Welcome to a new weekly power rankings piece. There is always something that needs to be ranked in the DotA 2 world, and this week we will rank the six teams who have won The International. The criteria we will use is mostly subjective, but we will try to focus on a teams roster success both before and after their victory, and that teams ELO ranking at each event.
6. Wings Gaming
While someone has to be last, it was difficult to decide on who that would be. Wings Gaming have fallen into this category maybe by default. Our newest champion, we have no post-TI results to weigh this team by. We also have a team made up of players with little to no top-tier DotA experience prior to joining Wings Gaming. While this team and it's players might go on to do amazing things in DotA, at this point they are our weakest champions and #6 on our list.
5. Invictus Gaming
Our Chinese overlords come in at #5. Invictus Gaming, the victors of TI2, introduced the world to the Chinese style of play and the importance and focus during the game to ensure their core was given plenty of space.
While this iteration went virtually unchanged for over 3 years, they were never able to quite replicate the success they found at TI2 and land at number 5 on our list.
Newbee come in at #4. A team that was dominant during TI4, Newbee ranks as our highest Chinese team, mostly for their players in their pre, and post TI4 winning performances.
Thought of as a Chinese all-star team at its inception, Newbee boasted the carrying power of Chen "Hao" Zhihao, the mid play of Zhang "Mu" Pan, and the offlane and drafting of the greatest Chinese DotA mind, Zhang "xiao8" Ning. With a swarming 5 man team fight strategy, no one could put together a plan to stop them as they rolled through the competition and into number 4 on our list.
3. Evil Geniuses
At #3, It's the great NA DotA hope, Evil Geniuses. A team that six months prior to lifting the aegis was going through roster turmoil, were the only team able to figure out CDEC's style of play and make a comeback from the losers bracket to become the victors of TI5. What mainly ranks Evil Geniuses above the 3 Chinese teams, is their performance both before and after TI5.
While Evil Geniuses did become the first team to kick a player after winning an International, they were also able to consistently place in the Top 3 at almost every major tournament they participated in for 2 years, including both TI4 and TI6. According Ben "Noxville" Steenhuisen's Elo Records website, Evil Geniuses hold the record for most days as the top team with 198 days.
Their time may not be over, either. Evil Geniuses could one day rival the great run by Na'Vi, who have made three straight International Finals, and find themselves further up this list. For now, they land at number 3.
The team that invented "ratting", Alliance finds themselves at #2. Victors of TI3, they not only invented a style of play, but won the only Game 5 in International history to do it.
In what has been deemed the most exciting and best DotA game of all time, Alliance used their new style of play to beat Na'vi in a base race for the ages. While Alliance have struggled to replicate this success as the meta has evolved to curtail this style of play, they rank this high because to this day have the greatest Elo ranking ever by a DotA 2 team. They also boast seven of the top ten performances in DotA 2 history.
While Alliance recently decided to get the band back together and make another run at The Aegis, we will always remember that million dollar Dream Coil and our #2 all-time greatest champions.
Our #1 team are the very first International Champions, Na'vi.
Aside from winning the inagural International, the core of this team, including, Danil "Dendi" Ishutin, Alexander "XBOCT" Dashkevich, and Clement "Puppey" Ivanov finished second place at both TI2, and TI3.
The only team to ever make it to even 2 International Grand Finals, Na'Vi are the team that started it all. They are now the only DotA 2 organization to qualify for every International, and their continued success, whether with Na'vi in Dendi's case, or with Team Secret in Puppey's case, show that this team was one of the greatest we will ever see and our 1 International champion of all time.