The International 2016, the biggest tournament in Dota 2 history took 10 days of matches to conclude. 16 teams started out hoping to lift up the trophy on August 13. When the day started, only 3 of them had any hope left, with Wings being closer to their goal than anyone else.
Lower Bracket Finals
Evil Geniuses vs. Digital Chaos
Having just lost against Wings Gaming the day before in the Upper Bracket Final, Evil Geniuses still had a chance to try and take revenge against them, however, for that, they had to defeat Digital Chaos first. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy, as DC was a very strong team, as proven by their journey through the Lower Bracket, where they defeated LGD, TNC, EHOME, and Fnatic to make it.
The first match of the series started with Digital Chaos fielding Naga Siren, Oracle, Razor, Mirana, and Tidehunter against Evil Geniuses’ Shadow Demon, Queen of Pain, Faceless Void, Kunkka, and Luna. It didn’t go very well for Evil Geniuses at all. The game took 35 minutes to complete and in the end, two Digital Chaos players, Aliwi "w33" Omar and Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok had 8 kills, with w33 even being able to boast 10 assists to 1 death. On the other side of the map, everything went much worse.
The second match went a little differently. Digital Chaos played Ogre Magi, Witch Doctor, Slark, Jakiro, and Faceless Void against EG’s Dazzle, Medusa, Beastmaster, Elder Titan, and Sven. EG managed to use Clinton "Fear" Loomis’ and Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan’s beastly performances on Sven and Medusa respectively to get one over their opponents, tieing the match up and going to three games.
The decided took almost 49 minutes to be over. In the end, Digital Chaos’ Kunkka, Shadow Demon, Slark, Ursa, and Beastmaster won against EG’s Dazzle, brewmaster, Tideunter, Elder Titan, and Terrorblade, in big part due to Resolut1on’s amazing 12/2/5 Slark. It has to be noted, however, that EG’s Fear did even better on Terrorblade, having a 16/2/6 scoreline at the end of the game. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to ensure the Evil ones a victory.
Wings Gaming vs. Digital Chaos
With Evil Geniuses’ hopes for a rematch in the Grand Final dashed, the only team standing between Wings and The International 6 trophy was Digital Chaos, the North American upstarts. Different from the rest of the games in The International, the Grand Final was to be played as a best of five.
The first game, with a difference of ~$6M between the winnings of first and second place, this best of five series had the highest stakes of all time, not only in Dota 2 but eSports in general as well. For their first volley of the war called The International 6 Grand Final, Digital Chaos picked Ogre Magi, Keeper of the Light, Faceless Void, Skywrath Mage, and Timbersaw. Wings responded with Silencer, Storm Spirit, Slardar, Pudge, and Io. It’s hard to know whether players had problems dealing with the pressure or not, but what seems clear is that w33 was calm as a cucumber, getting 16 kills and 10 assists to 4 deaths on Skywrath Mage, to help his team win the first match of the series.
Taking the slap gracefully, Wings concentrated on the next game, picking up Faceless Void, Invoker, Slardar, Sand King, and Oracle against DC’s Naga Siren, Shadow Demon, Razor, Mirana, and Doom. Now, Wings had the advantage, winning the game in 40:40. Their Faceless Void, Invoker, and Slardar were especially strong.
Seeking to regain their advantage, DC picked up Sand King, Winter Wyrm, Clinkz, Mirana, and Timbersaw, but they got destroyed in 45:29 by Wings’ 20/0/16 Faceless Void and 14/4/13 Death Prophet, with the support of Nyx Assassin, Kunkka, and Oracle. To have any real chance of actually staying alive in the series, DC had to win this game, for when they lost, the momentum swing towards Wings was probably too huge to recover, even with superb play in the next match.
Speaking of the next match, Digital Chaos tried to stop the Wings’ flight with the anti-air comp of Night Stalker, Vengeful Spirit, Mirana, Slark, and Timbersaw, however Wings’ Anti-mage, Batrider, Axe, Elder Titan, and Keeper of the Light proved to be too strong for the. The biggest contributors to the tournament winning match on Wings’ side was their 10/2/14 Anti-Mage and 10/3/16 Batrider. While Wings Gaming wasn’t a favorite of mine, I can’t say that they didn’t deserve to win this tournament. After all, they showed some great Dota 2 action, being one of the more unique teams in the tournament.