TI3’s Grand Final between Natus Vincere and Alliance is a match that continues to ring clear in the mind of every true Dota fan: The pinnacle of what a Dota 2 match can be. The group stage went as expected as the Western duo topped their groups. But while Na`Vi topped Group A with an 11 to 3 record, Alliance shut out Group E with a perfect 14-0 record. (Casters Commentating) And the fated first meeting between Na`Vi and Alliance came in the upper bracket finals.
But Alliance took a convincing 2-0 win to knock Na`Vi to the lower bracket meaning there was a very real chance that Na`Vi would not even reach the Grand Finals. (Casters Commentating) Orange upset two of China’s best teams earlier in the playoffs but in the deciding game three, more information here, the unthinkable happened. kYxY accidentally denied the Aegis of Immortal one of the biggest blunders in a game of competitive Dota without the Aegis, Orange was unable to close the game and Na`Vi eventually clawed their way to a victory. (Casters Commentating) Regardless of the circumstance, Na`Vi earned their run back against Alliance (Casters Commentating) In Game 1, Na`Vi’s Puppey brought out a number of unique picks, but Alliance’s s4 stuck to the usual game plan and they ended up stomping Na`Vi. (Casters Commentating) The challenge was met with force as Na`Vi took a quick game of their own.
(Casters Commentating) Despite the close series, Na`Vi put Dendi on Io in the Mid Lane for Game three. (Caster Commentating) Thanks to the pick, Na`Vi had control of the early game and Alliance were firmly shut down. (Commentators Casting) With that, Na`Vi were one game away from winning TI3 and the chance for a majority of the roster to carve their names on the Aegis of Champions twice. Both teams opened Game four with stable well-rounded picks but s4’s ace came in the final pick with Night Stalker. but Na`Vi drew first blood.
However, Na`Vi were also too preoccupied with the mid lane that they forgot about the safe lane and Loda’s free farm gyrocopter took over the late game. (Commentators Casting) With Alliance tying up the series 2-2, TI3 already broke new ground for a TI grand final. Creative drafts and ballsy plays characterized the series thus far and the best was yet to come. For the final game, Na`Vi decided to leave XBOCT on his own and though Alliance continuously came to gank, XBOCT held his ground. (Commentators Casting) Alliance were focused so much on XBOCT that Na`Vi were nearly uncontested in their other lanes but the net result looked like a dead heat and it showed in the chaotic teamfights early on. (Commentators Casting) Alliance took the first Aegis at 21 minutes and stalled the game waiting for Roshan to reset.
(Commentators Casting) Both teams hit the high ground at around the same time but Na`Vi took the first barracks. (Commentators Casting) Despite the setback, Na`Vi continued to put on the pressure and attempted high ground again but Bulldog was steps ahead of them and chipped away at their tier 4 towers. (Commentators Casting) It seemed like the game would come down to the next Roshan. (Commentators Casting) Four years later this series has withstood the test of time as a triumph of Dota 2 esports. With s4’s million-dollar Dream Coils remaining one of the most iconic moments in the game’s history. To this day it remains the only International Grand Final to go a full five-game conclusion and continues to be the prime example of what a Dota 2 series can be.