The Wings Gaming Dota 2 esports team has won The International 6 and a grand prize of $9.1 million (around R122 million).
The team of Chu “shadow” Zeyu, Zhou “bLink” Yang, Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida, Zhang “Innocence” Yiping (Captain) and Li “iceice” Peng, walked through The International Upper Bracket, defeating every opponent they faced.
What’s so incredible about Wings winning is that, less than a year ago, they were nobodies in the Dota 2 professional scene. Long time Dota 2 pro, Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao even tweeted out during the finals that Chu “shadow” Zeyu had approached him for an autograph once.
That Shadow guy asked me nervously for a picture once. Wow
— EternaLEnVy (@EternaLEnVy1991) August 14, 2016
With that having been said, Wings have won a raft of prestigious tournaments this year including: ESL One Manila, The Summit 5 and the WCA2016 China Qualifiers.
Chinese Dota is the best Dota
While Wings did manage to go through the Upper Bracket undefeated it was by no means an easy journey. The team encountered fan favourites such as MVP Phoenix, OG, and The International 5 champions, Evil Geniuses throughout the bracket.
Every game the Chinese team played was spectacular in some aspect or another, whether it was Faith_bian on Techies or Shadow earning his place as one of the greatest carry players on the planet.
There should be no doubt in the minds of Dota 2 fans that Wings deserved to walk away with the Aegis of Champions.
A Cinderella story, almost
While Wings have the glory it would be remiss not to mention the journey of runners-up Digital Chaos.
The team was written off by analysts and Dota 2 fans. “You called them misfits, you called them the rejects. You called them the players that couldn’t make it in a tier one team” said caster Austin “Capitalist” Walsh during the teams domination of EHOME, a legendary Chinese team.
The team of Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok, Aliwi “w33” Aliwi Omar, David “Moo” Hull, Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen (captain), and Martin “Saksa” Sazdov were unstoppable throughout their fight through the Lower Bracket.
In the end though, Digital Chaos lost out to better drafting and incredible plays from their Chinese opponents. With that having been said, the team (which didn’t even exist this time last year) walks away with $3.4 million.
You can watch the full broadcast of the Lower Bracket finals and the grand final below just be warned that it is 11 hours long. Thankfully you can skip through the broadcast to the games.
This year’s tournament has been called the best The International ever by many in the Dota 2 community and I would agree with them. Valve held a magnificent Main Event at the Key Arena that was only overshadowed by the excellent Dota 2 that was played all week.
Congratulations once more to Wings and to all the teams that participated in this year’s tournament, let’s hope the next year of Dota 2 is as exciting as this year was.