The International 11 has come to an end. The tournament was as unpredictable as possible. All the favorites left the championship very early, and the dark horses were able to manifest themselves. The tournament turned out to be very controversial. There were many questions for its organizers, from the small arena to the coronavirus outbreak. But the final days of The International 11 were perfect, and the tournament has made a positive impression. Two European teams fought for victory in the grand finals — Tundra Esports and Team Secret. Tundra Esports became the winner, having defeated its opponent on three maps. Read what made The International 11 so memorable in our material.
Last Chance Qualifier
This year's The International 11 had a new format, the Last Chance Qualifier. Valve announced it this winter when the first major of the season had been canceled. The Last Chance Qualifier became compensation for the teams who hadn't been able to play at the LAN tournament but had earned this right.
The idea was highly successful. A special five-day tournament with 12 teams was held before The International 11. All the participants took second and third places at the regional qualifiers, so the fight was very fierce. Unfortunately, neither Natus Vincere nor Virtus.pro succeeded, although the latter were close.
Team Liquid and Team Secret became the Last Chance Qualifier winners. These teams gained so much momentum that they made it to the final day of The International 11. The players noted several times that this tournament had let them check their strategies and get in shape. Both Last Chance Qualifier winners were included in TI11 top 3, which says it all.
The competition gave its audience a lot of bright emotions, and the teams from the regions got their last chance to prove themselves and qualify for the main tournament of the year. Last Chance Qualifier had no drawbacks. We hope that Valve will hold it next year, as the format turned out to be successful, and the developers understand it.
The International 11 and coronavirus
The International 10 was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus. In 2021, the main tournament of the year had to be postponed until the fall for the same reason, and it had no audience. This year, coronavirus also affected The International. Fortunately, its influence wasn't so negative.
The first time we heard about coronavirus at The International 11 was during the group stage. The Chinese esports organization PSG.LGD hid the fact that the club's general manager had COVID-19 from Valve employees. None of the players got ill, but the developers soon learned about it. As a consequence, the team was penalized. PSG.LGD was forbidden to select a side in the match against Royal Never Give Up. And in the matches against BOOM Esports and Gaimin Gladiators, PSG.LGD lost their reserve draft time. It was fair, but it didn't stop the team from performing well on the group stage.
Royal Never Give Up was affected by the coronavirus most of all. On October 17, the organization representatives announced that four players got infected with the coronavirus (only support Yap "xNova" Jian Wei remained healthy). The players had to continue their performance from isolated rooms because of that. Before the infection, Royal Never Give Up had 9-1 stats in the group, but after it, it lost eight maps out of eight and got only to the lower bracket (though it had all the chances to proceed to the upper one). Royal Never Give Up lost to Gaimin Gladiators (0-1) and was eliminated. It was the coronavirus that played the key role.
During the playoff, the beastcoast players became infected, too. The roster participants were tested for coronavirus after one of them had complained of a sore throat. The players were immediately isolated. Beastcoast played its last match in the tournament from a hotel room. For some unknown reason, the organizers did not provide a separate room for the coach, so the players had to cope without his help. After that, beastcoast lost to PSG.LGD (1-2) and was eliminated from The International 11.
Small and big arena at TI11
This year's playoff had two stages: the first one lasted for four days, while the second one for two days. As it turned out, the organizers decided not to bother with the first stage. It was held at a very small arena, and the audience didn't see a third of the screen. Besides, the main tournament of the year had no opening ceremony, and very little content came out of the venue. It disappointed the viewers. The players weren't happy, too, as the arena lacked soundproof booths. Because of this, they heard the commentators and reacted to the enemy ganks and smokes right during the matches. And Team Aster players complained they had been given used earplugs.
It's really weird that the players can hear almost everything because there are no booths. Any smoke and any rune. Can we hear the casters? Yes.
Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov
The second stage of the playoff was organized at a completely different level. This was when the main tournament of the year started. That's a shame it lasted for only two days. Everything started with the players' coming out: Team Aster, Team Liquid, Team Secret, and Tundra Esports made it to the tournament’s final round. Then there was a welcome video where Gabe Newell threw his headphones into the monitor and said the legendary phrase, "Welcome to The International!" There were several entertaining videos during the playoff featuring Gabe, Kaci, and SirActionSlacks. Everything was at a high level. So we have no complaints about the second half of the playoff: it went great. But everything ended too quickly.
The announcement of Diretide and Muerta
As usual, a new hero was announced during The International 11. According to the developers, the character will be released in 2023. It will be the 124th Dota hero. The last character was released on the night of February 24, 2022. It was Primal Beast.
During The International 11 on Dota 2, Valve also showed a teaser of the Diretide 2022 event, which will begin with the release of the second part of the Battle Pass 2022. The developers have promised collecting candies, penguin riding, and other activities. Moreover, a candy store will open in the Dota 2 client, where one will be able to get additional rewards. More information about the event will appear closer to its release. According to Valve, the second part of the Battle Pass with Diretide 2022 will be released on November 3, 2022.
The unpredictable tournament
Many call The International 11 unpredictable, as all the favorites quit the tournament very early. Team Spirit got only to the top 16, OG — to the top 8, and PSG.LGD — to the top 6, although they had been predicted to play in the final days of TI11. But in the end, there were dark horses and teams from the Last Chance Qualifier.
Team Liquid, Team Secret, and Tundra Esports were the three strongest teams. Surprisingly, all of them represent Europe. It is currently the strongest Dota 2 region. Team Liquid demonstrated a decent game but took only third place, which can be also called a success. After that, MATUMBAMAN officially announced the end of his career as a professional player.
Top 3 once again, was one hell of a run. I cannot imagine a better way to end one’s career. Thanks for the enormous support I have received during this event and the past 7 years. Bittersweet moment but I have no regrets. Thank you all and see ya.
Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen
The grand finals between Team Secret and Tundra Esports were quite boring. Tundra finished it 3-0 (it has happened for the second time in The International history), having lost no map. Neta "33" Shapira's team looked stronger in each of the matches. Tundra Esports demonstrated unique strategies, signature heroes, and an extremely high level of play.
I don't think I've ever enjoyed Dota as much as at this tournament. I've played this game for maybe 15 years, and there were times when I thought that my passion was going away. But before this tournament and coming to this tournament, I truly fell in love with it again. I truly understood how cool and fun it is to play this game. And especially with people that you enjoy so much.
Leon "Nine" Kirilin
Tundra Esport is now rightfully considered the strongest team in the world. Nevertheless, few could call Tundra Esports a contender to win before the start of the tournament. It will be interesting to see what the team will do in the future and whether it will be motivated enough to continue to perform on the professional stage in its entirety.