A whole year of competition, two weeks in Seattle and one tournament featuring the top Dota 2 teams led to one final Best of Five series for the biggest prize in the history of eSports. But in the battle of #1 seed Vici Gaming and plucky underdog Newbee, there could be only one champion. After a long and odd season, it was Newbee who raised the Aegis of Champions and took home $5 million as The International 2014 champion.
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.
The International 2014 was going to be a milestone event in the future of eSports just based on the $10 million prize pool but I don’t think that we expected it to get so much attention. The eight-team playoff bracket, also known as The Main Event, will be broadcast on ESPN 3 with a preview of the Grand Finals on ESPN 2.
There’s all sorts of eSports action again this weekend. The eight-team playoffs for The International starts on Friday with the grand final on Monday for the near $5 million winner’s prize. The runner-up will end up with just shy of $1.5 million. That’s not a bad payday but it’ll be heartbreaking to come so far and land just short of becoming a millionaire.
StarCraft 2 also has two major events at the same time this weekend. In Europe, Dreamhack holds their third event of 2014 in Valencia as the stars of SC2 do battle in a 96-player, two-day competition for $25,000 and 4,000 WCS points. Over in China, ESL holds the first event of IEM Season 9 in Shenzhen, China, headlined by their 28-player SC2 competition.
After seven days of competition, the field has been cut in half. The International 2014 started with sixteen of the best Dota 2 teams in the world. After the first three phases of The International’s playoffs, the field has been whittled down to eight teams all vying for a near $5 million championship prize.
While this weekend’s eSports calendar has the upcoming action in StarCraft and League of Legends, the next two weeks are all about Dota 2 and the rest of eSports is just fighting for what little viewership is left. Yesterday marked the start of The International 2014 for a prize pool of over $10 million. Yesterday was the Phase One qualifier for the 16th spot in the tournament. Through Saturday, it’s the 16-team round robin followed by two days of the Phase Three playoff to get us to the eight-team elimination bracket.
Well, I suppose that’s unless you’re a fighting game fan. This weekend is EVO 2014. The big fighting game convention / tournament starts on Friday in Las Vegas and runs through Sunday.
Elsewhere, SC2 has the semi-finals of the Acer TeamStory Cup and Red Bull Battlegrounds in Atlanta. And League of Legends continues the regular seasons of their top-flight professional leagues.
The world’s biggest eSports tournament kicks off round robin play today. Before the sixteen-team round robin began, the 16th team had to qualify for The International. After a four-team playoff among regional qualifier runners-up, it was Team Liquid who reigned supreme and earned the final entry to The International.
This year’s edition of The International will take the idea of becoming an eSports millionaire to the next level. Not only will the winning team pick up the biggest prize in eSports history but each member of the winning team could earn over $1,000,000.
Last Thursday, Valve released their official digital program for this year’s Dota 2 world championships, The International. As was the case last year, a 25% portion of the sales of the program, The International Compendium 2014, will go towards funding the prize pool for this year’s International.
After only three days on the market, the prize pool had more than doubled to eclipse The International 3’s prize pool and set a new record for the largest prize pool in eSports history at over $3.4 million and climbing.
It’s only fitting that a free-to-play game gets a free documentary to go with it. Valve’s popular free MOBA, Dota 2, now has a quasi-companion documentary called, appropriately, Free to Play. However, it’s not really a Dota documentary and you don’t even need to like video games to like the movie.
While the title Free to Play implies that it’s a documentary about Dota 2 and its development, popularity and the impact its had on gaming, Free to Play is actually about eSports. The documentary follows three competitive Dota players, each with a different background, as they pursue the $1 million grand prize for Dota 2’s The International championship.