As the open qualifiers come to a close - Noxville took a look at what to expect from each regional qualifier. Here's what he thought (and put into his compendium)
Forward won 9/12 games against coL in 7.21, they didn't meet in 7.22, and overall they are ahead or roughly even on all the rating metrics. J.Storm or Beastcoast could spoil this for either of them but I think it's mostly a two-horse race.
Chaos Esports. With so many top teams coming out of Europe, the battle for the qualifier slot is highly contested by less well known or proven teams. TFT have been around for a while but failed to break through in a meaningful way - so I think they are likely to fall out. I see an Anti-MagE / Chaos finals here.
As the team who missed out right in the final tournament (ending 14th in DPC) EHOME would be my favourites if not for their disaster (1-6 score) in the Chinese Epicenter qualifiers. That qualifier was stacked, but so is this TI9 qualifier - every team is an established name in the Dota 2 scene, as are most of the players. I'm going with Royals and Newbee in the finals, and Royals to take it.
The first interesting thing is that Team Ham with 4 Europeans are playing in this qualifier - they made one player change (Mastermind for Black^) and an org change (from Infamous to 'Team Ham') from Epicenter Qualifiers where they ended 12-3 to take a slot. I imagine it'll be them in the finals vs Pain Gaming (who replaced Mandy with hFn), but this time Ham will be the victors.
Gambit looked hot at Epicenter but they've had time to cool down and other teams would've studied them a lot. Any one of the teams has the potential to make it far, but experience favours NaVi a lot. Winstrike are also strong picks here.
I have no idea what's going on in SEA. Mineski looked bad for a while but have since made a change. Boom ID have been nipping on the heels of some of the big teams for a while but never looking like a threat to break through. Jinesbrus has Gunnar and 3/5 Koreans who've all had at least a TI top-8 run. I'm going to go with Jinesbrus to win - but I imagine this to be close.