This year's The International was the best Dota 2 tournament of all time. Whether it was compelling narratives like the underdog Digital Chaos' tournament run, or ridiculous all-time great games, this was an esports tournament for the ages.
These are the moments we won't soon forget from TI6.
The North American defending TI5 champions pitted against the pride of China. It was a series to remember with plenty of intense moments, but game one took the audience's collective breath away. With its base in shambles and a near-exposed throne, Evil Geniuses went all-in in an attempt to steal the victory from EHOME. Both teams were without any buybacks (except for EHOME's Warlock), but every major ultimate was available. Evil Geniuses forced their way into the opposition's base and used the Faceless Void's Chronosphere and the Shadow Demon's Disruption to separate the Chinese defenses. Armed with multiple Dagons, Evil Geniuses zapped away the largest threats in the improbable base siege. This prompted a vain attempt from EHOME's Wang "old chicken" Zhiyong's Juggernaut to base race the North American squad. With all core EHOME members down, and a purchase of a Divine Rapier, Evil Geniuses walloped on the opposing throne to finish off one of the greatest comebacks in Dota 2.
This moment deserves a back story. The South East Asian team, Fnatic, were down over 20k in gold and experience, to one of the best Dota 2 teams of the year, Team Liquid. It would take a miracle to claw back against a team that exhibited as much discipline and control as Team Liquid. But, Fnatic never gave up. One lopsided team wipe at the Roshan pit and then another. The lead shrunk and kept shrinking. The net worth of the Fnatic supports kept rising and their core heroes bulked up. Then, the dagger.
A tilted Team Liquid smoked up in hopes for anything to drop in their favor.
What the team found was a trap. Fnatic isolated the support Undying, and Team Liquid took the bait. Three heroes from Team Liquid jumped in and were immediately greeted with a Sven stun into a Sand King follow-up combination. Team Liquid melted. The rest of the lineup was cleaned up and Fnatic only lost the Undying to cap off arguably the biggest comeback of the tournament.
The grand finals of the largest esports' prize pool, the biggest Dota 2 tournament in history, and the pressure of disappointing so many fans and supporters. Digital Chaos was never "supposed" to be in the final game, but the team kept proving critics wrong in every series. Unfortunately, the magnitude of the situation caught the lineup at the worst time. With a 2-1 series lead, Wings was in the driver's seat. Digital Chaos was in control of the fourth game for the potential tie, but the wings gaming never panicked or overextended in the deficit.
Wings punished every Digital Chaos mistake to claw back to even -- a lone hero warding or farming or a disadvantageous fight. Then, Digital Chaos' nightmares appeared in the form of the extended team fight at the Radiant side bottom lane. With the jump-in, Digital Chaos attempted to burst down and isolate the chunky cores of the Chinese team, but Anti-Mage had other ideas. A big Mana Void killed off Aliwi "w33" Omar's Slark and the rest of the team was in full retreat. The fight continued in the Digital Chaos base with everyone not on Wings Gaming at its mercy. W33's three straight deaths in desperation would snowball what was once a competitive game between the two finalists into an overwhelming black hole and eventual the Wings' victory.