Chinese team Newbee has won International 4, the world championship for Dota 2. The squad took home a grand prize of over $5 million, the largest purse yet for the MOBA.
Newbee defeated their countrymen ViCi Gaming in the grand finals. They won the best-of-three series 3-1. Their wins were swift, too: 26 minutes, 17 and 15. It was an unexpected thrashing, considering how dominant ViCi seemed in the group stage.
"Newbee did what they did all tournament," said the recap on the official Dota 2 website. "They didn't listen to the noise. The team that finished a lowly 7-8 in the group stage did what they do best - play great Dota."
"They came roaring back and won three straight. The final game wasn't just a win, it was a domination. This over ViCi Gaming, a team that was dominate throughout the entire tournament against every team but one... Newbee."
The International 4 started with 16 teams. These squads represent the best Dota 2 players throughout North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and China. They've been battling it out since last Friday at the KeyArena in Seattle.
Newbee's exact haul from the tournament was $5,028,308. ViCi Gaming walked away with a respectable $1,475,699. Third- and fourth-place finishers Evil Geniuses and Team DK earned $1,038,455 and $819,833 for their efforts. Over $10 million in prize money was given out during International 4.
The bulk of Dota 2's prize money money was actually supplied by Dota 2 players. In the months leading up to International 4, Valve sold a $9.99 virtual Compendium that functioned as an all-in-one guide to the event. It also provided exclusive bonuses like a new courier and a Battle Point gains booster. For every Compendium sold, Valve added $2.50 to the International 4 prize pool. Players could also spend money to boost their Compendium's level and earn more rewards, with 25% of that money going toward I4's prizes as well.
This unprecedented fund-raising drive also unlocked new features for Dota 2. Some of them, like new music tracks and base customization, are only available to Compendium owners. Others, like an All Random Deathmatch mode and new creep models, will be released soon for all players.
International 4 was big enough to attract the attention of ESPN. The matches were broadcast on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. A pre-show for the grand finals was held on ESPN2. Gamers also tuned in through Twitch, the Dota 2 website, and within the game itself. A special "newbie" broadcast was offered as well for viewers less familiar to Dota 2.
The viewership numbers for International 4 haven't been announced yet. I'm curious how they'll stack up against the stats for rival MOBA League of Legends' championship last fall. Over 32 million gamers tuned in to watch the top LoL slug it out at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.