Dota 2: Team Liquid Wins TI7 And Over $10 Million in Prize Money

Team Liquid celebrate their success at The International 2017. (Photo by Valve)

Team Liquid have done it. They’ve won The International 2017. The European victors have taken home a monumental $10.8 million cash prize and are now the proud owners of the Aegis of Champions no less. Even the vigour and stamina of Chinese hopefuls Newbee, who took home $5,025,029 after winning The Tournament back in 2013 was no match for the prowess of Team Liquid in the grand finals – which saw them eliminate the former team with an outstanding 3-0 final score. Notably, this is the first time in a Valve event final that a team has completely wiped the floor of another team, unscathed. Their victory also follows a phenomenon which is seeing an alternating pattern of Western and Chinese wins.

The nearest Team Liquid have been to winning the first prize was back in 2013 where they reached only 7th place.

Liquid have always been, without a shadow of a doubt a powerful team, but arguably were underdogs this year, as China appeared to be all set to reign supreme, with Chinese favourites LGD.Forever Young (LFY) gliding through the Upper brackets, and chewing up and spitting out their rivals (incidentally coming third place overall and taking $2,592,231 home – 10.5% of the overall prize pool), after an impressive run. That was until Newbee showed them who was boss in the semi-finals on the 11th of August, beating them into the Lower bracket semi-final with a 2-1 win. Team Liquid thrashed them whilst they were down (quite literally) with the same score, and thus established the two giants as the grand final competitors.

Many people were also predicting and indeed hoping for a second International title for Newbee – which would’ve been a first for the tournament and a resultant very rich gang of gamers. Four of the six top teams this year were Chinese. Liquid and Virtus.pro, the other two, were the only remaining European teams until Liquid defeated VP by a hairs breadth with a close 2-1 win.

Let’s recap and have a look at how Team Liquid fared over the course of The Tournament. A wobbly start saw them defeated 2-1 and thus knocked into the lower bracket by Chinese team Invictus Gaming (iG) after their first match on the 7th of August. However, subsequent matches saw Liquid, captained by seven-time International competitor Kuro “Kuroky” Takhasomi, who has previously played with such teams as Natus Vincere and Team Secret, suddenly finding their feet, gaining momentum and kicking some serious a*s.  Liquid dusted themselves off after this initial loss and beat the European Team Secret 2-1 the following day. Next they faced Team Empire and beat them a clean 2-0 in the 3rd Lower bracket round on August 10th. Russians Virtus Pro took advantage of their exhausted, slightly weakened state later that day after their first round which totalled a lengthy 103 minutes and 33 seconds and grabbed themselves 1 win, in a best of 3, but ultimately couldn’t keep up and lost 2-1.

The following day saw Liquid beat LGD Gaming 2-0 in a total time of just one hour in the 5th round, a win which paved the way for their semi-final place against LGD.Forever Young. LFY won the first match in 57 minutes, 52 seconds. It wasn’t looking good for Liquid, particularly given LFY’s run this year. However, Liquid came to, maintained their focus, and thanks to MinD_ContRoL’s Nature’s Prophet beat them in the following two matches – lasting a short 31 minutes 20 seconds, and 48 minutes and 51 seconds, respectively. 

The Grand Final, a best of five games, which took place at 15.00 on August 12th saw Liquid mightier and more self-assured than ever as they crept towards the titans who awaited them, Newbee. Unstoppable, they slaughtered Newbee in just 27 minutes and 34 seconds in the first round - their second quickest game of the tournament. The second match consisted of 34 minutes 11 seconds and the third 45 minutes 19 seconds.

The official Team Liquid twitter page, @TeamLiquid, boasted of their success in the following tweet on the 12th of August: “Make sure you follow your #TI7 CHAMPIONS!” followed by this: “We made history with a clean sweep in the grand finals at the International 7!” before inviting you to “Watch our journey.”, which succinctly details their road to victory from the beginning of TI7 to the end.

Surpassing the estimated $7million win for the champions of the World Cup: which involves, for some perspective a whole month of playing soccer, The International stands as one of the most lucrative sporting events in the world, generating monolithic sums of cash.

Newbee, who simply tweeted “GG.” (nerd-speak for “good game”) on their official twitter page @NewbeeCN in response to Liquid’s win might’ve come second place, but they shouldn’t be too disheartened. They took home a $3,944,370 cash prize, which is 16% of the total $24,787,913 prize pool, which was incidentally generated solely thanks to fan purchases of goods in Dota 2. That’s $788,874 for each of the five competitors on the team.

Between them, players Miracle-, MinD_ContRoL, KuroKy, GH and MATUMBAMAN would split the prize money for $2,160,000 each, assuming its split only between them. Whether they decide to splurge the cash on four private jets apiece, a swanky Parisian city-centre apartment each, carefully invest it, or resign themselves to an early retirement, they’re most certainly, and I hate to use the execrable MTV term, “made”. Is this a justifiable amount of money? Should one really make millions from simply playing Dota 2? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Ubiquitous cult Dota 2 personality, Dota-related artist and moderator for the Dota 2 subreddit page, or, to put it simply, number one Dota 2 freak Wykrhm Reddy pretty much sums up how all fans feel following the end of tournament on his official twitter page @wkyrhm with the following tweet, which he posted on the 13th of August: “The morning after … always feels weird. But here we are. One season done and another to begin. And the next one is gonna be spectacular.”

James hails from Manchester, UK: the rainy north of England, where writing and indeed gaming are some of the few available pastimes. He moved to Barcelona in 2014 where he teaches English.
Gamer Since: 1991
Favorite Genre: RPG
Top 3 Favorite Games:Batman: Arkham Asylum, Grand Theft Auto V,
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