Tundra Esports scored a stunning sweep of Team Secret to win the grand finals of The International 11 over the weekend at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Composed of Oliver “skiter” Lepko, Leon “Nine” Kirilin, Neta “33” Shapira, Martin “Saksa” Sazdov, and team captain Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun, the British DOTA 2 powerhouse needed just 40 minutes each game to pull off a 3-0 victory in their best-of-five duel.
With the win, Tundra pocketed a grand prize of $8.49 million – or around P493.8 million.
Skiter said they couldn’t believe their easy victory.
“It is surreal, I do not know,” said skiter, who serves as Tundra’s carry.
“I have yet to digest all the emotions. It has yet to come to me, it’s crazy. I mean, I knew we could win the whole thing, but I never thought that it was going to be this easy.”
Tundra Esport’s semi-support Saksa, meanwhile, was left speechless following his first TI championship that had been elusive to him.
“It does not feel like it is real; I am still trying to understand what just happened. In my mind I cannot even believe it,” Saksa admitted.
“I am just so happy. Everyone did such an amazing job in this tournament. It is the best feeling,” 33 chimed in.
Despite falling short in the grand finals, the Last Chance Qualifier survivor Team Secret still exceeded expectations throughout the tournament as it went home with $2.45 million cash prize.
Former TI champion Team Liquid, on the other hand, won $1.69 million.
But TI 11 had not been too kind for Southeast Asian players, especially to Filipinos.
Talon Esports became the first Southeast Asian team to get the boot following a 2-2-5 outing in the group stage of this DOTA 2 event that is considered as the biggest, richest in the world due to its insane amount of cash prizes.
On the other hand, Fnatic, which is composed of four Filipinos in Marc “Raven” Fausto, Armel “Armel” Tabios, Djardel “DJ” Mampusti, and Jaunuel “Jaunuel” Arcilla with Anucha “Jabz: Jirawong of Thailand, barely made it past the group stage with 3-3-3 standing.
Fnatic, however, fell prey to European powerhouse Gaimin Gladiators in a hotly-contested sudden-death match in the lower bracket that lasted for 50 minutes.
Still, Fnatic was able to bank in 1.5 percent of the $17.1 million – or around P1 billion – total prize pool.
Meanwhile, North American super power Evil Geniuses, an organization that is being powered by Filipino mid laner Abed “Abed” Yusop, had a roller coaster performance in this prestigious tourney.
Evil Geniuses punched a ticket to the upper bracket of the main event following a 7-0-2 run in the group stage but faltered in the crucial stretch, leading to a 2-0 beating against Thunder Awaken in the opening match of the Playoffs.
Evil Geniuses crashed to the lower bracket, but it suffered yet another sweep at the hands of Beastcoast for a top 9 to 12 finish.
With Talon, Fnatic and Abed gone very early, BOOM Esports, which has three Filipino gamers in Timothy “Tims” Randrup, Erin “Yopaj” Ferrer and Rolen “skem” Ong, emerged as the last Southeast Asian team to gain a chance to win the Aegis of the Immortal.
It had a rocky performance in the group stage but still made it to the lower bracket, where it shocked reigning champion Team Spirit.
Its TI journey eventually came to an end when it bowed to Chinese powerhouse PSG.LGD in Round 2 of the lower bracket to exit the tourney with a top 9 to 12 finish.