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by bapenguin

The International 2021: Key Highlights


Two years after the 9th DOTA 2 International, the anniversary event finally took place. It is difficult to deny the appeal of the buzzing arena with real-time tension, the cheers of victory, and the fierce competition to be the last man standing in this gladiator-style rumble. So, how did the International go this time?

Tournaments dedicated to DOTA (or Defense of the Ancients) have been held by Valve since 2011 for marketing purposes. These competitions have contributed to the rise of Esports around the globe. Dota and Dota 2 are the games of choice due to the intense arena gameplay and the fact that both versions are free. 

The Venue and Schedule

The International is the Superbowl of eSports. The event held from October 7th to October 17th, 2021 marked the 10th anniversary of the tournament. It has spurred the spectacular rise of esports, a segment attracting gamblers from all over the world, including Real Money Casinos NZ members. 

The International was held in Arena Na?ional?, in Bucharest, Romania. It was live-streamed on the DOTA 2 site and posted on YouTube. Like before, it consisted of 18 teams, 12 of which were chosen based on the Dota Pro Circuit. The rest had won playoffs on different continents, from North America to Southeast Asia.

The Winner

This year, the prize for the winning team has grown to a whopping figure — over $18,000,000. This is the single biggest prize payout in the history of the industry. Team Spirit from Moscow became the first team from Eastern Europe to win since 2011. Back then, Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) from Ukraine claimed the Aegis of Champions in the very first Dota 2 International. 

Between 2017 and 2019, competitive Dota 2 was defined by gamers from the EU. In 2017, the international was won by Team Liquid, and OG got the trophy twice in a row — in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Underdog Becomes the Champion

Team Spirit had a rough start, as it lost to Team Secret in the first match. Then, the dynamics changed dramatically, and the squad won all of the subsequent matches. They defeated OG and fellow Russians One of the biggest surprises was their victory over Invictus Gaming, the 2012 winner. Team Spirit achieved 6-2-0 in the group stages, becoming the runner-up after PSG.LGD from China with 7-1-0.

Despite the incredible final series, the Chinese juggernauts failed to do their best when they confronted Team Spirit and lost 3-2. PSG.LGD walked away with merely $5,202,400. The Russian team was crowned world champions and raked in $18,208,300. Team Secret came third with $3,601,600, followed by Invictus Gaming that received $2,401,100.

To Sum up

For the first time since 2011, the Aegis trophy has returned to Eastern Europe. Dota 2 International is the most profitable event in Esports, and it has set a new world record, as the prize pool reached $40 million. Team Spirit became the second Eastern European team to win the championship since 2011.


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