Over the past 5 days, 16 of the world’s best Dota 2 teams have been fighting it out at Benaroya Hall in Seattle for a share of over $2.8 million and to be immortalised as winners of The International 3. With a massive crowd, over 1 million concurrent viewers online (not including television broadcasts) and some amazing production values, the event was a great success. We saw some insane games over the duration of the event with 82 unique hero picks and some innovation and fantastic combinations coming out of the creative teams, but in the end there could only be one winner. If you intend to watch the replays (which I highly recommend, at least the last day’s matches) I suggest you read no further.
On the last day it came down to 3 teams: Orange and Na’Vi fighting it out in the lower bracket finals, with Alliance awaiting the winner in the Grand Final. After losing the first game of the lower bracket finals, Na’Vi came back to win 2-1 with a little help from an accidental Aegis denial from Orange’s kyxy. Then came the hugely anticipated rematch of the mostly Ukranian Na’Vi and the Sweedish Alliance, Alliance having already defeated Na’Vi 2-0 in the upper bracket finals yesterday. It looked to continue down that path in the first game with Alliance stomping Na’Vi in a 15 minute GG, tearing apart their opposition’s unusual line-up. The next 2 games went the complete opposite way on the back of Xboct’s Alchemist and Kuroky’s Wisp. Alliance levelled the series in Game 4 with an S4 Night Stalker and another Wisp pick, having 100% win rate in the Grand Final up to that point.
With the series level at 2-2, everything came down to the final game — one game worth over two million dollars. Right off the bat, Xboct on Alchemist was essentially soloing up against a quad-lane and managed to survive long enough in the trees to get some kills. Meanwhile, S4’s Puck was having a horrific time in mid against Dendi’s Templar Assassin, an advantage that Dendi carried into the midgame until some unlucky bashes from Roshan put Dendi in a fatal situation. Still with the advantage, Na’Vi pushed mid rax, but Loda and EGM on Chaos Knight/Wisp were split-pushing bot while Admiral Bulldog on the Natures Prophet pushed top. When Na’Vi tried to teleport back to defend their base, three of their heroes were caught in S4’s huge ultimate, cancelling their TPs which allowed Alliance to take rax and gain the lead. Na’Vi tried to move out, but they fell victim to another split-push and, most critically, another S4 ulti, leaving Na’Vi’s base wide open to a final Alliance assault which won them the game, The International and the $1.4 million.
It was an amazing finals series between two very highly skilled teams and every game leading up to it was also a pleasure to watch. Keep an eye out for this Alliance and Na’Vi rivalry going into the future because I’m sure there will be lots of fantastic games and unpredictable results. For all the replays, brackets and more check out the Dota 2 website. For me, TI4 can’t come quickly enough.