It wasn’t the gripping, nail-biting TI11 finale that fans were waiting for, but that didn’t stop the hype from soaring anyway. Even before Tundra Esports delivered the final blow to Team Secret, it quickly became clear that nothing could stand in the way of the former’s road to victory – and the crowd favourite was no exception.
Sweeping to a clean 3-0 win, Tundra is now the latest to bring home the highly-coveted Aegis of Champions as the newly-crowned victor. The stomping victory concluded two whole days of intense and exciting esports action at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, which saw a packed attendance, alongside plenty of cheers and emotionally-charged moments.
The match draws the yearly affair to an official end, which had its playoffs taking place from 20 to 23 October at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. Back then, the tournament already promised that there would be surprises in store – OG, the only two-time TI champion, and PSG.LGD, the highly-favoured Chinese team over the fourth-placed Team Aster, both failed to break into the top four.
This TI11 stint marks Tundra’s first victory in the professional circuit, which is an impressive feat, considering how the team only joined the competitive scene in early 2021. Despite being a relatively new name, the members quickly made a splash in the community with their innovative play style and diverse hero pool, as former Team Secret player Aui_2000 served as coach behind the scenes.
It’s also worth noting that the team has only dropped one set from the playoffs to Finals weekend, holding a 2-0 victory over all of its opponents except during its Upper Bracket Final with Secret, where the final scoreline was 2-1 in Tundra’s favour.
Team Secret, meanwhile, has always been a hot favourite to win the tournament, having been around since 2015. This year, the team had to claw their way through the ranks from the Last Chance Qualifiers all the way to the top four, and a victory would have certainly worked as a poetic narrative. A pity that wasn’t meant to be, but it was still very good effort on Secret’s end.
TI11 is the 11th iteration of The International, the biggest annual esports world championship tournament for the video game Dota 2, hosted and produced by the game’s developer Valve. This year, the prize pool totalled US$18 million, which is a sharp drop from TI10’s record-breaking US$40 million prize pool.
Congratulations to Tundra for winning TI11, and onward to TI12! Here’s one for the history books – not just for the team, but for Singapore, too.