Legendary finals: TI3, Na'Vi drama and one million ulti

May 22 2019 10 min read

Legendary finals: TI3, Na'Vi drama and one million ulti ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

Greetings, wanderer. Tug of War: Dire is approaching. Do you hear these battles echoing through lifeless forests? While the participating teams are preparing for a new round of WePlay!'s tournament where the light will meet the dark and the worlds will near each other at a dangerous distance, we decided to dive into the past.

Today we recall the legendary grand finale match The International III, which was held in 2013 from 3 to 12 August. Natus Vincere and The Alliance met in the decisive standoff of the tournament. Thanks to an interactive compendium, the tournament prize pool reached $2,874,380. In those days it was an unimaginably great amount of money.

If you are a fan of Dota 2 and love thrilling matches, we highly recommend you to watch all five games of The International 2013 finals. This is any better than abusing your midder and receiving passionate looks from enemy supports. This clash can be called one of the most exciting, dramatic and emotional in the entire history of international tournaments.

Sit back, prepare some napkins (for tears, mate) and let's remember how it was. 


The 2012 and 2013 Dota 2 world championships were held in the colourful and cosy Benaroya Hall in Seattle. It was created for symphony orchestras, so you can be sure that the atmosphere that reigned in it during the tournament was simply divine. The only disadvantage of the concert hall was its small capacity. Thousands of people wanted to look at the best teams in the world, so Valve later moved their tournament to Key Arena.

Many fans liked Benaroya Hall because it created a touching atmosphere, which is now so lacking at most of the tournaments. Gabe wearing his slaps stood at stage and looked especially picturesque. The teams behaved more relaxedly, and Dendi performed the dance from the Gangnam Style video right in front of the boxes. 

Let's immediately make a lyrical digression and recall how Na’Vi reached the final. At that time, Dota 2 had a funny mechanic (a bug?): Chen used his teleportation skill on Pudge, the rotty boy hooked one of the opponents, and once teleporting to the fountain, the enemy flew with Pudge through the whole map, after which, naturally, died.

In the winners' semi-final, the Ukrainian team met with the Chinese from TongFu. The match turned out to be, we put it mildly, controversial. Natus Vincere's first game ended nice and easy, but in the second, the Chinese were able to fight back, boosting their Anti-Mage to a terrible you-can-run-but-you-won't-survive level, eventually equalizing the score. The main action began on the third map.

From the very beginning, Na’Vi couldn't find their game. The terrible pressure of TongFu quickly forced the Ukrainian team to defend. Every wrong step turned into a failure and could have ended in a loss. Then Dendi, who played on Pudge, told his captain Puppey, who played on Chen: "We can only win the game this way." Puppey said something like "Ok, let's do it." After this, a streak of fountain hooks started to shock the public and the players. Natus Vincere quickly got out of the economic ditch and finished winners.

We would not have talked about this if Jonathan "Loda" Berg had not had his butt hurt because of the "abuse". The way he envied the tactics used by Na’Vi was worth screening.

The bug was fixed almost immediately (although it existed from time immemorial but everyone didn't even bother exactly before the fateful game), but The Alliance players were so angry that Na'Vi became fundamental rivals for them. The Chinese themselves reacted more calmly to the defeat. As one of the TongFu players, Wang "SanSheng" Zhaohui said: "In China, we see any defeat as a defeat, that's all."

The teams

Natus Vincere

  • Clement "Puppey" Ivanov

  • Aleksandr "XBOCT" Dashkevich

  • Danil "Dendi" Ishutin

  • Gleb "Funn1k" Lipatnikov

  • Kuro Salehi "KuroKy" Tahasomi

The Alliance

  • Gustav "s4" Magnusson 

  • Henrik "AdmiralBulldog" Ahnberg 

  • Jonathan "Loda" Berg

  • Joakim "Akke" Akterhall

  • Jerry "EGM" Lundkvist 

First game

Natus Vincere picks:

  • Puppey — Venomancer;
  • XBOCT — Vengeful Spirit;
  • Dendi — Batrider;
  • KuroKy — Visage;
  • Funnik — Bounty Hunter.

The Alliance:

  • S4 — Clockwerk;
  • Akke — Enchantress;
  • Loda — Gyrocopter;
  • EGM — Io;
  • AdmiralBulldog — Nature's Prophet.

Na’Vi had problems in the very first game. The Ukrainian team tried to pick early-game heroes, and the disputes among fans about such a decision continued for a long time. The Alliance managed to fight off the first attacks, after which they themselves launched an assault.

Any attempt by Natus Vincere to outwit the enemy turned into failure. After Io got his ultimate, there were no safe places on the map for Ukrainians. The Swedes quickly increased the advantage, forcing the opponent to ruthlessly feed and after about 15 minutes of the game KuroKy wrote “gg”. 

Second game

Natus Vincere picks:

  • Puppey — Enigma;
  • XBOCT — Alchemist;
  • Dendi — Batrider;
  • KuroKy — Io;
  • Funnik — Bounty Hunter.

The Alliance picks:

  • S4 — Beastmaster;
  • Akke — Venomancer;
  • Loda — Spectre;
  • EGM — Visage;
  • AdmiralBulldog — Nature's Prophet.

In the second game, Na’Vi abandoned the on early-push super nano tactics and chose fat heroes. The Alliance also made a late-game bet. While Loda was rustling around the map farming and avoiding troubles, his team tried in every way to distract the Ukrainians and not let them kill their carry.

For Natus Vincere, a combo of Batrider + Io did well from the very start. Dendi and KuroKy perfectly executed the combination to kill the enemy midman, taking the advantage. A little later Funnik joined them, launching Tracks on the enemy, which allowed to get a gold boost for his team.

While the teams touched each other moustaches in mid, XBOCT farmed. As a result, by the 10th minute, Alexander already had the Hand of Midas, Power Treads and Shadow Blade. With such stock at that time, he could not be afraid of anyone, so Dashkevich set off to farm not creeps, but enemy heroes. Na'Vi pushed down the opponent and in the 21st minute, The Alliance lost their throne. 1-1.

Third game

Natus Vincere picks:

  • Puppey — Visage;
  • XBOCT — Alchemist;
  • Dendi — Io (well that was unexpected);
  • KuroKy — Rubick;
  • Funnik — Razor.

The Alliance picks:

  • S4 — Batrider;
  • Akke — Ogre Mage;
  • Loda — Mirana;
  • EGM — Lina;
  • AdmiralBulldog — Lone Druid.

From the very beginning of the third game, neither commentators nor viewers could understand how the lines of the Ukrainian team would be built with such a pick. Dendi went to mid to get a fast level for his Wisp to immediately start helping his team. On the other hand, it is worth noting Funnik's play, who repeatedly left enemy heroes without damage.

Na’Vi's initiative quickly flopped closer to the middle of the game, when The Alliance's heroes began farming as much as the opponents. Admiral Bulldog with his signature Lone Druid was merciless and earned gold at the speed of a vacuum cleaner. The game dragged on.

After the 30th minute, Na’Vi tried some aggressive attempts to break the Swedes' towers. They even managed to break through the T3-tower, but the Ukrainians paid for it with their whole team. Resurrected, they fed again, which caused a threat of losing. In a series of exchanges, Natus Vincere still managed to seize the advantage, after which The Alliance went all in. The crowd and commentators were crying crazy: Druid bought the Rapier. However, it did not bring success to the team, Na’Vi got the better of it, the Rapier dropped, and the score went 2-1 in favour of the Ukrainian team.

Fourth game

Natus Vincere picks:

  • Puppey — Bane;
  • XBOCT — Alchemist;
  • Dendi — Puck;
  • KuroKy — Rubick;
  • Funnik — Batrider.

The Alliance picks:

  • S4 — Night Stalker;
  • Akke — Crystal Maiden;
  • Loda — Gyrocopter;
  • EGM — Io;
  • AdmiralBulldog — Nature's Prophet.

Dendi got his signature Puck, and AdmiralBulldog once again was preparing for his insidious split-push. However, they did not become the kings of this match.

Even with S4 losing First Blood, he was raging so much that he destroyed Na’Vi's heroes one by one. As a result, he earned 6 frags in a few minutes. At the same time, Loda went freefarm, XBOCT was struggling, and even with Alchemist's profit, he could not reach The Alliance's carry. Swedes equalize 2-2!

Fifth game

Natus Vincere picks:

Puppey — Enigma;

XBOCT — Alchemist;

Dendi — Templar Assassin;

KuroKy — Rubick;

Funnik — Batrider.

The Alliance picks:

S4 — Puck (remember this);

Akke — Crystal Maiden;

Loda — Chaos Knight;

EGM — Io;

AdmiralBulldog — Nature's Prophet.

Here begins the match that will go down in the world history of Dota 2 for many years. It makes no sense to write about it, just go and watch it. If you haven't seen it live, believe us, the emotions that you experience from viewing the record can be easily multiplied by 10 to understand how the audience felt.

One and a half million dollars against six hundred thousand. The title of champion of The International 2013 and Aegis against second place and the status of "the second team".

The game began very aggressively from both sides. Alexander "XBOCT" Dashkevich was making history as The Alliance began to push him since the first minute. Demonstrating strafe wonders between the trees, the Ukrainian carry managed to meet the attack of the enemy triple in solo and at the same time to get First Blood on Chaos Knight and then knead Nature's Prophet under his tower.

All in all, everything went well in this game for Natus Vincere. Dendi felt comfortable in mid, having a huge number of creeps. Skirmishes on the map were so colourful and dynamic that the hall burst into applause over and over again.

The drama occurred at the approximately 30th minute and settled in an unpleasant heartbeat in all the Na’Vi fans and the team players themselves. The Ukrainian team felt courage and went to demolish Swedes' mid. T3 down, barracks down. And some began the story of a "rat" tactics: The Alliance allowed Na'Vi to play, but Loda and the company simply went to split-push the enemy. Nature's Prophet teleported to one line, and Chaos Knight and Io to another.

When Natus Vincere started losing towers and barracks, the Ukrainians decided to make teleports to the base right from the enemy's mid. The players stood too tight, and there was a drama: S4 jumped out of the bushes on his Puck and dreamcoiled all the trio, which microstunned the heroes and, accordingly, cancelled casting spells, including teleports. Na’Vi had to walk to their base, but when they got there, there were only expected by the ashes of burning barracks and broken hopes.

The Ukrainian team could not fight back. The Alliance just had to finish pressing the rival and watch the inscription "gg" appear in chat.

Aegis rose above the heads of The Alliance, becoming the symbol of another team whose name will be forever inscribed in the history of Dota 2 and The International tournaments.

Loda's Puck ultimate for many years will be called "One million ulti". Na’Vi and their fans around the world will go nuts about it.

Dendi will say a bit later in his interviews that they were well aware of the possibility that the enemy Puck would jump and blast down the teleports. At the same time, it turned out that the Ukrainian midder didn't have a teleport at all, as he said to his teammates, but the team decided to push further anyway.

The Swedes win The International 2013 and not only get the weighty Aegis but also $1,437,190. Na’Vi remained in second place, winning $632,364. And it's not about money. The Alliance's rejoicing against the bewildered Ukrainians looked very contrast. It was a painful blow not only to the players but also to the fans who watched the match.

The second failure (although can we call it a failure?) in a row at the main tournament in the history of Dota 2 could not help but reflect on the emotional state of the team. To say that Na’Vi was upset is like to say nothing.

An interesting fact: on the penultimate day of the tournament, there was a premiere of the pre-release version of the "Free to Play: The Movie" documentary for all visitors of Benaroya Hall. Those who were not fortunate enough to be on the scene saw the film only in 2014.

The finals of The International 2013 are remembered with warmth even now. We love Dota 2 because of such things, and lately, there are not a lot of such battles. Prize money grows, and teams become more cautious because the cost of a mistake is too high. 

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