How two underdog Dota 2 teams shocked the world at TI9 - Dexerto

How two underdog Dota 2 teams shocked the world at TI9

Published: 23/Aug/2019 22:02 Updated: 6/Apr/2020 13:11

by Scott Robertson


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Royal Never Give Up never gave up. Infamous made themselves famous. And no one in Shanghai expected that much of either team.

The dominant storyline at TI9 has been its underwhelming favorites. Team Liquid, despite their impressive recent playoff performances, looked rough in the group stages and weren’t supposed to start in the lower bracket. Team Secret wasn’t supposed to drop to the lower bracket at all. Virtus.Pro are still haunted by a TI curse, and their pre-tournament favorite status only makes their early exit more disappointing.

But no more talk of disappointment, let’s talk about the underdogs who over achieved: Royal Never Give Up and Infamous.

ValveInfamous and Keen Gaming shake hands.

Royal Never Give Up is a staple of excellence in League of Legends. They’ve achieved several split victories in LPL, and have finished in the top eight at Worlds in the past three years. But their Dota 2 division is unproven, formed just a year ago after the International 2018.

Even after a breakout performance at DreamLeague after just recently forming, they were unable to qualify for majors against some tough local competition.

But at the China qualifier for TI9, RNG advanced through the lower bracket, defeating household Chinese Dota names like EHOME, Invictus, and CDEC to earn a spot at TI9. RNG were in trouble after day two of the group stage, they picked up two big 2-0 wins against Na’Vi and NiP, on the shoulders of their core player Du ‘Monet’ Peng.

RNG rode on Monet’s shoulders against Alliance, as they won a clutch teamfight at 42 minutes against a broke Alliance who couldn’t buy back, and RNG knocked the TI3 champs out in one game.

With momentum, a loud crowd, and a TI curse on their side, RNG stunned tournament favorites Virtus.Pro in the next round in just two games, through superior drafting and smart play alone.

You’ve probably heard what Nahaz said about the Infamous haters.

Here’s some context to this Infamous run. Infamous signed this roster less than two months ago, and a week later, this unproven mostly Peruvian roster stomped through the South American qualifier. Their only loss was a 2-1 to paiN Gaming, who they ended up beating 3-0 in the grand finals.

This team showed up to TI9 despite the disrespect towards the South American scene, held their own in the group stage, and then knocked out a Chinese roster and a Chinese organization with little to zero crowd support.

These two teams came in with no expectations and no perceived chance of winning anything. Instead they made deep runs into the bracket, knocked out some very good teams, and each eventually fell to ultra-talented teams that had no business being in the lower bracket. Before TI9, these two orgs had a combined winnings total of just over $525,000. And now they each just took home $850,000. Statement made.


DOTA 2’s The International 10 achieves world record $40 million prize pool

Published: 10/Oct/2020 0:52

by Bill Cooney


There certainly won’t be any shortage of prize money at DOTA 2’s The International in 2020, with a record-setting amount of over $40 million for the prize pool being accumulated.

The pinnacle of Dota 2 esports is one of the largest celebrations of the popular MOBA, and its record-setting prize pool is a big part of that. Valve usually contributes a baseline of $1.6 million to the pot with the rest coming from player purchases.

25% of all sales for applicable in-game items purchased from the Battle Pass also go into the reward, which has just passed another impressive milestone.

Close to a month after The International 10’s prize pool surpassed that of the 2019 competition’s roughly $33 million mark, it’s now surpassed the ridiculous sum of $40 million.

The International 2020 Prize Pool
Not only is $40 million a record sum for DOTA events, it’s also a record for esports in general.

What’s even more impressive is how quickly fans and players managed to build up to such a staggering dollar amount. In 2019, the then-record breaking sum of $34.3 million was reached in about 110 days before the event began.

The International 10’s prize pool got to that record-breaking number in only 93 days, and reached the $40 million mark roughly a month later just as the Battle Pass ended.

It was clear shortly after the initial launch of the Battle Pass for 2020, that we could very well be in store for another record-breaking year. On the first day of sales, the contribution from battle pass sales reached $6.5 million far above the previous first-day record of $5.8 million.

Biggest Prize Pools in Esports

  1. The International 2020 – $40,000,000+
  2. The International 2019 – $34,330,069
  3. The International 2018 – $25,532,177
  4. The International 2016 – $20,770,460.00
  5. The International 2015 – $18,429,613.05
  6. Fortnite World Cup Finals 2019: Solo – $15,287,500.00

Source: Esports Earnings

Dota 2 Prize Tracker
The TI10 prize pool has absolutely smashed every previous year so far.

As you can tell from the above graph, the $40 million in prize money far exceeds the high point it’s reached in previous years, exponentially higher than even last year’s record-setting spectacle, which was also miles ahead of previous years at basically every step of the way.

Obviously, not being able to physically travel to or watch the premier live event for DOTA 2 esports did little to nothing to dampen fan’s enthusiasm, and as a result, we now officially have a new world record for the largest prize pool at an esports event in history.