Newbee and Vici Gaming Facing Off in The International 2014 Grand Final
After two weeks of games, the nineteen teams that started in Seattle have been narrowed down to just two. Having topped the Phase Two round robin, Vici Gaming went the long way through the Main Event playoffs to make the final. They’ll do battle with a team that went through a 10th place qualifier to get out of the round robin, stormed through Phase Three and powered to the Grand Final through the Winner’s Bracket, Newbee.
Interestingly, Vici and Newbee have already met in the Main Event. The pair met in the Winner’s Bracket Round of Four after Vici used its #1 seed advantage to select Newbee over DK to face in the Winner’s Bracket semi-final. In each of the three games of their best of three Newbee picked a strong early and split pushing team composition. That allowed them to score a 14-minute win in Game One and almost again in Game Two. However, mistakes and a big comeback by Vici allowed them to send it to a third game. The final game saw the game progress at a more passive pace but Newbee was still fairly dominant en route to the Winner’s Bracket final.
There, they faced Evil Geniuses, the great American hope, who played smartly to 2-0 DK. While it looked like Game One would go to Newbee before the half-hour mark, EG fought hard to hold their base and almost looked like they could pull it out before Newbee made a hard push up the middle to cement the win. The second game wasn’t as close as a strong pushing lineup allowed Newbee to get out to an early lead and never relinquish it as they swept their way to the Grand Final.
The big story on Day Two of The International 2014 Main Event was that a new champion would be crowned. 2011 champion Na’Vi and 2012 champ Invictus Gaming both lost 2-1 in their opening Lower Bracket series and were eliminated. With defending champion Alliance going out in the Round Robin, there would be a new champion this year. The teams that beat Na’Vi and IG, Cloud 9 and LGD, respectively, were bounced out by the Winner’s Bracket losers, Vici and DK.
The resulting battle between the two Chinese teams saw Vici snowball early in both games and leave DK without much of a chance as they were swept out. That left the #1 seed against the #2 seed for the final spot in the Grand Final. While coming in rested is an advantage in most sports, Vici was playing hot and it showed with a dominant 16-minute win to open their set against Evil Geniuses. The second game saw smart farming and solid team fights from EG as a later-game oriented strategy allowed them to grind out a series levelling win. However, the final game saw Vici return to quick push and snowball strategy and they annihilated EG in 16 minutes to make it an all Chinese International final for the first time.
I’m not going to prognosticate or pretend to be a competitive Dota 2 expert but it looks like this could be an even series that could go all five games in the Best of Five series or it could be over in an hour because the teams just all-in every game. Either way, one team will have to play the best Dota in the world to take home the Aegis of Champions.
In addition to the prize of The International 2014 champion, the two teams will do battle for over $6.5 million in prize money. As of writing, the prize for the champion is $5.03 million which means that each member of the winning team will walk away with over $1 million. The second place team will earn only $1.48 million but that means that both teams in the final will earn more than The Alliance did for winning The International last year.