esports

OG Win The International 8 and the Biggest Prize in Esports

© Valve
By Ben Sillis
OG cap off one of the greatest comebacks of all time by winning esports' biggest prize ever at The International 8 in Vancouver, Canada.
"Topson", "ana", "7ckngMad", "JerAx" and team captain 'N0tail' have lifted the Aegis of Champions for the first time, live on stage in Vancouver, Canada. Between them, they share a first prize jackpot of more than $11,200,000 — the biggest prize ever awarded in the history of esports.
OG dispatched Chinese team PSG.LGD for the second time at TI8 in the grand final, in a thrilling series that went the distance in a best-of-five. OG opened strongly to clinch game one, but PSG.LGD took the advantage in games two and three, with several unusual hero picks. It took an incredible turnaround in game four and a dazzling display by Topson, with a Zeus pick out of nowhere in game five, for OG to rally back and claim Dota's biggest title — one that has eluded them for years.
It wouldn't be esports without a fairytale story of redemption like this. By rights, OG should've won The International years ago: the team have won more of Valve's official Major Tournaments than any other squad, but always somehow stumbled when it came to The International. Team Liquid's victory at TI7 last year, featuring a standout performance from former OG star Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi, only made it worse.
And then the team won in the year they weren't directly invited to the tournament. Instead, OG received no special treatment, and had to fight their way through the regional qualifiers for Europe's one open slot. The team then finished fourth in Group A in the TI8 group stage, taking the long way around to the TI8 Main Event.
What followed was the stuff of legend. OG first defeated VGJ.Storm (and former team-mate "Resolut1on") with a 2–0 victory in which ana ran rampant, but the true test of the team's new spirit came against Evil Geniuses in the upper-bracket semis. Not only had EG defeated OG twice in the group stage round robin, but the former champions were now captained by "Fly."
They maintained this stunning form going into an upper-bracket final crunch match against Chinese heavyweights PSG.LGD. Once again, it came down to the final game in a best-of-three, and just as it looked like OG's base was crumbling, the team rallied, with "JerAx" and an Earthshaker leading a remarkable comeback to secure them a spot in the grand final on Saturday night.
OG's run at The International 8 has been little less than astonishing, and it shows that even with the defection of former captain "Fly" to Evil Geniuses, the team, particularly captain Johan 'N0tail' Sundstein, haven't lost the ability to scout pubs for incredible talent. OG newcomer "Topson" has proved nothing less than a revelation this year.
Congratulations OG, the new champions of Dota 2.