The International 2014: All you need to know about the main event
The time has arrived for The International Dota 2 Championships 2014 main event to take off on the grand stage of Key Arena, Seattle. The biggest Dota 2 event of all time will run its course for four days from July 18th to 21st. The main event will feature eight teams that have made their way through the gruesome groupstages and playoffs. Chinese giants DK, Invictus Gaming and NewBee will represent the Eastern hemisphere alongside Evil Geniuses and Cloud9 representing the Western Hemisphere. The sole representative for CIS region is Natus Vincere - the only team to make it to consecutive finals for all TI's. These teams will fight to win a big chunk from the massive prize pool of $9,546,344 alloted to 1st-6th place. Every team can be considered as a potential winner, given the unpredictability the event has shown us in the last few days.
Evil Geniuses has been touted as one of the strongest emerging teams in the competitive scene. Ever since acquiring the services of Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev, Peter 'Peterpandam' Dager, Ludwig 'Zai' Wahlberg alongside veterans in Clinton 'Fear' Loomis Saahil 'Universe' Arora, this team made waves in the community. However, due to a career threatening injury, the team received a big blow as Clinton 'Fear' Loomis was sidelined from participating in any tournaments. Stepping in for the old man was none other than Mason 'Mason' Venne; EG's current carry player. Relatively unknown, he soon made his presence known by displaying great versatality in the carry role due to which EG were back to winning ways.
Their drafting has been more versatile, and players have been showing dominant performances combined with timely synergy and the thirst to win. Also, combine this with Fear's expertise as a coach, the team is steadily reaching out to unchartered territories. The combination of young talent and experienced veterans seems to be favouring EG at this point of time. Deservedly, EG has cemented their place as a top contender in The International 2014 due to their sheer dominant play observed in the groupstage and play-offs.
Judging by their statistics, EG have been pretty dominant and impressive in competitions they have participated in. They are following in the footsteps of Alliance and Na'Vi; that is to dominate anything that comes their way. This young team has had more trophies to their name ever since it reformed as compared to the past 2 years before the reformation. They won The Summit against Team DK, D2L Western Challenge against Na'Vi, Monster Energy Invitational against Cloud9, achieved a silver medal in the recently concluded ESL ONE Frankfurt wherein they lost to Invictus Gaming, and a bronze during StarLadderTV IX.
1st - Monster Energy Invitational (2014) - $10,000
2nd - Netolic Pro League #5 West (2014) - $1,000
1st - MLG TKO America (2014) - $14,000
3rd - StarLadder Season 9, Kiev (2014) - $26,500
1st - The Summit, Los Angeles (2014) - $46,000
6th - DreamLeague, season 1, DHS14 (2014) - $20,000
1st - D2L Western Challenge (2014) - $29,500
2nd - ESL One Frankfurt (2014) - $40,000
This team certainly is one of the most beloved teams participating at The International 2014. Comprising of famous players such as EE-Saama aka Jacky 'EternalEnvy' Mao, WehSing 'SingSing' Yeun and talented players Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling, Johan 'pieliedie' Astrom and Armand 'bOne7' Pittner; this team has been through all ups and downs in their competitive careers, yet have risen above the shortcomings.
Starting with EternalEnvy's ousting from No-Tidehunter and SingSing making the decision to leave QPAD to their acquisition by RattleSnake and now by Cloud 9, the team has managed to shine through all of the aforementioned controversies. They even won MLG Columbus when Marco's RattleSnake/Speed Gaming fiasco erupted mere two hours before their grand finals against the Chinese Juggernaut, Team DK.
Ever since their first place finish at MLG Columbus, C9 has struggled to win a title and has consistently placed below the 1st rank in competitions; both major and minor. They came second in D2CL#2, DreamHack Bucharest, DreamLeague season 1 and Monster Energy Invitational. However, WPC-ACE #2 and D2L Western Challenge is a different story altogether since C9 didn't manage to even place in top 3.
C9 started their journey at TI4 on a positive note by dominating the early groupstage games. They even displayed a glimpse of versatility and won many hearts with their out-of-the-box drafts when they applied Meepo to the meta. Aptly cementing their position in the main event, however, they start in the lower bracket wherein a second chance doesn't apply.
2nd - Monster Energy Invitational (2014) - $3,000
3rd - MLG TKO America (2014) - $4,500
2nd - Dota 2 Champions League #2 (2014) - $31,000
2nd - DreamHack Bucharest (2014) - $8,800
5th-8th - WPC League, season 2 (2014) - $3,200
2nd - DreamLeague, season 1, DHS14 (2014) - $41,500
5th/6th - D2L Western Challenge (2014) - $1,800
Natus Vincere is a name that is easily remembered for the sheer number of massive accomplishments in both; major and minor tournaments. Combine that with a star studded Dota 2 roster, the name instantly shoots to fame and is one of the most popular teams in the history of eSports.
It also is a team which is stable in terms of roster and haven't undergone too many roster changes, unless necessary. They are also the only team that has made their way to consecutive three TI finals; winning the inaugural season. With rich history and experience to back them up, Puppey and company will look forward to leave an impact on this year's TI as well.
Their journey into TI4 began on a turbulent note as they were marred with more losses as compared to wins in the early groupstages. Known for "lose now win later" strategy, Na'Vi made their way up the leadership board slow and steady - enough for them to secure a position at the main event.
However, securing a slot in the winners bracket was much more convinient than starting out in the lower bracket, but the Ukrainians were unable to face the might of NewBee with adequate power and stumbled against them, thereby, being sent down to start in the lower bracket where a loss means direct elimination from the event.
Na'Vi has also struggled to put forth a stable performance this year as they have managed to place amongst top 3 in only a handful tournaments. Besides that, they have performed below par in StarLadderTV IX, The Summit and DreamLeague #1. Can Puppey pull out some new tricks similar to last year's Chen+Pudge combination, that sent a confident and heavy stacked TongFu out of TI3?
1st - StarLadder: StarSeries VIII (2013/2014) - $62,000
2nd - DotaCinema Captains Draft Inv. (2014) - $10,000
1st - Dota 2 Champions League #2 (2014) - $62,000
4th/5th - MLG T.K.O. Europe (2014) - $1,500
5th/6th - StarLadder Season 9, Kiev (2014) - $7,500
4th - The Summit, Los Angeles (2014) - $10,200
7-12th - DreamLeague, season 1, DHS14 (2014) - $8,250
2nd - D2L Western Challenge (2014) - $19,500
Team DK is perhaps the most popular team in the lot comprised of veterans from China, Singapore and Malaysia. After a dismal showing at TI3, Team DK accquired the services of LaNm and SEA veterans, Mushi and Iceiceice who played for Orange Esports and Zenith, respectively.
A dream team in its own real sense, DK looked real scary on paper. Living up to its name, the team started to dominate the competitive scene in China at a steady pace. They travelled to the United States to compete at MLG Columbus; their first foreign tournament. Even though they lost in the finals, DK bounced back and won WPC-ACE #1 against Invictus Gaming after being down 0-3.
Their biggest foreign victory came at StarLadderTV IX in Kiev, Ukraine against Team Empire, as they defeated the Russian team in the grand finals. DK also came into the spotlight when news started sprouting out regarding Chinese teams not willing to scrim against them.
Despite of the ups and downs, DK have placed consistently amongst top three in almost every competition they were a part of. Even though their journey in TI4 groupstage started slow, they managed to secure themselves a place in the winners bracket for the main event.
The Chinese dream team is heavily hyped to win TI4 and with solid achievements to back them up, the dream doesn't seem impossible to be achieved, especially, when LaNm and few others are heavily contemplated to retire once the competition is over. Can DK emulate the success they were really meant for?
2nd - Red Bull eSports Champions League (2014) ~ $3,300
1st - G-League 2013 season 3 (2013/2014) - $33,000
1st - Sina Cup, season 3 (2014) - $9,800
1st - StarLadder Season 9, Kiev (2014) - $85,000
3rd/4th - MarsTV Dota 2 League (2014) - $1,600
2nd - WPC League, season 2 (2014) - $48,000
2nd - The Summit, Los Angeles (2014) - $25,600
1st - Esports Champions League (2014) ~ $9,700
1st - Sunt CDEC New Star (2014) ~ $9,600
2nd - GEST Challenge June (2014) - $2,000
3rd/4th - WVW Nest June (2014) - $400
Vici Gaming is the second Chinese team on the lot with a huge potential to win TI4. After a turbulent debut with ZSMJ and CTY initially being a part of the team, it underwent roster shuffle post TI3. Former DK players rOtk and Super combined with the carry potential of Sylar who left LGD, completed the team consisting of the talented duo; Fy and Fenrir.
Together, they started anhilating other Chinese teams in process due to their aggressive nature of gameplay. VG is one of the few Chinese teams that apply unorthodox strategies from time to time combined with aggressive and fast paced push style plays. They often try to establish early dominance in the game and set tone for their carry player to farm up his core items in process.
They are one of the three Chinese teams besides DK and iG to have won a tournament on foreign soil against the Europeans. However, they appeared to be in a slump up and until TI4. Unexpectedly, the team found their mojo and completely dominated the groupstage at TI4. They carried on their momentum in the phase rounds and secured themselves the highest seed accompanied by a guranteed top 4 finish.
3rd - Dota 2 League, season 4 (2013/2014) - $7,500
2nd - Sina Cup, season 3 (2014) - $3,200
3rd - Netolic Pro League #5 East (2014) - $800
2nd - WVW Tournament (2014) - $1,300
3rd/4th - MarsTV Dota 2 League (2014) - $1,600
5th-8th - WPC League, season 2 (2014) - $3,200
3rd - The Summit, Los Angeles (2014) - $15,400
3rd - Sunt CDEC New Star (2014) ~ $1,600
3rd/4th - WVW Nest June (2014) - $400
Similar to other Chinese teams, Invictus Gaming were victims to various roster shuffles post TI3. The TI2 winners were left humiliated at TI3, when they suffered a shameful defeat in the main event. Internal issues played a major role in the team's dismal performance.
Post TI3, Zhou was soon traded to TongFu whilst Chuan went inactive for a few months but still was under the iG contract. These two were replaced by Hao and Banana from TongFu, and the team started showing promising results. However, after its defeat to DK at WPC-ACE #1, Hao and Banana left the team as they were soon a part of the great Chinese reshuffle.
With iG's fate unknown, Sicong Wang, recruited RattleSnake's Luo as the team's carry player alongside ChuaN, who chose to return to the team with whom he achieved great results. The roster was touted to be a strong one, but iG's poor performance at StarLadderTV IX coupled with internal strife, raised questions on the team's stability.
Luo was criticized heavily with Faith and ChuaN rumoured to join NewBee, Sicong Wang, once again interfered and made them both stay. Rest is history, as iG went on to win WPC-ACE #2 against DK and ESL One Frankfurt. They started strong at TI4 and ended on a positive note, however, lost to NewBee in the phase round and secured themselves a loser bracket seeding.
1st - Red Bull eSports Champions League (2014) ~ $16,500
2nd - G-League 2013 season 3 (2013/2014) - $8,200
1st - Netolic Pro League #5 East (2014) - $8,200
4th - StarLadder Season 9, Kiev (2014) - $15,000
5th/6th - MarsTV Dota 2 League (2014) - $800
1st - WPC League, season 2 (2014) - $160,000
3rd - Esports Champions League (2014) ~ $1,600
1st - GEST Challenge June (2014) - $7,000
1st - WVW Nest June (2014) - $5,500
1st - ESL One Frankfurt (2014) - $80,000
NewBee is the third Chinese team that has amassed quite traction. Be it for the supposed dream team that encountered unexpected twists and turns, the constant roster shuffle to achieve a stable line-up or the panic and anger when players turned down the offer to join the team more than once - NewBee has seen it all.
Led by LGD's former captain xiao8 alongside the talented duo of Hao-Mu, combined with excellent support from SanSheng and Banana makes this team look solid on paper. Before reaching their peak, this team has struggled to make amends as it got engulfed in a big controversy regarding the "supposed" and "actual" player changes. However, they started living up to their name as they were able to synergize in a timely manner before they received invitation to TI4.
Even though the team has less achievements as compared to their Chinese compatriots, it is quite understandable considering the short amount of time they have been together. They have consistently placed in top 3 in almost every competition they participated in - with a few exceptions. Their highlight tournament victory can be considered MarsTV Dota 2 League that took place after the TI4 Chinese qualifiers, wherein NewBee decimated LGD in the grand finals.
After having a rough start in TI4 groupstages, xiao8 and company have found their way to top after starting out at bottom. They got a hat-trick in Phase III as they out-manouvered Titan, Na'Vi and iG in process to book themselves a place in the winners bracket.
1st - MarsTV Dota 2 League (2014) - $16,000
3rd - WPC League, season 2 (2014) - $16,000
2nd - Esports Champions League (2014) ~ $4,800
2nd - Sunt CDEC New Star (2014) ~ $4,800
3rd - GEST Challenge June (2014) - $1,000
2nd - WVW Nest June (2014) - $1,300
LGD has been a household name in China for a long time from early war3 days. They ventured into Dota 2 and found immediate success at TI2 after achieving the 3rd place. However, things took a downturn post TI3 with Sylar leaving the team for RisingStars. Since then LGD has been at the centre of mockery, considering the troubles it has gone through with its roster.
After experiencing nearly more player changes than other teams, LGD finally found an apt replacement in Lin. A year of constant struggle to have a stable roster marred LGD's TI4 invitation. Instead, they started from the qualifiers and surprisingly won it as well - second time in a row.
They backed it up with a second place in MarsTV Dota 2 League, and have been showing promising performance ever since. Similar to other teams, LGD also had a rough start in TI4 groupstages, but caught up with their slack and put forth an amazing performance day 2 onwards.
LGD eliminated Team Liquid and secured themselves a place in the lower bracket of the main event, and will face fellow compatriots iG. A loss to either of these teams would mean direct elimination from the competition. Does LGD have enough firepower to pull another upset? Or will they fall like dominoes?
Round 3 - Best of 3
Round 4 - Best of 3
Best of 5
This year's main event will be casted by renowned personalities such as David 'LD' Gorman from BTS, David 'Luminous' Zhang from GDStudio, Troels 'syndereN' Neilsen from DotaCinema and Toby 'TobiWan' Dawson from joinDOTA. Additionally, the newcomers stream will be casted by Shannon 'SUNSfan' Scotten, Kevin 'Purge' Codec, William 'Blitz' Lee, Shane and Pyrionflax.
As you can see in the image above, this year's prize money has exceeded a whopping $10,000,000 with the winner bound to take close to $4,900,000. The 2nd and 3rd place will also walk away with a minimum million dollars, whilst teams ranking between 4th-8th place will walk home with minimum $500,000.Teams that have been eliminated from the tournament have walked away with figures mounting from $20,000 to $48,000.
It was announced that The International Dota 2 Championships 2014 will be held at Key Arena, Seattle as opposed to Benaroya Hall - the place where TI2 and TI3 were held. Considering the amount of prize money on the line alongside the tough neck competition, it was apt for Valve to switch to a bigger and even grandular venue.
Key Arena has been home to hosting events of big magnitude such as NFL and NBA. This time it will house Dota 2's premier competition - The International Dota 2 Championships, where tickets were sold out in less than an hour.
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