The International 7: Words from the stands

Earlier this month, the Aegis of Champions was claimed by European team, Team Liquid.

‘The International’ is so much more than who wins the Grand Final. It’s a festival and celebration of all things Dota 2.

During the event Valve teased the new Dota 2 themed card game that they’ve been working on, Artifact. They also revealed the appearances of 2 new heroes, who have yet to be named.

Did someone say Production Value?

Over the course of the week the production value maintained a constant high quality. With community personalities providing insight and statistics to the introduction videos that played before the players entered their booths.

The insane production quality is what by far stole the show. This year’s theme was ‘Aquatic’ and the visual theme of being underwater could be felt everywhere. From the aquatic themed map that came equipped with reefs instead of trees and a whale call that could be heard sporadically throughout the battle. The lights above were layered in a way to evoke the feeling of waves crashing above, and the AR (Augmented Reality) assets on stage were those of reefs and coral branches reaching up towards the ceiling.

So what is it?

The International 7 is a pinnacle, not only in prize pool, which reached $24.7 Million, but in skill level as well. The teams that play in this tournament were either invited by Valve, the developers of the game, or they qualified in the open qualifiers held online.

For those that have never been to an esports event, this is like none other. This is the Super Bowl of Dota and it’s the only event that matters for the players who take part. The tournament lasts a week and takes over the Key Arena in Seattle and the area around it. For the 16 teams involved the event begins with the online group stage. The outcomes of the group stage determines what placement a team receives in the main stage, either upper or lower bracket. If a team is in lower bracket they’re on the knife’s edge, one series loss and they’re out.

What’d you think?

Overall I’d say the international was an amazing event to attend and I plan on attending again next year. Dota isn’t going away any time soon and with all of the updates and new content. I hope to see you all on the battlefield!