For the first time in the history of Dota 2, a team has managed to win The International twice. The winner of this year’s edition is none other than OG, the same team that won last year as well. Their story is incredible and in this article, we will take a close look at it. We’ll also analyze the outcome of The International 2019 and the key moments of the tournament.
The International took place in two stages. The first of these stages had two groups consisting of nine teams each. Every team had to play one Bo2 match against all the other opponents. In the end, the top four teams advanced to the Upper Bracket of the Main Event, the next four teams advanced to the Lower Bracket while the last place competitor was eliminated.
The results of The International 2019 Group Stage were the following:
In Group A, Team Liquid finished much lower than people had been anticipated while Newbee had a fantastic start. In Group B, OG surprised everyone and looked right from the first few matches like a serious candidate for the Aegis of Champions. The losers of the Group Stage were Chaos Esports Club and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Both teams were European. However, Europe was going to make up for this by having three competitors in the top four. Furthermore, the Grand Final was played between two European teams: OG and Team Liquid. So in a final analysis, Europe reigned supreme at The International 2019.
The Main Event of The International 2019 started with PSG.LGD, Team Secret, Newbee, TNC Predator, OG, Vici Gaming, Evil Geniuses and Virtus.pro in the Upper Bracket. The remaining eight competitors had to struggle in the Lower Bracket and some of the fan favorites were eliminated right from the first match, which was a Bo1. Alliance and Natus Vincere were among them.
In the Upper Bracket of The International 2019, the favorites won their matches with one exception: Team Secret. PSG.LGD triumphed over Virtus.pro, Vici Gaming struggled but eventually won against TNC Predator, OG crushed Newbee, but Secret lost against Evil Geniuses. Nevertheless, they then went on to win three consecutive matches in the Lower Bracket and finished 4th overall.
The most impressive team of the Upper Bracket was of course OG. The Europeans did exactly the same thing they had done in 2018, beating one North American roster in their first match (2 – 0), Evil Geniuses in their second match (2 – 1) and PSG.LGD in the third (2 – 1). Even the scores were identical, which gave people a feeling of deja vu.
Having #TeamLiquid beat #SecretFighting in stunning fashion, it now time for Liquid to face #LGD to see who will face #DreamOG in the grand finals 😬— VulkanBet (@BetVulkan) August 24, 2019
Get your game on 👉 https://t.co/bWgxOw7P66 #TI9 #TheInternational2019 #Dota2 #esports #finals pic.twitter.com/TxR4SDWVNi
In the Lower Bracket, RNG and Infamous had very impressive runs, finishing 7th – 8th and beating stronger teams in the process. RNG defeated both Alliance and Virtus.pro while Infamous managed to beat Keen Gaming and Newbee. When the competition was down to the final six teams, five of them had been among the top six in the Dota Pro Circuit. So apart from OG, which basically replaced Virtus.pro (9th – 12th), The International 2019 had no surprises at the top. Team Liquid predictably defeated Evil Geniuses while Team Secret destroyed Vici Gaming in two very quick games (below 25 minutes). Then it was Liquid’s time to shine, against both Secret and PSG.LGD.
The Grand Final of The International 2019 looked finished even before it began. However, Liquid did manage to grab the first game after a huge blunder on ana’s part, who should have bought back to defend the Ancient but delayed until it was too late. Going into the next three games, however, OG looked unstoppable and practically won each time in under 20 minutes, even though the games lingered for a bit longer.
Perhaps the most important aspect of The International 2019, or at least the one with the biggest impact on the esports industry and its future development, was the prize pool. A total of $34 million was gathered and distributed by Valve to the 18 participants. And thanks to their totally disproportionate way of splitting the money, not just in Dota 2 but also in CS:GO, the winner received 45,5% of that amount, or $15,6 million. Think about it: 15,6 million dollars for winning an esports tournament.
The complete prize pool distribution of The International 2019 was the following:
|1st place||OG||$15,6 million|
|2nd place||Team Liquid||$4,4 million|
|3rd place||PSG.LGD||$3 million|
|4th place||Team Secret||$2 million|
|5th – 6th place||Evil Geniuses, Vici Gaming||$1,2 million|
|7th – 8th place||RNG, Infamous||$857.000|
|9th – 12th place||Virtus.pro, TNC Predator, Newbee, Mineski||$686.000|
|13th – 16th place||Alliance, Keen Gaming, Fnatic, Natus Vincere||$514.000|
|17th – 18th place||Chaos Esports Club, Ninjas in Pyjamas||$85.000|
The International 2019 was the first edition of The International that was won by a previous winner of the event. And not only that, but it also created a scenario that’s hard to replicate in Dota 2: having a team that wins twice in a row. And perhaps the most difficult and miraculous aspect of it was that OG’s victory came both times totally unexpectedly, at the end of a failed season. Both in 2018 and 2019, OG started the tournament as underdogs.
Another interesting fact about The International 2019 is that it had six European teams among the 18 competitors and three of those teams finished in the top four. It’s also the first time ever when two European teams were in the Grand Final.
The third notable thing about The International 2019 was already discussed and has to do with the prize pool, which was the largest not only in the history of Dota, but also for the entire esports industry.