
This is the points and prize distribution for the StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 tournament:
- 1st place: 150 points, $135.000.
- 2nd place: 90 points, $60.000.
- 3rd-4th place: 30 points, $30.000.
- 5th-6th place: 0 points, $15.000.
- 7th-8th place: 0 points, $7500.
StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 features 8 teams from 6 different regions:
- Europe: Team Liquid, Team Kinguin.
- China: Newbee, LGD Gaming.
- CIS: Team Empire.
- North America: compLexity Gaming.
- South America: Infamous.
- Southeast Asia: Mineski.
Initially, the teams will be divided into 2 groups of 4 and each group will be played in a double elimination bracket format (GSL). Every match is a Bo3 (Best of 3). The winners of the upper and lower bracket in each group advance to the Playoffs (semifinals). Here, the winners qualify for the Finals, which will be a Bo5 series.
The 2 groups are the following:
- Group A: LGD Gaming, compLexity Gaming, Team Liquid, Infamous.
- Group B: Newbee, Mineski, Team Empire, Team Kinguin.
Predictions and betting tips
- LGD vs compLexity Gaming: the odds are clearly in LGD Gaming’s favor for this match. The Chinese team qualified for this event by defeating Vici Gaming in the Finals of the Chinese regional qualifiers, and Vici Gaming are a very strong team at the moment (6th in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings). So the chance of an upset is close to 0.
- Team Liquid vs Infamous: this will be a very one-sided match, given that the strength difference between these two teams is enormous.
- Team Kinguin vs Mineski: Mineski are a very strong team, currently sitting at number 6 in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings. At the same time, Team Kinguin have had very few notable results this season and have qualified for StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 simply because they had no real adversary in the regional qualifiers. The big European teams simply weren’t interested in attending this event. So a victory for Mineski is almost a certainty.
- Newbee vs Team Empire: the TI 7 finalists and ESL One Genting 2018 champions versus a team with 0 points in the Dota Pro Circuit rankings and currently playing with a stand-in (Nix will be standing in for Silent). This will be an easy 2-0 victory for Newbee.
In Group A, the teams most likely to advance to the Playoffs are Team Liquid and LGD Gaming. In Group B, Newbee and Mineski will almost surely be the ones to qualify.
Team Liquid vs Mineski and Newbee vs LGD Gaming. These are the most likely matches we will see in the Playoffs, based on the StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 groups and brackets. Here, Newbee are clear favorites against LGD Gaming while Team Liquid are likely to win their match against Mineski. An eventual Newbee vs Team Liquid Finals could be won by any of these teams, although head-to-head statistics clearly favor Team Liquid.