TI8 – the story of the most admirable finals in years

May 31 2019 5 min read

TI8 – the story of the most admirable finals in years ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

– Lets’ mute’em. I’ll mute them for the game duration.

– What if they type GG, and we won’t see that?

– We’ll wait till their throne explodes then.


– They screwed up. They’ve just screwed up. This game is ours.

The booth talks in between The International 2018 matches.

Ladies. Gentlemen. There’s no delusion in the fact that the last year’s The International event was among the most epic ones in the whole history of competitive Dota 2. If that can’t be applied to the whole tournament, at least the finals deserve to be recognized. It was the first time in five years when the final series was played through all the five maps. The teams were equal in strength, and it’s rather easy to judge them unbiased now. Valve’s documentary True Sight has also shown both teams as worthy opponents instead of labelling them “good” and “bad” guys.

Valve was able to show two completely different approaches in sustaining the in-game morale. You can see PSG.LGD jokingly mocking each other before entering the arena; the captain of OG was holding an outdoor motivational speech for his teammates.

The Chinese were exchanging short phrases after the first defeat while the captain Fy left a brief remark in the smoking room: “Let’s not pick that shit anymore.” It was encouraging enough for them to win the next two maps.


The Europeans, leaving the booth after two defeats in a row, were patting each other on the shoulders. The captain was motivational once again: “We wanted hard series – there it is. Three games. We’ve won the first one; we need two more.”


These are two different approaches, but both are worthy enough to follow. The viewers weren’t having an impression that one of the teams was acting dirty and therefore should have been punished. The Chinese were more restrained, and the viewers could see short swear phrases in the subtitles – although it mostly remained backstage that those chanting French shouts by the OG’s captain were a lot harsher in their meaning. Such expressions are not even getting subtitled.

No one is judging the occurring events in the documentary off-screen; no one is claiming that one form of behaviour is right, and the other is wrong. Both teams had an atmosphere that was beneficial and disturbing at the same time. One team just failed with consistency. Ceb was overly happy with the first victory – and being too confident after that, he started losing. He then took the risk once again, picked Axe – and made the godly plays.

Cold-blooded PSG.LGD entered the finals with a huge pile of papers, strategic moves, situational tactics, which helped them to maintain the game after the first loss; but these very papers were also the reason why the team got confused in their own strategies eventually.

So, which approach is the right one? Apparently, it’s the one that led to the victory – although it’s not necessarily true.

As the result, OG was better at understanding the macro plays – they knew exactly when their picks would prove beneficial; they were waiting, losing fights, deliberately giving away heroes, taking their time – all that to crush the enemy in the end. To lose the battle but to win the war – it’s about them.


We are here for the victory. Why do you think we came all this way?


We aren’t going to feature the full recaps here, although there’s one exception. The fourth map, which helped OG to get back on trails and to change the course of the whole final series.


Ceb was a great initiator with Axe creating pressure and winning solo fights – or at least holding long enough to get supported by the teammates. OG was pushing till the 27th minute when they reached the base of PSG.LGD. While fighting to protect the Throne, Chalice sold a few items to buy Radiance – this helped the Chinese to fight off and start a counter attack.

From that very moment, the initiative was taken by the Chinese team. It was like that up until the 41st minute, when the fights occurring on the opposite side of the map were stopped by the heroic play by OG’s carry who sold Ring of Aquila and Talisman of Evasion in time. It helped to make an instant buyback and defend the base. After that, LGD were trapped in their own indecisive plays. The Chinese were trying to be everywhere, although they missed the opportunity to remove the lower altar, which was used by Phantom Lancer to heal, lost Roshan – and the overall pace as well.

An hour after the game started, Axe was unstoppably pushing through everything on his way while Lancer became unkillable. OG won on the 65th minute.


We’ve included the general stats for that particular map to highlight the crucial moment of the match. It doesn’t by any means indicate that the fifth match was easier in terms of plays and mechanics, but the overall mood was set by the fourth one.

However, the final battle is best represented as the stats. According to the analyst platform Esports Charts, the viewers’ count of the fifth map peaked at 15 million people. The previous record was held by TI7 – 10.9 million viewers. Such an increase in the audience in just a year cannot be underestimated. The average viewership throughout the 122 hours of TI8 broadcast was more than 500,000.


We can actually learn a lot from that TI. For instance, the confidence of PSG.LGD winning two maps in a row after the first defeat. Or the unbelievable persistence of OG determined to win the fourth map – after which they also took the victory on the fifth one. We can learn from the players’ skill to control everything happening around them – and saying afterwards that you saw nothing including your very own hero (hello, Ana.) We can learn trust and team spirit. The courage to pick a particular hero just because your well-trusted teammate suggested so.

– Do you want Invoker?

– Yes.


From LGD, we can learn the talent to leave the stage with dignity. The guys left the booth knowing that they weren’t the losers or the worst ones – they were the vice-champions. Equal in strength, but not as good in performance. This very skill of quietly leaving the stage with dignity should be taught in the same way as the skill to play at the highest level. 

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