The winner of the 2017 International Dota 2 Championships, or TI7, is EU team Liquid, who in addition to the Aegis of Champions will also take home a $10.8 million prize. Their opponents, Chinese team Newbee, will receive more than $3.9 for its second place finish.
Liquid beat Newbee in a dominant 3-0 set in TI7’s final best of five series.
Both Newbee and Liquid delivered a strong performance at The International beginning in the group stages, securing their respective slots in the upper bracket of this week’s Main Event. Each were considered a favorite in the tournament before TI began, but once the main event got underway, the two teams’ paths diverged.
Newbee managed to play its way through the entirety of TI7’s upper bracket, culminating in a shocking upset against odds-on tournament favorite and fellow Chinese team LGD.Forever Young in the upper bracket final. This secured Newbee a guaranteed top two finish for TI7, and their nearly $4 million prize.
Liquid, meanwhile, dropped to the lower bracket of the tournament after the first round, and were forced to play facing elimination over the entire week. This proved a somewhat redemptive arc for the team, after a series of lower-than-expected results over the history of The International and an early exit last year. Liquid faced a number of teams in the lower bracket that were widely favored over the EU squad, including LGD. Forever Young, who sought a rematch against Newbee in the Grand Final after Friday’s loss.
In today’s lower bracket final, LGD.FY managed to win game one of the three game set, but appeared rattled after Liquid’s early underperformance was replaced by a near-turnaround for the team. Riding that momentum, Liquid took the next two games decisively, albeit in ways that called into question the team’s ability to take on the formidable Newbee lineup.
Liquid rode their lower bracket momentum into game one, which resulted in an early rout that went unchallenged for half an hour as the EU team ran over Newbee, in large part thanks to roaming offlane play of Ivan Borislavov "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov as Nature’s Prophet. In game two, an aggressive early game from Newbee earned the Chinese team a strong start, but key teamfights and stalling tactics on the part of Liquid allowed carry player Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi to recover and ultimately overwhelm Newbee.
As game three opened, Newbee faced the prospect of a second place finish, and changed their drafting strategy to favor early to mid-game push and objectives. Ultimately, however, Newbee proved unable to course correct, and ultimately fell to Liquid in straight sets.
Many fans had hoped that Newbee might become the first Dota 2 Organization to secure a second International title, to accompany the Aegis the team won in 2014 at TI4. Meanwhile, Liquid fans are likely ecstatic for team captain Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi, who has failed to place in the top six of the International since 2013, as a member of esports organization Alliance despite appearing at six of the seven Internationals.
LGD.FY’s third place finish earns it more than $2.4 million. The 2017 International Dota 2 Championships full prize pool exceeded $24 million, all but $1.6 million of which was crowdfunded via in-game purchases within Dota 2. According to Valve, the TI7 Grand Final reached 4.7 million viewers across streaming platforms and within the Dota 2 client.