Edited by Meaghan O’Brien.
SEATTLE — Saturday was the last day of the week-long International 2016 Dota 2 Championships. The e-sports event of competitive video gaming took place in Seattle’s Key Arena, where several teams battled for the first place winnings of $9,101,265. The total prize pool was $20,684,694 and 16 teams with members from over 22 different countries participated in an attempt to win big.
People came from all over the world to watch the International, to see their favorite teams compete for 20 million dollars. E-sports are only just beginning, and this was an amazing experience.
It’s almost hard to believe that a video game can generate a prize pool of over 20 million dollars, but there was a huge audience. Almost every seat in the Arena was full, and that was just inside. Additionally, two outdoor viewing areas were constantly mobbed with people, some who brought a blanket and enjoyed the beautiful Seattle weather while watching video games.
E-sports are like regular sports, except they’re played through video games. There are even ‘casters’ who commentate the game, explain what’s happening on the screen, and give a detailed play-by-play. There are highlight reels, interviews, live music, and pre-recorded skits to break up the tension between the games and it’s an incredible amount of fun.
Dota 2 is an objective-based5 v 5 game, where two teams compete to destroy the enemy’s base first. There are over 100 heroes to choose from, each with their own skills and attributes. Certain characters get stronger as the game goes on, while certain characters are able to end the game quickly. I’m still grasping the mechanics myself, but there are a ton of great resources to help figure out the game created by people who actually know what they’re talking about.
I’ll sum up the basics:
Each team plays for best of three, with games starting at 10 am and often lasting until 6 or 7pm. Each match will last typically 30-45 minutes, though some games extend as far as 70 minutes if the objectives aren’t completed.
After a long week of elimination, three teams remained on the last day. Reigning Champions Evil Geniuses (EG) played against one of the newest teams, Digital Chaos (DC), the fan-favorite underdogs that came out of nowhere and shook up the competition.
The matches were tough, things were heated. In the best of 3 in the Lower Brackets, DC came out on top with a 2-0 win, moving on to the finale to face Wings, the Upper Bracket winners.
Wings is a Chinese professional team, favored for their unusual character draft choices and very daring plays. DC is a North American ragtag team that was thrown together weeks before the event.
It was neck and neck for DC and Wings. Both team’s skills were top-notch.. At one point all I could hear were the thunderous, competitive roars of “WINGS” and “Let’s Go DC” from all corners of the arena. The crowd’s enthusiasm was infectious. DC won the first match, and then lost three very close subsequent matches to Wings. Wings brought home the first place prize of over $9 million.
Wings performed with a level of skill that was remarkable. DC placed second and won close to $3.4 million; pretty amazing for a team that nobody expected to win. Wings performed with a level of skill that was remarkable. Even though everybody may not have been rooting for them to win, the audience was thrilled because those finale games were great matches, that will be watched thoroughly for quite some time.