The International 2019 Results: OG Claims Second Aegis & Largest Prize Pool


by in Dota 2 | Aug, 26th 2019

The International 2019 is finally over and OG has become the first team in the history of Dota 2 to win the event twice. They’re also the most prolific in all of esports after this achievement, with over $33 million earned from competitive tournaments alone, and The International 2019 results show how far esports have come.

In this article I’ll take a close look at what happened at The International 2019 and make an analysis of what the event means for Dota 2 and the broader esports community. Several records have been set and I believe they’re very significant going forward. The future development of the esports industry will no doubt be positively influenced by what has been achieved by Valve at TI9.

The International 2019 Results

Apart from the winner, The International 2019 ended with predictable results. No less than five of the top six teams are the usual suspects. In other words, they are competitors that actually finished the Dota Pro Circuit or the regular season in the top six. This means that for the most part, TI9 did not offer big upsets in the natural order of things.

It’s enough however that OG, which finished the regular season in 10th place with just 1218 points and a single 5th – 6th place at one of the five Majors as their best result, managed to win somehow their second Aegis of Champions after a disastrous season. They did exactly the same thing last year as well, going into The International as underdogs and winning against the odds.

TI 9 had two stages. Before we continue, let’s take a brief look at the International 2019 results for each part of the event.

TI9 Group Stage Results

The Group Stage of The International 2019 was dominated by four teams: PSG.LGD, Team Secret, OG and Vici Gaming. The first two teams were part of Group A while the last two were part of Group B. All four of them finished in the top six overall, so their group form remained consistent throughout the rest of the tournament.

Group A

  • 1st: PSG.LGD: 13 pts: 5 V – 3 D – 0 L
  • 2nd: Team Secret: 11 pts: 4 V – 3D – 1 L
  • 3rd: Newbee: 9 pts: 2 V – 5 D – 1 L
  • 4th: TNC Predator: 9 pts: 2 V – 5 D – 1 L
  • 5th: Alliance: 8 pts: 1 V – 6 D – 1 L
  • 6th: Mineski: 8 pts: 2 V – 4 D – 2 L
  • 7th: Team Liquid: 6 pts: 2 V – 2 D – 4 L
  • 8th: Keen Gaming: 5 pts: 2 V – 1 D – 5 L
  • 9th: Chaos Esports Club: 3 pts: 0 V – 3 D – 5 L

Group B

  • 1st: OG: 14 pts: 6 V – 2 D – 0 L
  • 2nd: Vici Gaming: 11 pts: 4 V – 3D – 1 L
  • 3rd: Evil Geniuses: 9 pts: 3 V – 3 D – 2 L
  • 4th: Virtus.pro: 8 pts: 3 V – 2 D – 3 L
  • 5th: Infamous: 7 pts: 1 V – 5 D – 2 L
  • 6th: Fnatic: 7 pts: 3 V – 1 D – 4 L
  • 7th: Natus Vincere: 7 pts: 2 V – 3 D – 3 L
  • 8th: Royal Never Give Up: 6 pts: 2 V – 2 D – 4 L
  • 9th: Ninjas in Pyjamas: 3 pts: 0 V – 3 D – 5 L

At the end of the Group Stage, Chaos Esports Club and Ninjas in Pyjamas left the competition. In Chaos’ case, the elimination was predictable, as they had formed relatively recently and stood no chance against the world’s best teams. But NiP was a huge surprise. The team was captained by ppd, a former TI winner with Evil Geniuses and someone who had been in the top three at The International multiple times. Last year, when he played with OpTic Gaming, the team finished 7th – 8th in spite of having a lot of no-name players in the roster.

What happened at The International 2019 with Ninjas in Pyjamas and ppd can only be attributed to the recent scandals involving NiP as an organization and the unnecessary stress they must have placed on some of the players.

TI9 Main Event Results

The Main Event was dominated by the favorites, with the exception of OG. N0tail’s team was the only outsider. Everyone else was just part of the usual group of competitors that had already won or played in the Grand Finals of most of the Dota Pro Circuit Majors. The only one that’s missing is Virtus.pro, which had a really poor run and finished 9th – 12th.

  • 1st place: OG: $15.6 mil.
  • 2nd place: Team Liquid: $4.4 mil.
  • 3rd place: PSG.LGD: $3 mil.
  • 4th place: Team Secret: $2 mil.
  • 5th – 6th place: Vici Gaming, Evil Geniuses: $1.2 mil.
  • 7th – 8th place: Infamous, Royal Never Give Up: $857,000
  • 9th – 12th place: Mineski, Virtus.pro, TNC Predator, Newbee: $686,000
  • 13th – 16th place: Natus Vincere, Alliance, Fnatic, Keen Gaming: $514,000
  • 17th – 18th place: NiP, Chaos Esports Club: $85,000

The International 2019 Interesting Facts

TI 9 was a landmark event for the esports community, and for many more reasons than you may initially realize.

First Team to Claim the Aegis Twice

Dota 2 Aegis of Champions Transparent

OG became the first Dota 2 team to win The International twice, after a 3 – 1 victory over Team Liquid in the Grand Final. This was a monumental achievement and the event was guaranteed to happen even before the Grand Final began. That’s because both of the finalists had already won the tournament once.

Team Liquid was successful in 2017 while OG won it in 2018. The Grand Final of The International 2019 practically had the winners of the two previous TIs compete for the chance to be the first team ever to win the tournament twice.

KuroKy and w33 Lost Another TI Grand Final

Both players had already lost a Grand Final at The International. KuroKy lost it with Na’Vi in 2013, against Alliance, while w33 lost it with Digital Chaos in 2016 against Wings Gaming. For KuroKy, this was his third Grand Final at The International and he has now equaled Puppey and Dendi in this regard.

Largest Prize Pool in Esports History

The International 2019 had the largest prize pool not only in the history of Dota 2, but in the esports industry as a whole as well. The final amount was $34.3 million, a figure that easily broke all previous records, including Fortnite’s $30 million from earlier this year.

What’s impressive about The International 2019’s prize pool is that the amount was gathered almost entirely by the community. And we’re not talking about the kind of community that Fortnite or League of Legends enjoy. Dota 2 has an active community of just 10 million players. Combined, they contributed around $130 million in the months prior to TI9, by purchasing in-game items and content related to the Battle Pass. A quarter of that amount went to the tournament’s prize pool. This was a great example of marketing done right. The content creators at Valve offered something that really adds value to a player’s individual experience and the passionate Dota 2 community was more than willing to purchase what they were offered.

Europe Dominated the Event

Europe sent six teams in total to The International 2019. Five of them qualified via the Dota Pro Circuit, finishing the regular season among the top 12. The sixth won the European Qualifiers for the tournament and was granted the final ticket reserved for this region.

At the tournament itself, two of the six European teams were eliminated right from the Group Stage. Both Ninjas in Pyjamas and Chaos Esports Club proved to be much weaker than the rest of their group opponents and finished 9th in each case. Then it was Alliance’s turn to fall against Royal Never Give Up, a Chinese team that would go on to beat Virtus.pro as well before being crushed by Team Liquid.

The three remaining competitors from Europe were Liquid, Secret and OG. And all three of them finished the tournament in the top four, with two of them playing the Grand Final and Secret ending in 4th place.

Over 53 million Views on Twitch

The International 2019 had over 53.4 million views across their Twitch channels. The average number of concurrent viewers were 727,000. On the last day of the tournament, the viewership peaked at almost 2 million, which set a new record for Dota 2. The International 2019 results couldn’t have been better for the game and the community as a whole.

Personal Thoughts

The International 2019 was without a doubt a successful event, both in terms of its audience as well as in terms of its numbers. As mentioned earlier, the prize pool was the highest in the history of esports and the live stream audience was in the millions during the final days. However, the production value and the hype were definitely lower than those we saw in 2018, which was arguably the best TI of the nine we’ve had so far.

The organization was riddled with errors and uncomfortable moments. And this started on day one, during the opening ceremony, where the announcer said the wrong name multiple times, presenting a team only to have another enter the arena. The awkwardness was through the roof.

Having watched most of the tournament on Twitch, my feeling was that people were trying to hype things up artificially, with a bit too many adjectives and the kind of tonality that people use when they know they should be excited but something’s not quite right.

Overall, the show was predictable. And not only because the Upper Bracket was almost identical to that of last year, but also because of the obvious weaknesses displayed by most of the teams. One could feel drained of energy instead of energized after watching the show. The live Chinese audience was not nearly as excited as the North American one we’ve grown accustomed to, so I still have doubts about the event’s chosen location. Even the OG players were not very impressed with this second victory at The International, looking a bit like Rafael Nadal after his 12th Roland Garros title.

One thing that I was hoping to see but didn’t was the OpenAI bot. Last year it started to look very promising and earlier this year, it managed to defeat OG in a Bo3 match. Why wasn’t the company allowed to showcase their progress at The International 2019? Was it because the organizers had a conflict of interest with the Chinese government, which is obviously involved in an open economic conflict with the United States at this point? Or was it some other reason? Nevertheless, I thought it was a huge loss for the tournament not to have this mini-event as part of the show.

Regardless, I think it’s fair to say the community at large is more than satisfied with The International 2019 results. What’s truly important, though, is looking to the future of Dota 2 and where things can grow from here. Thanks for joining us for this look back at one of the most important events in esports history. Stay tuned for more Dota 2 news and updates in the coming days.

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