Last night marked the epic conclusion of The International 6, and for my money I can’t think of a better tournament in any esports series no matter which way you measure it. Before we talk about the Grand Finals lets talk about what made this tournament so good, and where Dota 2 will go from here.
The nometa meta
Going into this tournament every analyst was talking about how the tournament was going to develop its own meta since this patch has been so well-balanced that from week to week, tournament to tournament the meta was changing, and in a way they were right, a meta did develop; the nometa meta. The International 6 showed that a well-balanced MOBA doesn’t have a meta, or at least not a discernible one. We saw games that were over in less than 20 minutes and games that lasted over 90 minutes. In one tournament 105 different characters were picked, in just about 50 games. There were super aggressive strategies, and late game push strategies. There was no one way to play the game, and in the end the winning team averaged more heroes picked than any other team in the tournament proving that there was no one way to win, but that every single game could be unique.
Better Production than the Olympics
From the opening ceremony, to the final moments, The International 6 was an incredible event. The people involved and the talent that helped were amazing. Watching Sir Actionslacks and Kaci run around having fun and spreading happiness was great! The analyst desk was on point, and watching Purge break down the games was very insightful. Every single part of this event was well executed and beautifully produced, and as someone who went to school for television production this was an event anyone could proudly stand behind.
A lot of people are upset that when the final vote came down to Juggernaut and Io that our favorite ball of light didn’t win, and to be honest I’m a little sad too. But in the end the sword-spinning ronin won the popular vote and will be getting an Arcana to call his own, and put it on the pile of 70+ items already in his collection! I wish that another hero had been voted in, but I guess the time for voting has passed and hopefully we get another vote soon!! (at least we didn’t have a remodel vote go to a perfectly fine-looking hero)
The Lower Bracket Finals
The games between EG and DC were incredible. Although EG were the favorites heading into the match DC proved that their rise through the lower bracket was anything but luck. Winning the series 2-1 over EG Misery showed that his team could out play some of the biggest names in Dota, and earn their place in the Grand Finals. The games themselves were fun to watch and despite good playing from all the members of EG, their run for two consecutive International wins came to an end.
The Grand Finals
The final games came down to DC and Wings gaming. Considering both teams are new within the scene and Digital Chaos was completely rebuilt six months ago (the team owner once tweeted “team is ded”) finding both teams in the Grand Finals was positively amazing. Everyone expected teams like OG, Ehome, Team Secret, and EG to be slugging it out in the grand finals. Wings had done well recently but they were still relatively unknown and weren’t favorites to win by many. So when the final games came down to DC and Wings it was an all bets off scenario.
In the end Wings gaming ended up taking the series 3-1 over DC, and proved that they without a doubt one of the greatest teams in the history of Dota. They drafted more heroes than any other team, and played every strategy possible and won almost each one of them (sorry pudge techies strat) it was incredible to watch them play, and I really hope this team stays together going forward.
The Winners of the International 6
Congratulations to Wings Gaming, the International 2016 winners!!