16 teams down to two. It has been five games of intense matches between the best teams in the world, and let me tell you, it was a culmination of talent, competition and pure passion. But when the dust settles, we get what we want: The International 3 Grand Finals between The Alliance and Natus Vincere. The match is in a best-of-five format. And with the nature of these two teams, sick plays and all-out aggression is in the horizon.
Western Dota is on the apex yet again.
Last year, we saw iG topple the western scene when they ran with the TI2 championship. They rolled out post-TI2, bagging consistent victories for at least three months, only to lose their form in April and the months thereafter. That is where the western Dota scene started to shine. Alliance securing the G-1 league and Na’vi winning the Alienware Cup — both of which held in China and against top Chinese teams — are the perfect example. Now, we see these two teams in their final stretch to determine who’s the best among the best.
The Alliance looks unstoppable.
Let’s face it. The Alliance are the clear favorites to win TI3. They’ve been winning heavily pre-TI3, and their form in the tournament is a feat that won’t be match in the immediate future. They won the group stage in a perfect 16-0 record and went on a rampage in the main event. They only lost to DK once, which is almost negligible. They pummel Na’vi 2-0 to earn a ticket to the grand finals and send Na’vi into the loser’s bracket against Orange.
Orange Neolution E-Sports transforms in the tournament.
It goes without saying that Mushi is a powerhouse (an extremely overused adjective for him) in the Malaysian Dota scene. They had always fallen short in the international competitive Dota atmosphere though, but all of that is now gone in the wind. Dropping immediately to the lower brackets against Na’vi is already a deep hole to get out of, but they went on an impressive run. They fall to Na’vi again in the lower bracket finals in a series of matches that is one for the books. And despite exiting the tournament in third place, they proved that Malaysia and Southeast Asia is a force to be reckoned with in Dota 2. Taking home over $280,000 isn’t bad too.
Na’vi’s chance for redemption.
Na’vi is the first millionaire Dota 2 team with their win in TI1. They lost to iG in TI2 and their performance were rocky late 2012 to early 2013. A roster change gave them a fresh breath of air, but their form didn’t completely hold up after a few months. They were unstoppable since then; now they’re back for another shot in another International championship. If they succeed, they will be the only team to have TI titles under their belt. The $1.4M is a stellar incentive that when won could make them the richest professional gamers in the world.
The grand finals is about to start in a couple of minutes. Watch it in the stream or view the game in the Dota 2 client.