TI8 team preview: VGJ Thunder, the unstoppable underdogs

VGJ Thunder: On the Edge of The International 8

VGJ Thunder barely secured their spot in The International 8, facing fierce competition in the leaderboard. They had to fight hard to stay in the top eight and qualify for the prestigious event.

At the China Supermajor in June, OpTic Gaming from North America attempted to overtake VGJ Thunder. If OpTic had finished in the top four at the Supermajor, they would have knocked VGJ Thunder out of their qualifying spot. However, VGJ Thunder managed to stay ahead and secure their place at TI8.

Photo via [StarLadder](https://www.flickr.com/photos/starladder/26781059937/in/album-72157694215489441/)

VGJ Thunder’s success can be attributed to their performance in other Pro Circuit events. They achieved silver medals in two other tournaments, proving that they deserved their spot in TI8.

VGJ Thunder’s Lineup

VGJ Thunder is a team with a mix of experienced veterans and promising young players. Liu “Sylar” Jiajun and Leong “ddc” Fat-meng, the veterans, have competed in multiple Internationals and will provide crucial leadership to the younger members of the team.

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Photo via [StarLadder](https://www.flickr.com/photos/starladder/41648248381/in/album-72157694215489441/)

The guidance of Sylar and ddc will be essential for the less experienced players on the team. While these players have gained some LAN experience, they have yet to face the pressure of big stages and massive crowds like Sylar and ddc have.

VGJ Thunder’s coach, Bai “rOtK” Fan, who came close to winning an International himself, will also be instrumental in their journey towards the Aegis of Champions.

Player to Watch

Sylar, though not as prominent as some other Chinese Dota 2 legends, has a long history with LGD Gaming and is known for his four-protect-one strategies during his time with the organization.

Biggest Challenge

After a strong start to the year, VGJ Thunder struggled in the later part of the Pro Circuit season. They will need to regain their confidence and momentum to perform well at TI8.

Team Grade

VGJ Thunder receives a B- for their decent performance in the Pro Circuit, although they stumbled towards the end. While they are considered a threat in the winners bracket, they may face difficulty in the survival rounds of the tournament.

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