Another year passed by in the blink of an eye and we were already at the doorway to The International 2013 which would see 16 teams competing for that epic prize pool which the tournament had become so famous for. But this year had a bit of a twist which would see Valve release something special to celebrate TI3.
In the next few weeks, I will continue on a journey through the History of the International, where it all began, the prize pools, the winning teams and everything surrounding each event as we lead up to this year’s TI8.
The International 2013
The International 2013 was confirmed by Valve on April 25, 2013, when they released a post on the Dota 2 blog stating that Invictus Gaming – the defending champions – would receive the initial direct invite before the remaining 12 direct invites were sent out. Between this date and the end of April 2013, 13 teams would be confirmed for TI3 while another 2 would come through the Eastern and Western Qualifiers and the final spot would be a ‘Wild Card’ placement (a match-up between second place teams in the regional qualifiers). The Wildcard match was also the first game of TI3 and once the winner had been decided, the tournament was fully underway – with the prize pool being a little different from previous years.
2013 was the first time which Valve released the Compendium – a purchasable item in the game which gave the owner special TI3 only cosmetics. These included HUD skins, Immortal items and a courier too, amongst other small aspects. One of the main aspects of the Compendium was that a percentage of the total from each sale would be added to the actual prize pool for TI and thus we begun to see the rewards grow. There were stretch goals put in place too by Valve so that as the prize pool grew, as did the rewards we’d receive – but even I don’t think Valve would imagine what they had begun.
By the time TI3 had completed, the reward for the top teams had grown to a cumulative $2,874,381 which meant a bigger split for the winners – The International winners now getting over a million dollars.
Dota 2 had been growing exponentially over the past 3 years and by the time the Compendium rolled out, it was clear that the game was racking up fans globally. The teams were now becoming ‘famous’ in their own sense and slowly but surely esports was making its massive mark on the world stage. People were ready to cheer for their champions and TI3 was about to give them some of the best moments in Dota 2 history.
The winners of the first iteration of The International, Natus Vincere, were once again in the limelight, as they battled their way to the Grand Finals with the help of a Chen + Pudge Combo. Going up against TongFu in the Upper Bracket, Na’Vi pulled out the Pudge Fountain Hook combination twice, with the third game showing off Dendi’s prowess on the Butcher hero. The series would ultimately spell the demise of TongFu from the tournament as they dropped to the Lower Bracket and were eliminated.
But this was definitely not the main action of TI3 as the Grand Finals gave us a display the likes of which we’d never seen – and in my opinion, not one that we have seen since. With Na’Vi going up against Alliance, both teams giving it absolutely everything. The first game of the series was a 15-minute slaughter by Alliance before game 2 was a 20-minute destruction by Na’Vi. But even so, it was not until the final game of the series where things would get completely crazy.
The magnificent plays from Henrik ‘AdmiralBulldog’ Ahnberg, Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson and the rest of the Alliance team would secure them the TI3 title at the first and currently only full 5 game series Grand Final in TI history. This would also deny Na’Vi claiming their second TI title but would also begin the downfall of the squad from their perch atop the Dota 2 standings. The final moments of that breathtaking final would give any Dota 2 lover some sweet nostalgia as s4 canceled Na’Vi’s Teleports back to base and denied them victory.
The International 2013 Placements and Rewards
- First Place– Alliance – $1,437,190
- Second Place– Natus Vincere – $632,364
- Third Place– Orange Esports – $287,438
- Fourth Place– TongFu – $201,207
- Fifth/Sixth Place– Invictus Gaming/Team DK – $114.975
- Seventh/Eight Place– Team Liquid/Fnatic – $43,116
Dota 2 – Finally Out of Beta
2013 was a landmark year for Valve and Dota 2. With a 2-year ‘beta’ period the game was finally fully released as Valve released it to the public in waves – this was done to avoid a server backlog on their end as they were unsure how big things would get. The game was released to all regions except China and Korea with Perfect World and Nexon handling those respectively. The game, now released completely, did not stop its growth – not in the pro scene nor for the rest of us. And to this day, even though the game may not be at its peak, The International is still the biggest tournament of the gaming world.