Having been a fan of the DOTA franchise for the past 16 years, I have always watched professional players competing on the big stage. Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Valve. The game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients, which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

With the announcement of The International DOTA 2 tournament in 2011, the love for esports streaming went through the roof as the scale at which these matches were played were just astonishing. Plus, it was the very first esports tournament ever to cross a prize pool of $1.6 million.

I really wanted to attend the tournament but, due to limited seats, wasn’t able to acquire a ticket. And sadly, that hasn’t changed till now. In 2019, with The International 2019 DOTA 2 tournament, I was about to grab myself a ticket for the entire tournament. But due to some personal issues, I wasn’t able to attend but that did not stop me from watching the whole tournament live. So, here is my experience of the Dota 2 The International 2019 Tournament.

With a prize pool of over $34 million, Yes! 34 million, this DOTA 2 tournament set a new global record for the largest esports tournament prize pool in history. For a DOTA 2 fan, this isn’t that exciting as this same exact tournament manages to break its own record every year, with its next The International tournament. However, with $34 million up for the taking, the tension between the teams seemed pretty high as there was a lot to lose.

In the last nine years, I have watched many different teams and tournament, but there was only one team which I supported wholeheartedly, and that was Evil Geniuses. This was mainly due to the fact that a player from my very own country was playing in that team. Plus, he was one of the best players at the time and still is, in my opinion. But apart from EG, I also had a soft corner for OG, the previous winners. The reason for this was their story in the esports scene has always been that of the underdog, and with them taking home the aegis last year, it felt right to support them this year too.

The International 2019 kicked off on Thursday, August 15, 2019, with the official group stages. I remember I used to log in to Twitch every day and spend hours just watching these exceptional players performing to the best of their skills. It was intense. And this continued on till we hit the Main Event on August 20, 2019. This was when things went to the next level.

From massive crowds to a stage lit up with lights, it was all there. Plus, as with every year, there are always several different segments and independent matches that help boost the entire atmosphere of the tournament. These include the Film Contest, the new Arcana announcement, the All-stars game, the cosplay contest, and the announcement of the new hero or heroes, in this case.

So, with so much happening through the tournament, it was obvious that I was sitting at the edge of my seat, watching it all. The tournament consisted of awe-inspiring plays and comebacks, but it was the final where it was all it. The game was between OG, the previous winners, and Team Liquid, a team that won prior to OG. And since no team in the history of this tournament has ever won it twice, you can imagine just how high the stakes were.

Both teams came to the stage with eyes fueled with fire, and with game 1 going in favor of Team Liquid, things didn’t look good for OG. That said, we have no idea what happened in the locker room talks, but it certainly helped. OG annihilated Team Liquid in the next three games, securing themselves the Grand Final of the tournament and taking home the championship trophy again. And apart from that two other titles, were awarded the first team to win The International twice and the first team to win it consecutively. It was absolutely amazing, easily the best tournament I have ever witnessed in my life, which makes me extra excited for the one that is going to come next.


Read more about DOTA here: Dota Plus Update – Spring 2021 | Dota 2


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