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The grand finals of The International 4 showcased the variance of sport

Dota 2 Screenshot - The grand finals of The International 4 showcased the variance of sport

In 2013, Allliance in NA’VI faced off in a thrilling Grand Finals of The International 3. To call the match epic was an understatement; the crowd was filled with emotion throughout the entire affair due to a combination of a rabid interest in both teams and thrilling gameplay.

This year, the stakes were larger, the venue was bigger, and the hype was unreal. Naturally, that hype wasn’t met. Team Newbee defeated Vici Gaming so quickly that you were in danger of missing the games if you blinked. So what gives? Why did Newbee steamroll so easily over the competition?

Because sports.

Super Bowl XLVIII saw the Seattle Seahawks throttled the Denver Broncos 43 to 8. That’s Peyton Manning’s Broncos, not Tim Tebow’s Broncos.

If you’re not a fan of the NFL, Peyton Manning is a really, really good quarterback. He’s no Tom Brady, but he’s still pretty damn good. The Broncos were an offensive machine that was shut down by a superior Seahawks defense.

The NBA Finals saw the San Antonio Spurs defeat the Miami Heat in 5 games. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers in 5 to win the Stanley Cup. Sometimes, a one-sided series happens in sports. This isn’t new to sports in general, but still came as a surprise to many watching The Interational.

Here’s another reason: Team Newbee was red hot, and it’s really hard for a team to lose when they’re on the type streak Newbee was on.

Remember back on when Newbee was at the bottom of the group bracket? They were 7-8 going into the elimination rounds and required a tie-breaker to get out alive. Once they did, though, they caught lightning in a bottle. The same lightning in the bottle captured by the Boston Red Sox to win the 2013 World Series despite being the definition of bad in 2012. The same lightning in a bottle that the Auburn Tigers used to go on an absolutely insane run through the College Football season and into the National Championship game.

Sometimes that lightning in a bottle runs out; just ask the Auburn Tigers. Sometimes, you get lucky. Team Newbee’s strategy was to attempt to play aggressively against the enemy’s base and win the game as soon as possible. Even though the strength of their heroes would taper off as time goes on, they’d try to end the game before it would even matter. They deserve credit for implementing this strategy successfully, but they got a little bit of luck too when teams didn’t really try to counter it hardcore.

Sure, the Grand Finals of a $10 million tournament weren’t exciting to watch, but you know what? That happens sometimes. You know what else wasn’t exciting to watch? Super Bowl XLII.

I don’t even remember a Super Bowl XLII.

I don’t know what you’re talking about. Shut up. 

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Jake Valentine
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