The International Dota 2 Championship 2014 concludes tonight with two Chinese teams vying for the US$5 million grand prize. Both ViCi and NewBee have already clashed during the first round of the main event in the winners bracket, with the outcome favouring the dream team line up that is NewBee. ViCi managed to stage an impressive comeback from the loss and carve a path the grand finals through the lower bracket.
Nobody would have guessed that the finals would be a rematch from the first day of the main event. Both ViCi and NewBee displayed remarkable skill in a best-of-three match that could have gone either way. Game 1 went to NewBee after they managed to ban both Death Prophet and Razor, leaving ViCi without their two best heroes and having to play a more defensive game instead.
ViCi managed to tie at game 2 by choosing to go for a late game strategy and building enough momentum to turn the tide of the game through team battles. A lack of tactical flexibility hampered ViCi in the final game as NewBee adapted to the challenge. Stalling tactics against neutral creeps delayed gold farming for ViCi as NewBee took an early lead and held on to it.
Team NewBee then dispatched Evil Geniuses to seal their place in the grand finals; while the American team and ViCi ended up fighting for survival in lower bracket.
ViCi then went on to eliminate both Cloud9 and fellow compatriots Team DK to set up a match against Evil Geniuses for the right to compete against NewBee.
The game against Evil Geniuses heavily favoured ViCi gaming despite the 2 – 1 scoreline. It, however, underscored ViCi’s reliance on the pushing strategy that could be exploited by NewBee in the grand finals. Fans can be sure that NewBee were carefully taking notes about the opposition in preparation for the match tonight.
Despite losing out in the semi-finals, Evil Geniuses still took home an impressive US$1,038,253 for effectively coming in third; especially considering that the first TI tournament offered that amount for first place.
The action concludes tonight with a best-of-five match between ViCi Gaming and NewBee on Twitch, in-game Dota 2, and on ESPN3. Malaysians should note that Astro does not carry ESPN3, although it is available on AppleTV.