The International 4 has recently come to a close and with it the closure of the season of professional Dota. The event was a landmark for not only Dota but E-Sports in general. Fans filled Seattle’s Key Arena, which boasts over 30 thousand seats, and cheered for their favorite teams in the largest stage E-Sports has ever seen.
This year we saw The International dominated by Chinese teams as 5 of the 8 teams who made the main event were Chinese and both teams who made the finals were Chinese. This can be rooted to the fact that the Chinese meta was arguably the strongest style of play for this patch. Heroes like Death Prophet, Brewmaster, and Shadow Shaman dominated the main event and were all very popular among Chinese teams throughout the year.
This year signified a sudden change for Chinese Dota as games were ending faster than ever. Chinese Dota has always been infamous for being long drawn out matches, without much action but most Chinese teams came out swinging this year, with many games not even reaching the 20 minute mark. This style of early aggression was favored heavily by Vici Gaming who rode it all the way to the finals. In the finals though they met Newbee who seemed to have an immediate answer for every step Vici took towards their goal.
Most teams saw Vici’s push potential drafts and scrambled to pick up counter push to prevent them from taking towers early but ultimately were unable to even do that. Newbee on the other hand simply picked heroes they felt comfortable fighting with in the early game and played 5 man Dota when they needed to, eliminating Vici’s push potential before it was ever able to get footing.
The event itself was a triumph for E-Sports as it was a new standard for production level and scale for a gaming tournament. With an $11 Million prize pool, the stakes were never higher and every team was trying their hardest to bring home the Aegis. At the end of the day Newbee, a collection of former LGD and Tongfu players, claimed the $5 Million first place prize and claimed the Ti4 championship for themselves.