It’s been a massive week in the world of esports, with The Dota 2 International taking place in Shanghai. Despite some complaints about the Chinese crowd displaying some home team bias (as if that doesn’t happen everywhere), the tournament’s first appearance in the country has widely been viewed as a major success — and may well have laid foundations for the increased development of China’s own esports industry.
Here are a few quick highlights from Ti9:
Did they cheer louder for the home teams? Yes. But did they pack the place out each day and create a vibrant atmosphere throughout the tournament? Also yes.
After PSG.LGD exited before the Grand Final on the tournament’s last day, the audience was deprived the opportunity to cheer on a Chinese team for the ultimate prize, but attendances across the week were impressive. Ti9 also generated significant buzz online and given the size of China’s gaming market, it feels right that such a major event was finally brought closer to that fan base.
OG’s rollercoaster ride to the finals and a history-making back-to-back victory in The International was naturally the story of the tournament. So often described with terms such as “ragtag” or even “amateurs”, it’s hard to argue with the team’s entertainment value. And now they’re the competition’s first two-time winner of the Aegis of Champions.
— Dota 2 (@dota2updates) August 25, 2019
Our incredible run falls just short.
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) August 25, 2019
While there were a few technical glitches over the course of the tournament, few were left disappointed by the quality of the gameplay on display.
Gaming action aside, there was also some pretty incredible cosplay:
Having such an important tournament come to China for the first time was a big step for the development of esports in the country — something the authorities are really throwing their weight behind. This is especially true in Shanghai, where the government have declared an aim to create an “esports capital”, making it fitting that The International was hosted in the city’s Mercedes-Benz Arena.
With esports being given tangible government and corporate support — via professionalization plus a host of new training initiatives and facilities — Ti9 is unlikely to be the last major esports competition held in China.
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