Alliance Wins The International 3 and the Biggest Prize in eSports History
While I was watching last weekend’s StarCraft II regional finals with tens of thousands of other people, hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people were watching the biggest even in the history of eSports.
DOTA 2’s world championship, The International, saw the win and a $1.43 million first-place prize go to Alliance after an epic winner-takes-all match to close out the best of 5 final.
The final battle was between Swedish newcomers Alliance, who debuted on the competitive scene in April, and Na’Vi (formally known as Natus Vincere), a team that has been on the DOTA 2 scene since 2010. The two teams met earlier in the tournament in the Upper Bracket Finals with Alliance taking a 2-0 win to advance to the Grand Finals while Na’Vi played their way in from the Lower Bracket.
Game one of the Grand Final was a quick win by Alliance after Na’Vi went with a risky draft strategy that didn’t pay off. The Ukrainian team bounced back in the 2nd and 3rd games of the series with sustained pressure on Alliance to take a 2-1 lead. However, Na’Vi couldn’t hold the lead as Alliance was in control of most of Game Four to tie the series at 2-2 which sent The International’s Grand Finals to its first ever fifth and deciding game.
Since I know nothing about DOTA 2, I’ll just let the official DOTA 2 blog take it from here:
It’s too soon to put into words maybe. In a Tournament filled with great games, it was the greatest game we have ever seen. Not one single action by one team went uncountered by the other. It was a slug fest of team fights.
Na’Vi pushed on Alliance’s rax, so if you are Alliance what do you do? Take a tier three tower, maybe two of them, take some rax for yourself, push on the ancient.
That just means Na’Vi will come back and defend. Na’Vi pushed again but for every action, an equal reaction until we were left with an epic team fight on Na’Vi’s ancient battling for control while Alliance continued to sneak in attacks on the Ancient – UNTIL IT FELL.
Despite the loss, Na’Vi went home with $630,000 for 2nd place. Third place finisher Orange Esports collected $287,000
And, yes, as predicted, viewership was massive for The International. The number of concurrent viewers streaming the event peaked at over 600,000 viewers. We’ll have to see if that number goes higher when viewers across the various streaming platforms and TV coverage are added up.
If you’d prefer to actually watch the final match, here’s the video: