"I'm so excited to watch the replays for The International 3's grand finals!" I thought this morning, with a little more groggy muttering and cussing, "But I'll just check there's nothing pressing in my work e-mail." And then I saw the press release from Valve at 5am boldly declaring the winner. Bum. So I'll avoid naming names in these opening lines, only saying that the winning five-man team takes home a whopping $1,437,204.
The finals saw Swedish team The Alliance facing the mostly-Ukranian team Na'Vi. Every match of the best-of-five finals was needed to declare a winner, but The Alliance scooped the big money.
The Alliance won a staggering $1,437,204 as the winners, while Na'vi take home $632,370, and Orange earned $287,441. The top eight of TI3's sixteen teams all got prize money, down to $43,116 for eighth. The total prize pool was a colossal $2,874,407, boosted by sales of Dota 2's Compendium. Valve started the pool with $1.6 million, then added $2.50 for each $10 virtual sticker album it sold. Once again, its weird experiments with engaging fans have paid off nicely.
This was the third International finals for Na'vi, who won the first tournament, then lost to Invictus Gaming in 2012, and barely squeezed into the finals this year. Na'vi were losing badly in the third game of the best-of-three losers' bracket finals against Chinese team Orange, but mounted an astonishing comeback--helped in part by Orange accidentally denying its own Aegis.
Head on this-a-way to watch the finals if you missed them, either as commentated replays or plain old YouTube videos. Here's the first game of the grand finals, with all the grand fanfare, introductions, predictions, and Dendi shenanigans: