Dota 2: a recap of 2018
Last year was one to remember for Dota 2 fans. A total of 10 tournaments with prize pools over 1 million dollars were organized by a variety of companies, as well as almost 20 other smaller events with prizes ranging from $100.000 to $500.000. Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better year. The array of top-level matches and Dota 2 betting opportunities was unprecedented.
In this article, I’ll take a short tour of the key Dota 2 moments and teams that marked the year 2018.
For Virtus.pro, 2018 was by far their best year yet. They played in the Grand Final of 5 different Majors and won 4 of them: ESL One Katowice: 2018 (1st), The Bucharest Major (1st), ESL One Birmingham 2018 (1st), China Dota 2 Supermajor (2nd) and The Kuala Lumpur Major (1st). In particular, this last Major was part of the new competitive season, so VP’s victory in this event has already put them at the top of the global rankings table, in addition to almost guaranteeing the team a direct invite to The International 2019.
Virtus.pro finished the first Dota Pro Circuit in 1st place and then went on to obtain a decent result at The International 2018 (5th – 6th). TI 8 was probably their lowest point of the year when it comes to top performances. In compensation for this underperformance, Solo and his squad were simply unstoppable at a wide range of other DPC events.
In spite of having a completely awful 2018 right until TI 8, OG will remain for sure the team of the year in a lot of people’s minds. What OG managed to accomplish had never been done before in the history of the game, and possibly in the history of esports as a whole.
OG had to go through Open Qualifiers and then Regional Qualifiers to earn a ticket for The International 2018, and when they finally got there they were ranked as the least likely team to win the event. Out of 18 teams that were on that list, OG was right at the bottom where critics thought they belonged based on their statistics for that season.
In spite of all the obstacles, OG started from the bottom and ended up winning the Aegis of Champions, after the greatest Grand Final in the history of The International. Some may argue that the TI 3 Grand Final between Alliance and Na’Vi was even better, but I think the sheer determination it took from OG to overcome the strongest team of the tournament (on paper), PSG.LGD, made for a much better show than anyone had ever experienced.
The International 2018
For yet another season, The International broke all previous records in terms of audience (for Dota 2), prize pool (for esports in general) and spectacle. The event brought together 18 teams, took place over 11 days, had a prize pool of $25.5 million and was watched for more than 53 million hours via live streams by audiences from around the globe.
TI 8 was a monumental event and I fear we won’t see a better one for quite a few years to come. It’s hard to imagine how so much energy, spectacle and drama miraculously came together to create such a memorable experience. But as a new year starts, we can only hope that similar events are just around the corner, starting with The Bucharest Minor (January 9th – 13th).