The International 2018 is over. The tournament will be remembered as another record-breaking event and one in which one team in particular earned some redemption.
That team was OG, the most decorated squad in Valve’s Major Tournament history but who for many years floundered on the biggest stage at The International. That pattern proved so true thatthey did not receive a direct invite for the 2018 event. This year, they entered the competition at the qualifying stage to try and land the one spot open to teams from the European Qualifiers.
OG’s Journey to The International 2018 victory
OG’s quest began in the European Qualifier #1 back in June. They were in competition against seven other teams, including Team Kinguin, Alliance, and Wind and Rain.
After a stunning performance in the Group Stage, where they won all seven of their games, OG topped the group. They earned the top seed spot for the Playoffs and defeated Team Kinguin, then Wind and Rain to earn a spot in the Grand Final.
There, they faced Wind and Rain once again, earning a 3-1 victory to take the European qualifier berth at The International 2018.
The International 2018 – Group Stage
OG’s performances in the opening Group Phase of the tournament were not particularly eye-catching. The team began well enough, drawing 1-1 with the much fancied PSG.LGD. Then, they went down 2-0 to Team Liquid, last year’s winners.
Day Two began with another defeat to Evil Geniuses, but the team stopped the rot with a vital 2-0 win over Mineski to keep themselves within reach of a top four seed.
Day Three turned OG’s fortunes around. They opened up with a 1-1 draw with Fnatic before recording two excellent 2-0 wins over Invictus Gaming and VGJ.Thunder.
Then, on Day Five, OG drew with Winstrike Team, a result which saw them finish with a 9-7 record. That meant they earned the No. 4 seed in Group A and a place in the Upper Bracket.
The International 2018 – Main Event
As No. 4, OG faced the top seeds from Group B — VGJ.Storm. At this point, OG finally ratcheted things up a notch. A superb 2-0 victory over Storm was something of a surprise but set OG up with an Upper Bracket Round Two match against familiar rivals Evil Geniuses, who had beaten them 2-0 in the Group Stage.
In an exciting game, OG took the first map before Evil Geniuses struck back to level matters. Then, in an epic third game, OG snatched the win to move into the Upper Bracket Finals to face PSG.LGD.
This was always likely to be a close game after the teams drew 1-1 in the group phase. OG went up 1-0 before PSG pulled even. Then, OG claimed another dramatic win in the decider to claim a place in the Grand Final.
The big win
In the Grand Final, OG faced PSG.LGD for the third time in the tournament. What followed was one of the most exciting esports tournament finals in history.
OG began strongly, taking the opening game before PSG.LGD showed their quality to win Games 2 and 3 to take a 2-1 lead. However, in an epic fourth game, which lasted over an hour, OG scraped out a sensational win to force a decider.
That decider was another epic contest. It saw OG come back from a seemingly impossible situation to claim the win and, with it, the richest esports prize in history — a cash prize of $11.2 million. That staggering figure came from a prize fund that eventually set a new world record for esports tournament prize money at $25.5 million.
The win was OG’s first at a top-level tournament since their victory at the MDL Macau back in October 2017. The $11.2 million is more than 10 times the amount they landed for winning both the Manila Major 2016 and the Frankfurt Major 2015.
The win was particularly sweet for long-standing members of the team, like JerAx (Jesse Vainikka) and N0tail (Johan Sundstein). OG no longer carry the moniker of “best team never to win The International.”
MiBR shine at the ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018
Known as SK Gaming before they were acquired by Immortals and renamed, MiBR (Made in Brazil) have earned their first victory as the new team. They took home $200,000 at the ZOTAC Cup Masters in Hong Kong over the weekend.
The tournament, a straight elimination event featuring eight teams, saw MiBR begin their quest for success with a solid 2-0 performance over the tournament outsiders Flash Gaming. They, then faced MVP PK in the semifinals, who had shocked Virtus.pro 2-1 in the quarters, earning a 2-0 win to take their place in the final.
There, they would take on Team Kinguin, who defeated both TyLoo and then Ghost Gaming 2-1 to reach the final. However, the final was very much a one-sided affair. MiBR ran away very comfortable winners in the end by a 3-0 scoreline (16-6, 16-14 and 16-1).
MiBR, along with TyLoo and Ghost Gaming, will now travel to Stockholm to compete in this week’s huge DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 event against 13 other teams for the $250,000 first prize. Check back later this week for a full preview of this big event, which will see one of the teams competing for a $1,000,000 bonus prize.