With a record-setting prize pool at stake, The International 8 was deemed a huge success by fans who watched OG topple PSG.LGD in a five-game grand finals series to claim the Aegis of Champions and the $11,234,158 grand prize.
There were nearly 15 million fans who tuned in to watch the grand finals, with the peak reaching 14,960,473 at 10:05pm CT on Saturday, according to Esports Charts.
As one could expect, many of those viewers were Chinese. PSG.LGD features a nearly all-Chinese lineup and the organization, LGD Gaming, is based in China as well.
Chinese viewership has been the subject of skepticism, though. Many people have pointed to the abnormally large viewing numbers and deemed them inflated. It is likely, however, that a lot of Chinese people were watching The International 8 to root on teams from their own country.
Similar to last year’s TI, which featured Chinese team Newbee in the grand finals, there seemed to be a lot of interest among Chinese viewers when a Chinese team was playing. Instead of Newbee, it was PSG.LGD getting the attention.
Of the top five most viewed matches, PSG.LGD competed in the top four. The only match in the top five that did not feature LGD was the Evil Geniuses vs. Team Liquid lower bracket semifinals encounter on Friday.
Whether the exact Chinese viewership numbers are to be believed, viewership seemed to increase from last year’s event to this year’s. Without Chinese viewers being taken into account, there were higher figures in peak viewership, average viewership, and total hours watched at TI8 compared to TI7, according to Esports Charts.
While Dota 2’s player base is nowhere near its peak, it seems as if there are still more fans tuning in and watching its events.