The finals of the World Esports Professional Classic Dota 2 league concluded Monday in Shanghai, China with a prize pool offering of ¥1,530,000 (about $245,000). But in addition to the quarter-million dollar prize, the marathon tournament also offered a small preview of what to expect from the Valve’s Dota 2 super tournament this summer, where teams will compete for a $8.5 million (and counting) prize.
The WPC competition began in late March with 12 top Asian and five teams from other regions. At the end of the round robin group stage, six Asian teams and the top two international teams were invited to the finals event in Shanghai. Western sides—and competitors at Valve’s The International in July—Cloud 9 and Alliance were eliminated from the competition in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively. That left Chinese teams Invictus Gaming and Team DK to compete for the sizable first place prize of ¥1,000,000 (about $163,000).
Team DK produced shocking comeback victory in the previous WPC final, winning the best-of-seven series despite dropping the first three games. Team DK returned to the this year’s tournament with the exact same roster, while Invictus Gaming hoped that February additions Yinqi Luo and Wong Hock Chuan would help to tilt the result in their favor this time.
The series got off to a grinding start with three close matches that took nearly three hours and forty minutes to complete—including a one hour and forty two minute marathon match in the second game. Invictus won that game and the first, but Team DK stirred memories of their comeback from last season by taking the third game to cut into the Invictus lead.
But a second comeback wasn’t to be. Invictus Gaming immediately recovered from the game three loss to convincingly win both the fourth and fifth games in short order, with each victory taking less than thirty minutes.
With the 4-1 series win secured, Chuan was seen on camera celebrating with a primal yell as his team was crowned league champions. The win should give Invictus plenty of momentum heading into their participation at ESL One Frankfurt in June and, of course, The International in July, where that $8 million prize pool will be up for grabs.