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Daily Drip

OG Win First Dota 2 International Held in China

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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:

The Crowd

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.

Related:

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The Gaming, Obviously

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.

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.

The Cosplay

Gaming action aside, there was also some pretty incredible cosplay:

I won Dota 2 Cosplay Championship at TI9! from DotA2

She LITERALLY looked like the in-game set proportions and all. #JusticeForNaga from DotA2

Won the Best Technique Award with LC cosplay at TI9 😀 from DotA2

The Impact

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.

Related:

Esports in China Hit the Mainstream with Movie Adaptations and Official Recognition

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.

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.