900,000 viewers and $2.8 million in prizes: Dota 2’s The International 3 in pictures
The International 3, the world championship of Valve's Dota 2, took place this weekend as thousands of fans filled Benaroya Hall in Seattle to watch top teams from all over the world compete.
They were battling for the biggest prize pool in eSports history, $2.8 million, in front of one of the largest audiences eSports has ever had: a reported 932,000 concurrent viewers on the live streams. Just shy of League of Legends' 1.1 million concurrent viewer record.
Production has been improved this year, especially for the hosting booth between games.
Lines started forming early each morning for a first chance to hit the merch line, or to grab the best seats.
Fox reporter and International 3 host Kaci Aitchison interviewed fans before the doors opened.
While not necessarily the 'home' team, Na'Vi had its own crowd of dedicated supporters.
Another shot of the unoccupied hosting booth.
What would an eSports event be without fan-made signs?Once the doors opened, people would often beeline straight to the always-full 'Secret Shop'.
A shot of the lobby area of the hall, including a view of the Secret Shop line.
Each purchase of $50 earned shoppers a scan on their badge, giving them a completely random item drop into their Steam Dota 2 account.
Each of the 16 teams had their flag on display.
Concept art lined the walls upstairs. Here you can see a few character concepts as well as each item icon.
Additional concept art.
Impressive detail in this oversized Brewmaster piece.
Lines began forming on both sides for player, workshop creator, and voice actor autograph signings.
Several item creators from the community were present, working and showing off their latest creations.
A community workshop member worked on the tiny details of a sword.
Popular community modeler, Anuxi, signing prints of her favorite sets and creations.
Na'Vi's Puppey signed items for fans.
Dota 2 community contributor/overseer CyborgMatt signed a plush Nature's Prophet.
In addition to actual signatures, fans could get their badges scanned for an e-signature that could be placed on an item.
'Statsman Bruno' getting wired up before going live to start the day off.
Bruno and Team Evil Geniuses manager Jacob 'Maelk' Toft-Andersen.
Former DOTA Pro Ben 'Merlini' Wu and eSports Caster James '2GD' Harding.
The casters occasionally had some down time.
A look from the top row of Benaroya Hall.
The view from the other side of the hall as seats began to fill in the morning.
Each 'Pod' on stage had screens displaying the player name, hero, and status.
Some Team Liquid fans cheered as a close losers bracket game vs. last year's winners IG heats up.
Team Liquid representing the USA.
IG's Zhou exiting the pod upon their victory over USA's last standing team in the tournament.
Each game was casted live to the internet and crowd via the main caster's booth on the side. Other casters, working in different languages, were spread throughout the hall.
Tobiwan & Wagamama cast a match between teams DK and Orange.
Things look grim for DK as 4 of 5 team displays turn greyscale to show a death and respawn time.
After a long game, Orange emerges victorious and shakes hands with the opposing team. The Malaysians rocked the bracket with their unconventional picks and play style.
Ben & James discuss the draft of the previous game.
Between games fans met with new pros, contributors, and voice actors as they took turns at the tables on the second floor.
The wonderfully talented Ellen McLain (GLaDOS, if you don't recognize the name) signing pictures of characters she voiced in the game.
An incredible Witchdoctor cosplay on the floor.
Drafts are shown on the GIANT projector screens in real time. Unique picks usually got a fair amount of applause from the crowd.
Each team had flags above their assigned sections of the hall. Upon getting knocked from the bracket, lights were turned off. As you can see, the Na'Vi flag was shining bright throughout the event.
The detail that went into the Dota 2 logo rune was a nice touch.
Bruno, while known for his stats, is also known for his on-screen hijinks.
Surprise underdog Orange got the crowd's attention during their best of 3 with Na'Vi for a spot in the grand finals.
Fans jumped to the feet and started chants during the big moments.
Orange, lead by team captain Mushi drafting for their 3rd game vs. Na'Vi.
NaVi's Dendi, arguably the most popular player in all of Dota 2, clearly had fans in the crowd.
A shot from the front row as game 3 began.
Tobiwan focusing on the chaos that was taking place in-game.
The entire crowd is on its feet for an incredible comeback by Na'Vi.
A relieved XBOCT & Dendi stroll out of the players booth after nearly being sent home without going to the Grand Finals for the first time in Dota 2 history.
Great sportsmanship as competitors hugs post-match.
Solo-mid respect from Na'Vi's Dendi to Orange's Mushi.
The Aegis of the Immortal took it's spot on the stage for the grand finals.
A closer detail shot of the aegis.
The dramatic team entrances for the grand finals.
Team Na'Vi walks down the aisle, hyping the crowd.
Na'Vi carry player XBOCT showed some love to the fans.
Na'Vi & Alliance took the stage before the finals.
Sweden's Alliance performed incredibly well during the entire event with only one loss throughout all the games leading up to the finals.
Both teams shook hands before the series of 5 games began.
Casters LD and Luminous casted the grand finals.
A glance in Alliance's pod revealed a very focused Loda farming away.
Na'Vi's XBOCT took his seat after the game's first draft.
Kaci interviewing fans in the crowd between matches.
GG is called at the end of game 4 with Na'Vi and Alliance tied 2-2
A row of Na'Vi fans all sharing a tense moment in the final game.
Na'Vi's team manager and family got hyped as things heat up with the million dollar purse on the line.
The crowd took to their feet as a base race ensued in the final match.
Alliance takes the win and the crowd goes wild!
EGM nudges the dumbstruck Akke out of their booth.
Na'Vi congratulated this year's champions, Alliance.
Defeated but not down, Na'Vi embrace the cheers of the crowd.
Alliance's Loda grasped the Aegis with a victory roar.
A moment Alliance will never forget.
Dota 2 International 3 Champions - Loda, S4, EGM, Akke, and AdmiralBulldog.