The International 2018 or TI8 has begun. An annual Dota 2 e-sports championship tournament, hosted by Valve Corporation—the game’s developer—TI8 followed a year-long series of tournaments awarding qualifying points, known as the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), with the top eight ranking teams being directly invited to the tournament.
In addition, ten more teams earned invites through qualifiers that were held in June 2018, with the main event being played at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver right now.
As with every International, the prize pool was crowdfunded by the Dota 2 community via its battle pass feature, with the total being over US$24 million. It currently has a total prize pool $24,791,176 (as of writing), which has surpassed the previous year’s prize pool, making it the biggest prize pool for an e-sports tournament.
To get a sense of the scale, even the team in last place walks away with US$61,982 (around RM254,312).
There is still less than a week to go before the crowdfunding for TI8 ends, so the pool will most likely hit $25 million (RM102 million).
Malaysia has been present since the first Internationals and we are the second most represented country in total for all Internationals, sitting at 55 players (even narrowly beating USA). Malaysia boleh!
This year we have a total of 4 players in 3 different teams, and here’s a quick introduction to all of them.
Kam “Moon” Boon Seng
Kam “Moon” Boon Seng, previously known as NaNa, is the mid lane player for Mineski. He began his journey in Dota a few years ago as a little-known player in the Invasion e-sports roster. His first major LAN event was the 2015 Major All Stars Dota 2 Tournament in his own homeground, Kuala Lumpur where they finished fifth in the tournament.
Things started to pick up for the 22-year-old when WarriorsGaming.Unity (WG.Unity) was founded. Moon created waves in the scene and made a name for himself as one of the most stable mid laners of the region. WG.Unity peaked at the 2016 Boston Majors, finishing in the shared fifth placing.
Since 2017, he has now joined Mineski, one of Southeast Asia’s top teams, partnering up with Malaysia’s Dota 2 legend, Mushi. Together they form a deadly team that has overcame every challenge thrown against them and will be one of the teams to look out for this tournament.
Jian Wei “xNova” Yap
Jian Wei “xNova” Yap has been seeing some spotlight in the recent days, especially after having assisted the Chinese region to secure their first Major of the 2017/2018 Dota Pro Circuit season.
He was already playing in local tournaments at a young age of 16 but in September 2016 his big break came when he joined WarriorsGaming.Unity. Teaming up with the likes of Jay Son “ahjit” Lai, Moon (mentioned earlier) and Soon Chuan “ahfu” Tue, the team took Southeast Asia by storm, finishing in podium places in multiple tournaments.
At the beginning of this year, he flew to China to join the LGD Dota 2 unit where xNova truly shone. He won multiple podium finishes under the LGD banner and was within arms reach of several Major championships but failed to go past the final hurdle. However, all the hard work finally paid off when the team claimed victory at EPICENTER XL, becoming the first Chinese team to win a Major.
Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng
Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng learned Dota from his brother and he kept on playing against him and his cousins in 1v1 matches. Despite losing, he had a competitive mindset and wanted to improve and beat professional players.
When he was 13, he joined a tournament and came second place and a few years later he joined small tournaments around Malaysia to further obtain knowledge and experience as a Dota 2 player.
After gaining a reputation in the local Dota scene, he received an offer from the manager of Fnatic (one of the top Dota teams at that time). After a number of negotiations he decided to seize the opportunity and join Fnatic. On April 29, 2016, he became the first player to hit 8000 MMR on the Southeast Asia servers.
After coming within grasp of winning The International 2016, his nine month stint at Fnatic came to an end when he joined Team Secret on August 2016.
Over the past year and a half, MidOne has won multiple tournaments with Team Secret, such as the FACEIT Invitational and ROG Masters, made it to the final of the ESL One Hamburg Major and has developed into one of the most feared mid laners in the world.
Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung
Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung is one of Malaysia’s most well-known professional Dota 2 players, currently playing for Mineski. He most famously played for Team DK and for Orange as solo mid or carry, depending on which heroes the team picked.
During The International 2013, his team was close to reaching to the finals until they lost to Natus Vincere, finishing at 3rd place. Mushi moved on from Orange e-sports to join Team DK during the post International 2013 roster shuffling.
After a year and no success with one of the strongest Chinese teams, Mushi moved back to Malaysia and created Team Malaysia with a full Malaysian team.
Team Malaysia went on a large winning streak, winning 16 games in a row and qualifying for many premium tournaments as well as earning them Southeast Asia’s only direct invite to The International 2015. Due to their good run, they were later picked up by Fnatic. After a short stint with Fnatic, he is now in Mineski with a Southeast Asian team and is looking to finally make it big this year.
Do support our Malaysians playing in The International 2018 by watching their matches on Twitch and the in-game client.