The Best Bits from TI 11: Part 1

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We know, we know. TI 11 ended on Sunday, almost a week ago. And news always looks forward. But we think that this year’s TI was so jam-packed with moments that we needed to just log it down somewhere. 

Besides, history is our best teacher. And TI 11 taught us so many things: from Dota 2 strategy, to friendships, the spirit of sports and how to deal with a pandemic. 

image via Valve (flickr)

This list is so long that we have no choice but to split it into two parts. I mean who reads more than five minutes these days, eh?

So let’s dive into the top bits that made TI 11 a blast!

  1. Boom Esports knocked out the reigning champion

Yes, we love SEA teams. We are a SEA based website after all. So we were cheering the SEA teams from the very start, in particular Boom Esports. It was not just us. Many people were drawn to their performance as they dominated the Southeast Asian DPC previous season. They were expecting these Hungry Beasts would do great in their debut.

The Indonesia-based team, however, performed below fans expectations. They stumbled in Group A and their chances to move into the knockout round were slim. One analyst even predicted that their chance of advancing to the lower bracket was only 1.42%. 

But the magic of Dota kicked in. 

screen capture via dota2 (Youtube)

First, they beat the Group A’s leaders Evil Geniuses to qualify for tiebreakers. This victory subsequently served as a springboard for Boom Esports, who prevailed in the tie-breaker rounds and advanced to the lower bracket round.

Their excitement did not end there. Boom faced the defending champion, Team Spirit. And guess what, the Beasts from the East smashed and grabbed the win, kicking the champs out of the competition in a 1-0 win. 

“BOOM? Who are they? They don’t seem like great players to me. I feel they are mediocre,” Team Spirit’s Yatoro once said. The Internet never forgets and within days those words became a social media meme.

Boom eventually bowed out in the next round against PSG.LGD but they had already proved a point.

  1. The curse of Arteezy and Kyle continues

The “Kyle Curse” is well known in the Dota 2 community: the caster forecasts which side will win and what occurs later happens to turn out in the opposite direction. The broadcast talent that has been around TI since 2019 has often become a meme among the audience with his predictions.

Kyle’s curse got even worse this year when he replied to a tweet from Dota produce Wykrhm, with his prediction about EG as this year’s winner. Many believed that Kyle’s curse, along with “Arthreezy,” would result in EG finishing lower than third, which has been a long time issue for Arteezy.

And Kyle’s magic worked again.

Evil Geniuses lost in the early round of both the upper and lower brackets to Thunder Awaken and Beastcoast, the competition’s underdog teams. EG finished between 9th – 12th at TI 11.

  1. The longest bout in TI’s history: RNG vs Entity

The match between Royal Never Give Up (RNG) and Entity was one for the history books. 

The battle between RNG, which had the majority of its players down with COVID-19, and Entity was intense. With both teams in the lower bracket facing a one game elimination, the players fought with an intensity that was unmatched in Dota 2 history. 

The game see-sawed back and forth between the teams, with each team not yielding the game. Entity’s late game was much better than RNG’s and they held, at one point, nearly a 50k gold lead. Eventually Entity won in the 107th minute – that is nearly two hours long.

This match set a record as the longest match that happened in the history of TI, so far. Many contend, however, that if RNG players’ were healthy, they could turn things around against Entity.

  1. Xnova RNG stood alone on stage to represent RNG

Talking about health issues, RNG’s match against Entity drew sympathy from the audience when they found out that nearly the entire RNG team were not allowed to continue playing due to exposure to COVID-19 ahead of the knockout round.

RNG was eventually allowed to continue under the rules that they have to do it in their own hotel rooms. The sole healthy RNG player, xNova, faced Entity alone at Suntec as the team representative.

A heartwarming sight in TI 11. Xnova was struggling on the stage by himself, accompanied only by teddy bears, which represented his teammates. Despite the setback with communication, RNG was able to hold off the Entity for 107 minutes. The stadium audiences applauded xNova and RNG at the end of the game. They lost the match, but RNG won the audiences’ hearts.

  1. Leslao’s racist gesture in the competition

Dota 2 tends to be a difficult game to master, And it is no secret that the community is also an unforgiving one, to the point that many believe it is a toxic one. 

But being mean to players and demeaning them based on race – there’s a clear line to be drawn in the sand. Soniq’s Rodrigo “Leslao” Santos crossed that line during a group stage match versus Boom Esports.

A match spectator had captured the moment where it showed that  Leslao’s in-game cosmetics had racist remarks on it.

The Soniqs team’s management decided to terminate Leslao’s contract, following his racist gesture. 

“We hold our players to a high degree of professionalism and have a zero-tolerance attitude regarding any form of bigotry or prejudice,” Soniqs squad stated on social media.

We will continue the rest of the moments in our Part 2 of this special. Watch out for it!

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