With that final match, we have polished off Dota 2 The International 2014 (TI4). Much like EVO 2014, this was the culmination of a year’s worth of professional Dota 2 play in the span of a few days. The main event began last Friday, following a week’s worth of playoffs. Everyone packed into the Key Arena at the Seattle Center to watch some of Dota 2’s best from around the world fighting for the Aegis of Champions.
There were a total of 16 teams in this year’s event, with Valve inviting 11 professional teams. Another four teams won entry through qualifier matches and the final spot went to a wild card team. The pro teams invited by Valve included Alliance, Invictus Gaming, Na'Vi, DK, Cloud 9, Titan, Evil Geniuses, NewBee, Fnatic, ViCi, and Empire. Three of the teams were past winners: Alliance was the Champion team for 2013, Invictus won in 2012, and Natus Vincere took the 2011 trophy.
This year marked the biggest prize pool in Dota 2 The International so far, with a total of $10,931,105 being awarded to winners. The breakdown in prize awards is as follows:
- 1st: $5,028,308 (Newbee)
- 2nd: $1,475,699 (Vici Gaming)
- 3rd: $1,038,455 (Evil Geniuses)
- 4th: $819,833 (DK)
- 5th: $655,866 (Cloud 9)
- 6th: $655,866 (LGD Gaming)
- 7th: $519,227 (Invictus Gaming)
- 7th: $519,227 (Natus Vincere)
Newbee vs. Vici Gaming, Game 1
This one was an absolute monster of a shut-out, with Newbee destroying the opposing team in record time. The match climaxed with an amazing five-man push by Newbee on the VG’s Ancient. This set the stage for Newbee’s domination of the Winner’s Bracket, pushing Vici and Evil Geniuses down to the longer Loser’s Bracket.
Team DK vs. Evil Geniuses, Game 1
It looked like everything was all set for Team DK in this match, but the odd pairing of Enchantress and Ursa allowed Evil Geniuses to take Roshan at the three-minute mark. This led EG push an aggressive game early-on, a strong offlane by Saahil "Universe" Arora kept them ahead in the midgame, and Ursa became a monster in late game. Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung tried to push with Death Prophet, only for EG to assault their base and take the win.
Newbee vs. Evil Geniuses, Game 1
After the win against Team DK and a great draft, Evil Geniuses was prepared to ride high. Newbee decided that wasn’t going to be the case, with Artour "Arteezy" Babaev's Naga Siren being the primary recipient of the pain. Late in the game, Newbee made a big assault on EG's base - backed by Zhang "Mu" Pan's Death Prophet with a Refresher Orb - to take down their tier four towers. A second assault took down the Ancient and set the pace for the next game, keeping Newbee firmly in the grand finalist spot.
Natus Vincere vs. Cloud 9, Game 3
This marked the loss of a fan-favorite, knocking Na'Vi out of the tournament altogether. Na'Vi had an awesome push draft, netting Brewmaster, Death Prophet, Shadow Shaman, Nature's Prophet and Ancient Apparition against Cloud 9's Bounty Hunter, Doom, Ember Spirit, Clockwerk and Skywrath Mage. Cloud 9 did a great job of keeping Brewmaster's Ultimate from giving Na'Vi a big advantage and Pittner "bOne7" Armand played the game of his life on Clockwerk in mid. Cloud 9 was everywhere and Na'Vi just couldn't find control of the space.
LGD-Gaming vs. Invictus Gaming, Game 3
LGD Gaming's Zhang "Rabbit" Wang on Centaur and Bin "DD" Xie's Vengeful Spirit teamed up to take some solid kills from Invictus early on. The game dips into snooze territory for a bit while everyone is preparing and farming, but by late game LGD has built up Centaur and Ziyang "Lin" Xu's Viper into a force to be reckoned with. Together, both heroes give LGD the ability to win most of the teamfights and retain a solid advantage to win.
LGD-Gaming vs. Team DK, Game 1
DK is amazingly efficient team and they had some amazing pickoffs during this game; most believed that Team DK would walk away with the win. The problem is that DK focused on kills and not on ending the match. Eventually, Bin "DD" Xie's Alchemist and Ziyang "Lin" Xu's Lycan farmed themselves out of carry status and into the powerhouse category. LGD took its newfound power on the aggressive in the lategame and stomped out DK.
Cloud 9 vs. Vici Gaming, Game 2
This match was all about Meepo, as played by Weh Sing "SingSing" Yuen from Cloud 9 and backed by the support of the entire audience. If audience hype could be converted into gold or experience for heroes, every match would turn out like this. Meepo tore up Vici's heroes in teamfights and ultimately crushed Vici's base. Unfortunately, Cloud 9 couldn't carry this strength into the third game, handing Vici the ultimate win.
Team DK vs. Vici Gaming, Game 1
This match was all about the towers for Vici, drafting Razor, Pugna, Leshrac, Shadow Demon and Nature's Prophet. Vici took objectives, Vici took teamfights. Bai "rOtk" Fan on Pugna was the spanner in DK's engine; he could take towers, but focusing purely on taking him out was a fool's game because of Life Drain and Decrepify. In the end, Vici clenched it with a full-on push led by Xie "Super" Junhao's Razor.
Evil Geniuses vs. Vici Gaming, Game 1
Evil Geniuses had the home-team advantage here, being the best of North American Dota 2, and Vici Gaming had already played games earlier in the day against Cloud 9 and Team DK. This is another match that looked like it was going to go one way, only to do an about-face. Like Brazil's heartrending losses in World Cup 2014, the matches didn't favor EG. Game 1 was another short game shut-out, with Vici playing a nearly perfect match. Liu "Sylar" Jiajun played an excellent Nature's Prophet and took first-blood followed by some awesome farming; he grabbed Orchid Malevolence for the silence and level 3 Necronomicon for that pushing power. When the push came, EG folded up completely. They won game 2, but fell apart completely in game 3. Shame.
Newbee vs Vici Gaming, Game 4
A number of spectators felt disappointed by the Grand Finals. Vici Gaming's stuck to its standard strategy and took the first game, but after that Newbee drafted to counter and swept the next three games to win the championship. This game was played on the lanes, but won in the draft. Vici tried to play aggressively on a draft of Ancient Apparition, Nature's Prophet, Weaver, Sand King, and Venomancer. Newbee's Chen "Hao" Zhihao scored some early kills with Ember Spirit to give his team the lead, and Vici tried to respond by leveling Xu "fy" Linsen's Sand King quickly. Sand King was ready with Blink Dagger in hand, but his Epicenter ultimate ended up only killing one member of Newbee.
And that was the match.
Glossary of Terms
These are the Dota 2 or MOBA-specific terms you may hear in most of these videos.
- Radiant/Dire - The two factions in Dota 2. Radiant starts in the southwestern corner of the map, while Dire begins in the northeastern corner. Both factions bases are connected by three lanes.
- Creeps - Non-playable characters on the map. Team creeps travel along each lane towards the opposing team’s base, attacking whatever they find in their path. Neutral creeps are found in jungle camps.
- Farm - Acquiring gold through a focus on killing creeps.
- Safe/Easy Lane - The lane where in the final Tower is the longest distance from a team’s Ancient, which is the final objective of the game and the center of both bases. A hero in this lane has the easiest time retreating back to their Tower, making them harder to kill. This is the bottom lane for Radiant and the top lane for Dire.
- Hard/Suicide Lane - The lane where the final tower is closest to the team’s Ancient. West lane is hard for Radiant, while the East lane is hard for Dire. An Offlaner is a hero that solos the suicide lane. Poor guy.
- Jungling - Focusing on farming neutral creeps. A Jungler is a hero that has abilities that make jungling easier.
- Creep stacking - Neutral creeps respawn every minute if there is nothing in their spawn area. Creep stacking requires aggroing the neutral creeps at around the 53 or 54 second mark and pulling them away from their spawn area. If done successfully, new neutral creeps will spawn. The neutral creeps stop following after 6 seconds, returning to their camp alongside their newly-spawned siblings. Players can repeat this multiple times to stack many creeps in a single area. Then a hero can use an area-of-effect attack to kill all of the stacked creeps at once.
- Carry - A hero that scales very well with more items collected, requiring a great deal of farming. These heroes are very strong in the late game, but weaker in the early game, so they have to be “carried” into the late game by their team. A “hard carry” is a hero that very weak in the early game, but crazy strong in the late game.
- Tri-lane - Putting three heroes in the same lane. Generally, this is one Carry hero being supported by two other heroes.
- Drafting - Prior to the game starting, both teams have a chance to pick their heroes and ban specific heroes from being picked by the opposing team. There’s a lot of strategy in drafting: picking the best combination of heroes, banning the heroes your opponent needs, and picking your heroes in a specific order to hide your playstyle.
- Deathball - A offensive five-man push, throwing over everything imaginable to destroy anything in its path. Generally happens in the late game.