The North American Team Digital Chaos, a part of which is also the professional Dota 2 player Martin Sazdov from Macedonia, aka Saksa, won the second place and a prize of 3.4 million USdollars of the sixth Dota 2 tournament – The International, which was held in Seattle, USA from 8- July to 13 August.
The 2016 International Dota 2 Championships prize pool began with a $1.5 million seed from Valve, and with additional contributions raised through sales of the 2016 Dota 2 Battle Pass it closed at 20 million US dollars to unite the best teams from all over the world for the largest e-sports tournament.
Digital Chaos is a team less than a year old, founded just after the conclusion of 2015’s International. Founded by Shannon “Sunsfan” Scotten, the owner of Dota 2 community site DotaCinema and a well-known personality within the Dota 2 casting scene, DC struggled to make a name for itself in the competitive circuit. The team had difficulty finding a consistent lineup for the remainder of 2015.
Scotten and DC’s troubles would continue into this year. Less than five months ago, DC was a name without a team, as the roster drama of North American team Evil Geniuses and European squad Team Secret robbed DC of key players just prior to official cutoff times for both Valve’s officially sanctioned Manila Major tournament and the 2016 International.
Secret’s poaching of two members of Evil Geniuses roster, as well as hiring away DC player Theban “1437” Seba as Secret’s coach. This left DC with just one remaining player, Ukrainian carry player Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok. At the time, a seemingly despondent Scotten indicated via his Twitter account that DC was “dead.”
Scotten managed to find a new roster built around Fominok, consisting of carry Aliwi “w33” Omar, offlane David “Moo” Hull, and support players Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen and Martin “Saksa” Sazdov. The new squad had difficulty finding their footing, placing poorly in major tournaments. DC was, however, considered to be an easy “in” for TI6 due to the perception of the North American region’s lack of talent in comparison to the rest of the world.
This was complicated in part by Evil Geniuses roster challenges, which disqualified them from a direct invite to TI6 which they’d otherwise qualify for. The TI5 champions were then forced to play through open North American qualifiers and then the North American regional finals. This made DC’s path to TI6 more difficult than it might otherwise be, though DC overcame regional rivals Complexity to earn a place at TI6’s group stage.
The prize of 3.4 million US dollars is one side of the story because Digital Chaos and Martin Sazdov – Saksa will also get recognition and popularity which means more sponsors. This is also quite a success story for the whole e-sports scene of Macedonia and the region, motivating others to chase a career like this.