After five days of farming, pushing, ganking, and teamfighting, one team has proven itself worthy of the title ‘Best DotA 2 Team in the World’ and of the $1.4 million grand prize that comes with that title.
WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for The International 2013.
The Grand Finals saw fan favorite Ukrainian team Natus Vincere (commonly abbreviated to Na’Vi) face off against new Swedish team Alliance, known for their tight play and flawless victories. Na’Vi was just coming off a narrow victory over Malaysian team Neolution Orange, while Alliance had demolished almost every team they faced. Na’Vi had been beaten by Alliance earlier in the tournament, but the Grand Finals gave Na’Vi a best-of-five rematch to redeem themselves.
The first game was a quick one. Alliance took control of the map early, ganking and shutting down Na’Vi players Dendi and Funn1k. Alliance was pushing down Na’Vi’s second middle tower and dominating teamfights by the time Na’Vi surrendered, only 16 minutes into the game. Game two was a similarly crushing victory, only this time for Na’Vi. While Na’Vi’s Batrider, Wisp, and Bounty Hunter harassed Alliance, XBOCT on Alchemist farmed bottom lane, earning incredible amounts of gold and carrying his team to a 20 minute win.
Game three started with some unconventional hero picks. Alliance grabbed Ogre Magi, making it the first time in The International 3 that Ogre Magi has been picked. Na’Vi responded with a mid-lane Wisp. While it at first looked like a repeat of last game, with XBOCT’s Alchemist farming hard in bottom lane, Alliance’s [A]dmiralBulldog on Lone Druid quickly became a force to be reckoned with. In the mid-game, Alliance and Na’Vi traded blows and made plays as the game seesawed back and forth. However, XBOCT was just too powerful and too well-supported by his team, and Na’Vi won after 46 minutes.
The unconventional picks continued into game four, with Alliance getting Nightstalker for mid-lane, another International 3 first. This proved to be a powerful pick, as six minutes into the game Nightstalker, backed up by the highly mobile Wisp and Nature’s Prophet, started mercilessly ganking Na’Vi, especially XBOCT’s Alchemist. This created pressure to let Alliance’s carry Gyrocopter get strong enough to demolish Na’Vi, leading to a 36 minute win for Alliance.
That brought things down to the wire in game five. Whoever won this match would win the championship. Dendi surprised spectators by choosing a Templar Assassin mid against Puck, while Alliance sought to shut down XBOCT’s farming bottom with an aggressive tri-lane. What followed was a flurry of kill trades and Aegis steals that culminated in Nature’s Prophet, Chaos Knight, and Wisp taking two Na’Vi barracks while Puck and Crystal Maiden kept Na’Vi from retreating and defending. Na’Vi tried valiantly to recover, but Alliance kept up the pressure and ultimately claimed victory.
Alliance, waving a Swedish flag, took the stage to accept their trophy and thank the DotA 2 community for watching. GG, WP.