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Amid these times of global crisis and lockdown where we know not what day of the week it is, LiquidDota brings to you a short list of some of the best competitive games in Dota 2’s 10-year history. Sit down and buckle up as we take you through eight iconic games during this time of restlessness. Relive some of the most absurd and amazing games that have shaped the competitive history of the game we all love. Choosing eight of them was, by no means easy at all as there are so many memorable games. Everyone has different opinions, but we hope that you find these games as enjoyable as we had considered them. These games are placed in no order except chronological (oldest to newest), and without further ado, let us turn the pages of Dota 2’s competitive history.
RaidCall ESL Major Series One
[A]lliance vs iNfernity
This game can quite simply be characterised as the dominance of [A]lliance back in the summer of 2013, only a couple of months before their fated conquest of The International 3. Of all the things for [A]lliance to do in an online competitive match, they chose to take on TobiWan’s challenge: Take rax in the first 10 minutes. They went above and beyond that, they drew “ggwp” out of iNfernity only a few seconds before they took the bottom melee rax at 7:57. Using an exclusive draft and particularly captained in this game by [A]dmiralBulldog, they gave up no kills, and simply grouped as 5 around the 6-minute mark to rampage down the bottom lane.
TI3 Upper Bracket Semi-finals Game 3
Na`Vi vs TongFu
Two words: Fountain hook. A legendary game bearing witness to the old Chen send back + Pudge hook combo that single-handedly turned a losing game around. Perhaps the most famous aftermath of this game remains Loda’s apparent outrage in the player lounge after the game: “HOW IS THAT BALANCED? TONGFU HAD THAT GAME.” Curiously though, Hao, the main victim of these fountain hooks, had no real problem with it. His opinion could be summarised as, “It happens. It was cheesy and we had to play around it. But we were weak and failed to play around it.”. This game is worth revisiting for the sheer absurdity of the plays that brought Na`Vi to their third consecutive TI Grand Finals.
TI3 Grand Finals Game 5
[A]lliance vs Na`Vi
Perhaps the most famous game in Dota 2 history for the high-stakes plays and back-and-forth nature of the game, surely we had to include it in this list. Since I joined LiquidDota in 2016, one of the TL admins has always upheld the opinion that XBOCT won TI3. Disastrous 4-man ganks from [A]lliance during the laning phase saw miraculous jukes and turnarounds from XBOCT’s Alchemist. Dendi’s TA utterly crushed s4’s puck in the mid lane, and Na`Vi’s aggressive trilane around the Batrider secured a good transition for him. Again and again, Na`Vi held the lead in this game, but as with so many games, the Rosh Pit changed things. Constant long, protracted fights around the Pit kept [A]lliance in the game, forcing Na`Vi to commit far more resources than expected to securing the Aegis for a high-ground push. In the meantime, [A]lliance’s infamous first-phase Furion + Wisp did its job: Kills mean nothing, throne means everything.
ESL One Frankfurt 2014 Quarterfinals Game 2
[A]lliance vs Cloud9
The final LAN before The International 2014, ESL One Frankfurt would identify the teams on whose backs targets were placed at TI4. In the quarterfinal, this game stood out as [A]lliance’s signature Furion + Wisp combo came into play, its immense split pushing capabilities fully demonstrated in an otherwise one-sided game in favour of C9.
TI5 Lower Bracket Round 2 Game 1
Vici Gaming vs Cloud9
After being run over by TI5’s dark horse CDEC in the Upper Bracket, Cloud9 were faced with yet another formidable opponent. For many, this game cemented fy’s status as one of, if not the best, Rubick players in the world, absurd steal after steal sealing C9’s fate in a 70-minutes long slugfest for their tournament lives. That alone makes this game worth revisiting, as we observe the Prince of Chinese Dota.
Frankfurt Major 2015 Upper Bracket Finals Game 1
EG vs Secret
Two words, maybe three: Mag + Ember. The Mag + melee carry combo has become a staple of basic Dota combos, replicated in pubs and pro games alike, but this game truly demonstrated its potential as Secret, despite a massive deficit throughout the game, defended their highground repeatedly, and swiftly dismantled EG in a number of absurdly bold double Rapier plays from EternaLEnVy’s Ember Spirit.
TI6 Upper Bracket Round 1 Game 1
MVP.Phoenix vs OG
As unthinkable as picking five strength heroes into Timbersaw is nowadays, it was unthinkable to pick five melee heroes into Timbersaw back then. This game featured the essence of Korean Dota, and to some extent, SEA Dota. Certainly, it was the embodiment of QO’s signature aggressive manfighting style, as the two-time Major winning favourites OG were rattled in their first game on the mainstage of TI. Savour the sheer skill and ragged elegance of MVP.Phoenix in this game.
TI7 Lower Bracket Round 4 Game 1
Team Liquid vs Virtus.Pro
A highlight of Team Liquid’s legendary TI7 run as they engaged in a 100-minute bloodbath against the CIS giants, this game featured the best Dota 2 players of the 2016-17 season on both teams. Amazing plays and the impregnability of a late-game Bloodseeker kept Liquid on their toes, ultimately split pushing their way to victory after narrowly avoiding a base race.