MATUMBAMAN, Miracle-, MinD_ContRoL, KuroKy and GH, collectively known as Team Liquid win TI7, taking home $10.8 million in prize money.
In second place, Newbee walked away with $3.9 million after getting swept away 3-0 in the best of five grand final.
Record Breaking Tournament
This year’s tournament has broken numerous records within Dota 2 and esports as a whole. For another year in the running, there has been no two-time winner of The International as Team Liquid take their first win. No team in the history of the tournament is yet to win the event more than once.
Breaking new records this year is the 3-0 scoreline as that is the first 3-0 finish in any Dota 2 International grand final Bo5. The past two years have ended 3-1 with 2015 going to Evil Geniuses and Wings Gaming taking 1st place in 2016. Defending champions Wins Gaming were not part of the tournament this year since they disbanded and formed Team Random.
Another tradition that went unbroken this year was the East-West switch. Every year since the event’s opening in 2011, first place has alternated between Eastern and Western teams. It was the European team Natus Vincere who took the first International tournament in 2011.
The Prize Pool
Arguably the biggest record worth mentioning is the prize pool of this year’s event which reached a staggering $24,787,913. It has been the largest prize pool in esports history, largely due to community contributions as only $1.6m was provided by tournament organizers.
To put this into perspective, the largest League of Legends prize pool sits at just over $5m (LoL 2016 World Championship). It’s also more than double the total prize money for the Golf Masters Tournament which came to $11m earlier in the year.
Lower Bracket Survival
Despite dropping out of the upper bracket at the beginning of the event, Team Liquid made an unprecedented run through the gauntlet of the loser’s bracket to claim the aegis. It was the Chinese team Invictus Gaming that knocked Liquid out of the upper bracket in a 2-1 Bo3, forcing them to fight for survival for the remainder of the week in the lower bracket. Liquid later went on to win every remaining match they had scheduled in the tournament.
Team Secret were their first victims, losing 2-1 and ending their part in this year’s event. Meanwhile in other lower bracket games, Team Empire knocked out TI5 winners Evil Geniuses with a 2-0 v, ctory. Team Empire went on to fall, the victim of Liquid’s win-streak, losing 2-0 despite Roman “Reso1ution” Fominok doing excellent work as a sub for Empire.
Virtus Pro was the next in line to fall short, banking another win for Liquid who progressed to play both LGD teams. LGD Gaming was first up against Liquid, and although they were one of the tournament favourites, it wasn’t enough for Liquid who blew them out of the water with another 2-0 win. Liquid went on to beat LGD.Forever Young 2-1 which left the writing on the wall for a Team Liquid vs. Newbee Final.
Newbee certainly had a very different journey to the grand final than Team Liquid. They remained in the upper bracket from the very beginning and clinched their way to the final.
Evil Geniuses were first to play the Chinese team which lead to their removal from the upper bracket after a 2-0 loss. Newbee’s paired up against Invictus Gaming next, with a scrappy 2-1 win on the first map, only to be put back in their place by losing the second map. Unfortunately for Invictus Gaming, they hadn’t brought enough to the table for this year’s event, and Newbee went on to win the 3rd map and the series.
Just like Liquid, Newbee had to face LGD.Forever Young to reach the finals. They proceeded to lose the first map, which seemed to be a running theme in their last few games. LFY pushed back with a 2nd map win but fell short of the series and their spot in the Bo5 final.
The Grand Final
In the packed out KeyArena in Seattle, Dota 2 fans from around the world prepared for an epic Bo5 final with over $10m going to the winner.
Liquid didn’t want to waste any time getting on with their ultimate goal of winning the tournament. It seemed as if Newbee were constantly on the back foot, trying to fend off the aggressive play from Liquid right from the first map. Map 1 took a mere 27 minutes for Team Liquid to claim victory with MATUMBAMAN doing most of the dirty work for 11 kills.
“All you have to do is win three games”
Newbee managed to stretch the second map out to 34 minutes, but this was not enough as Liquid kept up the aggressive pace, eventually closing the map out for another win.
Everything was on the line for Newbee in game three as this was their last chance to stay in the action. Like 7ckngMad said,
“All you have to do is win three games; they can be the first three or the last three.”
Sure enough, Newbee would need to win the next three maps to become champions of TI7. Liquid had other ideas and denied almost every attempt Newbee made while pushing forward to take map control and punishing them with strategic attacks.
2 hours of skilled gaming: $10.8 million dollars
Team Liquid dismantled Newbee in under 2 hours and was crowned champions of The International 2017, taking home over $10.8m in prize money.
Two hours, five players, $10.8 million dollars. That’s just over one million dollars an hour per player, close to Warren Buffet’s hourly rate, not a bad day for Team Liquid.