Ti11 Highlights – The International Highlights Archive and Daily Highlights
The International Championship is arguably the most anticipated tournament in Dota 2, and plausibly Esports. It is held annually, and for many pro players, it’s the pinnacle of their career to play on such a stage.
As such, we have had quite a series of past Internationals, each one with its own Ti highlights to make it memorable. As the International 11 draws near, these are the Ti11 highlights you might have missed.
This section will be updated with daily highlights from The International 2022. Meanwhile, we selected some highlights from all previous TI’s date.
The International Highlights Archive
We take a trip down memory lane, to the first International (TI1) when Gabe Newell’s welcome speech was broadcasted. Eleven years ago, participating in a $1.6M tournament of a game, which was still in beta, sounds very much a scam. In fact, even the participating teams and players had their doubts that they are in a fake tournament. However, Valve was serious about hosting million-dollar tournaments, such that this became the foothold for upcoming iterations of the International Championship.
Although TI2 had the same prize pool, the International Highlight that defined that year was Invictus Gaming’s victory over Natus Vincere. Navi won TI1, which was a massive feet, but during that time, there weren’t many teams as cunning as Navi. The victory by a Chinese team likely gave the Chinese Dota 2 scene the bloom it needed to become strong contenders.
Ti3 Highlights – Crowd-funded & Rat Dota-ed
TI3 was the first year when Valve introduced community-funded prize pool on top of Valve’s own $1.6M initial prize pool. TI3 Compendium offered exclusive skins, of which the hero Pudge’s Dragonclaw Hook was all the craze, many thanks to Navi’s mid-player, Danil “Dendi” Ishutin. Over the years, due to how limited it was, the DC Hook once reached $1500 at its highest demand. Another iconic Ti Highlight was when Dendi’s Pudge and Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s Chen pulled off the Fountain Hook play. The “play”, however, raised a debate on whether it’s a well-executed skill or bug abuse.
TI3 continued to have more Ti Highlights, especially when Alliance showcased its Rat Dota strategy, which relied on split-pushing. Alliance won the grand finals with this very strategy against Navi’s stronger team-fight draft.
We skip over Ti4 as the most boring Dota 2 Ti ever played.
EG’s first TI
Fast forward to TI5 when Evil Geniuses, the North American powerhouse won the region’s first TI. This TI Highlight is more memorable when Syed “SumaiL” Hassan became the youngest player to win TI at only sixteen. Yet, TI5 felt personal for many fans rooting for Clinton “Fear” Loomis after his featured story in Valve’s “Free To Play” documentary.
Fear was among the oldest players, and his arm injury forced him to withdraw from TI4. As such, when Fear finally won TI5, it was a sign of relief for both Fear and the fans. Of course, who could forget the million-dollar echo slam by Saahil “Universe” Arora, which won them the last match?
Wings and Liquid continue the east-west pattern
TI6 was the year of Wings Gaming, a relatively new Chinese team that took the competition by storm. Notably, the players are infamous for their hero versatility, which puts their opponents in a tough position to draft. As such, Wings Gaming didn’t only win TI6 but became the proclaimed strongest team of its time.
Six years of TI Highlights, and yet Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi has not won TI yet. TI7 showcased the prominence of Chinese teams once more, especially Newbee, LGD, and LYF. Kuroky’s team, Team Liquid had to play the lower bracket run up till the grand finals, going into TI7 as the dark horse. Yet, Team Liquid managed to sweep the finals 3-0 against Newbee.
KuroKy is among the most respected players in the pro scene, and winning his first TI, certainly felt emotional. Their Dota 2 True Sight episode says it all.
Team OG, the two-time champions
TI8 kicks off its TI highlight with Team OG’s journey to become champions. Unlike past champions, OG started its journey from the open qualifiers. Certainly not the easiest way to qualify for TI, let alone win TI8, which is likely why OG became the fan favorite ever since. TI8 grand finals being a complete best-of-five series meant that there were many TI highlights from Sébastien “Ceb” Debs’ Axe call, which saved the decisive fight in game 4 to Johan “N0tail” Sundstein’s global presence as Nature’s Prophet in game 5.
TI9 was the second year OG won TI, but this time, OG was in their prime. They were much more confident and showcased new hero meta, notably carry Io. If anything, it’s OG’s spirit and morale which really carried OG as an unstoppable opponent, and of course, the excessive taunts.
Team Spirit becomes EEU’s richest Dota team
Then, just recently, after the one-year hiatus, TI10 returned and this time, it was in favor of a new candidate, Team Spirit. Team Spirit as a team of young blood carried a similar essence of versatility as OG. Yet, fans quickly became drawn into Team Spirit’s momentum after watching how overwhelmingly strong they won their matches. Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov really defined how an offlane role should be, as he had so much impact in-game and drafts. Even PSG.LGD, a highly regarded powerhouse had trouble contemplating what heroes to ban from Collapse.
There is one word to highlight from T10 and it is: Magnus
As such, the International Highlight that Team Spirit delivered was really the meta change, whereby offlane roles became more playmaking than just surviving.