I do not watch enough Dota 2 to be authoritative on it as an e-sport or spectator event. I do not have a religious committment to it like many that I know, or an intimate knowledge of its greatest moments.
But sometimes, you just know. Today’s Winner’s Final matchup between Team Secret and Evil Geniuses at the Frankfurt Major? One of the greatest matches of all time.
Inspired? Get in on the action with our picks for the best Dota 2 heroes for noobies.
The first thing you need to understand is these two teams are the top of the game right now and with intimately entwined histories. EG are the world champions, while Team Secret have been ludicrously strong over the last few months. EG’s carry player Arteezy was a Team Secret member during The International this year, an event that a then-all-star Secret expected to win, but were unceremoniously dumped out of in 8th place. Their roster then disbanded other than Puppey, one of the most legendary team leaders ever to play the game, who built a second group of upcoming allstars around him and then just wouldn’t stop winning tournaments.
This was the expected Winner’s Final between two teams who have repeatedly shown to be on a different level to their competitors. They haven’t swept all comers, but they have won every match, with only a few game losses between them through the tournament. It’s not a pairing that was likely to live up to the expectation because that expectation was so high. Somehow it not only met that, but exceeded it greatly.
At this point I’d hope to have convinced you that it’s worth your time, so here’s the VOD. Skip about 20 minutes to actually get into the game. The first is definitely the best, managing to be (and now we’re getting into spoiler territory, last chance to just watch it without any prior knowledge beyond its quality) a very long game of Dota 2 that never degenerates into twenty minute farm wars waiting for Roshan and never engaging in direct fights. Throughout the series, the teams stay closer on kills than I have ever seen Dota games be and the net worth/experience graphs are constant waves, with neither side grabbing a consistent advantage. Until the very end, it feels like they could go either way, and it’s gripping, incredible stuff.
Beyond that, there’s weird draft picks, interesting overall strategies, strange gamestates and amazing moments. EternalEnvy stole my heart with a single play towards the end of game one, pulling off an act of micro so impressive my Brood War brain burst out of my nose and did a dance all along my now-bloodstained desk. That never stops happening and there’s a storyline for every single player running through the series. Enjoy it, because they don’t make them like this too often.