In a few hours one team will cement a legacy in Dota 2 history – and take home the largest prize pool in esports.
It’s just before the last day of The International 2017, and after today, one team will be taking home the Aegis of Champions, and win the biggest chunk of the largest prize pool in esports history. It’s been an exciting International so far, what with Pudge winning the arcana vote, two new heroes announced and showed off via a new trailer, a Dota 2 card game announcement, the All Stars match, a slew of content and interviews – and of course, some of the most beautiful Dota we’ve seen all year.
Three teams remain:
Team Liquid, proving to be the bane of CIS teams after knocking out both Team Empire and Virtus.Pro (beating out VP in a tense, 2:1 series, whose 100-minute Game 1 is a definite must-watch, and one of the best games of the International Main Event) have secured themselves a spot in the Top 3 after eliminating Chinese powerhouse LGD in a clean 2:0, with masterful Earthshaker games from Maroun “gh” Merhej and a Dazzle + Huskar + Broodmother strategy in Game 2. They are also the last hope of the West to secure The International in what has been a very dominant run from the Chinese teams as a whole.
Newbee have already secured themselves a spot in the Grand Finals with a 2:1 victory over Invictus Gaming and a 2:1 victory over LGD.Forever Young, who have been undefeated in the Main Event up until that point. The series featured Xu “Moogy” Han on Bloodseeker in all three games – scoring impressive KDAs of 11/3/13 and 15/1/16 in Games 1 and 3 respectively. Some clutch plays from Damien “kpii” Chok on Axe in the 1st and 3rd game also allowed Newbee the advantages they needed to close out the series and take a spot in the Grand Finals – where they are the only organization and have the only player, Zeng “Faith” Hongda, who can still win a second TI this year.
LGD.Forever Young will be facing Team Liquid in the match that decides who will go head-to-head with Newbee in the best-of-five Grand Finals. They have dominated since the group stage and their only series loss in the playoffs has been the one to Newbee, as mentioned above – they took a win in Game 2 of that series, where Xie “Super” Junhao had a nearly free Storm Spirit game that took advantage of Newbee’s lack of catch in their lineup.
Will Team Liquid ensure the West-East-West-East pattern of TI winners goes on, and finally give Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi his Aegis after coming so close in 2013? Will Newbee break two records by turning Faith into the first two-time TI winner while at the same time becoming the first organization to win twice? Or will LFY bounce back and continue their dominant run in the tournament, cementing themselves in the records of Dota 2’s history?
Let’s tune in to the most prestigious tournament of the year (which begins in a few hours!) to find out.
KaLeRei is currently enrolled as an engineering major. In her free time she likes going on quests to save the world with a party of interesting characters, building sprawling empires, or just going on adventures. Sometimes she also supports her friends when they feel like destroying ancients. She has a fascination for old pros trying to prove they’ve still got what it takes, and cats.
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