After all the build-up and months of qualification events, 18 teams competed for the prestigious The International 2017 title. In the end, Team Liquid produced a memorable comeback to claim the victory and earn an incredible and record-busting $10,849,965 in the process.
The win is the biggest of a hugely successful 12 months for Team Liquid. They’ve won seven events going back to the 2016 Dream League Season 6 event in November.
Still, Team Liquid didn’t have things all their way at the tournament. Let’s relive the comeback win.
In Group A, Team Liquid came out on top of the nine-team qualifier with a 13-3 record, just above LGD Gaming, Evil Geniuses, and TNC Pro Team. In the bottom half of Group A, Team Secret, IG Vitality, Team Empire, and Infamous made it into the playoffs as lower seeds.
There was a similar story unfolding in Group B, as LGD Forever Young claimed the top spot at 14-2 and were joined by Newbee, Virtus.pro, and Invictus Gaming. Coming through as lower seeds were OG, Cloud9, Digital Chaos, and Execration.
In the single elimination lower seeds games, Team Secret, Team Empire, OG, and Digital Chaos knocked out Execration, Cloud9, Infamous, and iG Vitality.
Among upper seeds, the first game proved to be a shock: Team Liquid were defeated by Invictus Gaming, the fourth seeds in Group B. This dropped Team Liquid into the Lower Band for Round Two. Newbee, LGD Forever Young ,and Virtus Pro were the other qualifiers in what was a clean sweep for Group B sides.
In the Upper Band Round Two, Newbee and LGD Forever Young made it through before Newbee sprung a surprise in beating LGD Forever Young 2-1 in the Upper Band Final to claim the place in the Grand Final.
For their part, Team Liquid bounced back to win 2-1 over Team Secret in the Lower Band Round Two, and they were joined in Round Three by Team Empire, OG, and LGD Gaming.
In that round, Team Liquid defeated Team Empire, then moving on to an epic clash with Virtus.pro. Meanwhile, LGD Gaming continued their strong form with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Invictus Gaming.
LGD may have been the slight favorites for their Round Five clash with Team Liquid, but it was the latter who came through 2-0 and setting up the Lower Band Final clash with LGD Forever Young. LGD took an early lead in the first map before Team Liquid sealed it by winning the last two maps.
Going into Liquid’s best-of-five encounter with Newbee, many experts predicted a close contest. The final, however, was preceded by a special event which pitted Team Radiant against Team Dire.
Fans who had purchased the Battle Pass were allowed to pick players from each of the teams to pit against each other via voting slips. Team Radiant came out on top 53-23; RAMZES666 and SumaiL were the stand-outs.
After the special event, Team Liquid produced a classic display to dispatch Newbee in a 3-0 sweep, the first in the history of The International finals.
It was also a record-breaking sell-out at The KeyArena in Seattle, while a reported 4.7 million people tuned in via live stream.
It was also a profitable day for the Team Liquid League of Legends team. Facing elimination from the North American League Championship Series, the team managed to survive their crucial battle with P1 to retain their status in the series for next year and avoid a $3 million application fee.
All in all, it was a profitable day for Team Liquid, who have continued their fantastic run of success and now hold the distinction of winning the most money ever at an esports tournament.
At least, perhaps, until The International 2018 rolls around.