Dota 2 The International 2019 Recap
The most important and best paying Dota 2 tournament has just ended and new records were set in 2019. OG has just become the first team to win The International twice after claiming the first spot last year. They did so without dropping a single series and after a dominant performance in the group stage. This year’s tournament had the biggest guaranteed prize pool ever for an esports competition, with a massive $34.3 million split among the 18 participating teams.
Dota 2 The International Facts and Figures
On August 15, the TI9 group stage began with the 18 squads divided into two groups of nine teams each. Three days later, after dozens of matches were played in a best-of-three series, the top four teams advanced to the upper bracket of the main event. OG had the best record with 6 victories and 2 draws, followed by PSG.LGD with 5 victories and 3 draws. They were the only undefeated teams during this stage of the competition and not surprisingly, they ended up playing the upper bracket final.
Dota 2 The International main event started on August 20 with the 16 qualifying teams fighting in a double elimination format over six days. PSG.LGD was the only team from Group A to win the first round, while OG were joined by Evil Geniuses and Vici Gaming in the second round. Infamous was the revelation of the lower bracket, winning back-to-back games until hitting the brick wall called Team Secret. In the same half of the tables, Team Liquid began their surge to the top, eliminating one team at the time to set up an epic Grand Final against OG.
The TI9 was expected to set new financial records and the Dota 2 tournaments didn’t disappoint. In 2019 the total prize pool stood high at $34,314,348 USD, with 45.5% being awarded to OG, as the winners of the event. Team Liquid were rewarded $4.4 million, or the equivalent of 13%, while PSG.LGD and Team Secret got a bit over three, respectively two million dollars. Even the consolation prizes awarded to the last placed teams were nothing to frown upon, as they took home more than $85,000 each.
OG wins back to back Dota 2 The International
History was made in Shanghai this August, as OG successfully defended the trophy won last year in Vancouver. They were not even the main favorites, at leading bookmakers, such as Pinnacle, Betway or ArcaneBet. Experience, commitment and the ability to keep a cool head under tremendous pressure has ultimately led the reigning champions to another trophy. They were the most consistent team at the TI9, winning the group stage without defeat and extending their invincibility during the playoffs.
What makes OG’s performance even more impressive is the fact that the team had to overcome a lot of adversity in the last three series. They lost the first match against Evil Geniuses, PSG.LGD and Team Liquid, only to rebound and win the series. Their victories were secured in less than 25 minutes, but they were able to win decisive matches spanning over more than 40 minutes. OG found themselves on the brink of defeat twice in these marathon matches, but regained their composure to win each time.
Interesting enough, it was Evil Geniuses that caused them the biggest headaches after sending Team Secret crashing into the lower brackets just one day before. OG were credited with the second chance in just one series, when they took on local favorites PSG.LGD. The mostly Chinese team won the opening match once again and was on the verge of victory in the decider. History repeated itself and OG made the final, where Team Liquid joined them, in the wake of their stunning comeback against PSG.LGD.
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OG Players become the Highest Earning Esports Players
Dota 2 The International 2019 had the biggest prize pool in the history of esports and OG players have won nearly half of it. Not surprisingly, they became the highest earning professional players in history, with captain Johan “N0tail” Sundstein being the uncontested leader. With nearly $7 million earned from playing video games competitively, he tops the list, but his teammates are not that close behind.
Perhaps just as important for these players, is that OG is the only team in history to win back-to-back events. Given the incredibly tough competition, the odds of somebody else matching their performance is remote. Furthermore, the reigning champions need not to worry about this for at least two years and they could even aim for a new record in 2020.
Dreams End Abruptly for TI9 Favourites
Unlike OG who enjoyed a smooth ride to the grand finals, Team Liquid players had to claw their way to the top after falling into the lower bracket. They were nearly invincible in this half of the tables, dropping the first game in the lower bracket final after winning nine consecutive matches. They were not able to win the second The International, but their captain Kuro Takhasomi became the first player to compete in 200 games in this flagship Dota 2 competition.
Team Secret were the main favorites to win the tournament, but they showed many signs of weakness throughout the event. In the end, they made one mistake too many and were outplayed by Team Liquid in the semifinals. PSG.LGD was the team with most fans cheering from the stands, but that was not enough for the last year’s runners-up. They won back-to-back finals in the upper and lower brackets, each time after winning the opening match and will have to wait one more year for a chance to win the trophy.