It’s been three years. The International is on its third run. Dendi and his teammates are now international stars and Natus Vincere has become a household name well-loved (and hated, but never unknown) by millions of gamers worldwide.
They have come so far.
From a time when DotA was at 6.67c. When the Chinese were unbeatable. When teams like CityHunter and EHOME and Nirvana.Cn were the big names in the scene.
EHOME was on a rampage, taking first place in every possible major tournament, leaving nothing but despair in its wake.
1st Place TopGamer (2010)
1st Place Electronic Sports World Cup Chinese Qualifers (2010)
1st Place Electronic Sports World Cup (2010)
3rd Place World Cyber Games China (2010)
1st Place Intel Extreme Masters (2010)
1st Place National eSports Open (2010)
2nd Place Electronic Sports Thailand Championship (2010)
1st Place Road of the King (2010)
1st Place SMM Grand National Dota Tournament (2010)
The questions on everyone’s mind then were: how do we beat the Chinese teams? Is it even possible? They were just too next-level for the rest of the world.
Then came along a strange team clad in yellow and blue. Led by an Artstyle with a Dendi as second in command. Strange names, from a faraway place. Who saw what the Chinese were doing, and didn’t care, weren’t afraid to try, and didn’t believe in the word “impossible”.
In an epic and memorable game in DotA 1, Na’Vi took down a Chinese giant with a curious hero pick: Zeus (played by LightofHeaven). Noticing that the Chinese tend to calculate perfectly and escape at near death, the Zeus pick turned most engagements around and got Na’Vi an unexpected win.
I was impressed.
Here was a team that made DotA exciting once again. A team that didn’t believe in sure-win formulas, that always thought out of the box and pushed the boundaries. A team that made me believe again, that nothing is impossible in DotA.
With wins in just 15 minutes, they took home almost every title in 2011. And became the first team to take down EHOME in a major tournament and clinch the 1 million dollars prize in The International.
1st Star Ladder Star Series Season 4 $8,000
1st GosuLeague Season 5 12 / 2 $2,500
3rd ASUS Open 2012 $2,500
1st Electronic Sports World Cup 2012 $12,000
1st GosuLeague Season 4 12 / 2 $2,500
1st Star Ladder Star Series Season 3 $6,000
2nd The International 2012 $250,000
1st JoinDOTA Masters Special Edition €1,000
2nd The Premier League Masters
1st Star Ladder Star Series Season 2 $6,000
1st The Premier League Season 2 $6,000
2nd DreamHack Summer 2012 $6,000
1st Star Ladder Star Series Season 1 $6,000
1st Techlabs Cup Showmatch $3,000
1st The Premier League Season 1 $5,000
1st The Defense €6,000
2nd Dota2 Star Championship $5,000
1st Electronic Sports World Cup 2011 $12,000
1st The International 2011 $1,000,000
Today the world is watching again as the world’s best 16 gathers for The International 3. After day 2 of the group stages, Na’Vi stands at second place, behind Alliance.
Can they make it through the winner’s bracket undefeated? Or will they fall to the loser’s bracket and risk being eliminated? Time will tell.
But whether they win or lose, whether they take home the 1 million or leave empty handed matters not in the context of DotA history. They have came, saw, conquered, and left their mark.
They have showed us that DotA can be won in 15 minutes (or less), and that impossible is nothing.
GG Na’Vi. May the best team win.