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It’s that time of the year folks. The sound of Lakad Matatang! Normalin Normalin is in the air, Broodmother spammers have taken over pubs and the support Sniper picks have slowly started to corrupt the beautiful game of Dota. And at the forefront of all things Dota 2 is TI8, the biggest, grandest, most hype tournament in the history of the game and possibly all of esports. With the group stages out of the way and the 16 teams ready to put on a show, only the opening ceremony was left before the bloodbath began. But over the years, the opening ceremony has grown to be an integral part of TI proceedings and this year was no less. Here are 5 great moments from this years opening ceremony.
Even with a massive delay in kicking off the actual proceedings, it did little to dampen the mood, only adding to the excitement and building up the hype. Apart from the usual grand opening, with music, dancers, lights here’s what really made the day.
The stream kicked off with a heartfelt video with the players reaching out to the fans for making Dota 2 what it is. And if we put things into perspective it is what it is; a bunch of passionate eager individuals coming together to watch a video game. As simple as it sounds, it’s actually pretty magical when you think about how much has been possible just because people love the game of Dota 2.
Voicelines as part of the Battlepass rewards have been hugely popular since their introduction last year and this year Valve stepped it up with the addition of popular voicelines from regional casters. The most popular one among them all is the Lakad Matatang! Normalin Normalin chant that has now more or less become an immortal Dota meme.
And of course, no TI would be complete without a few memes. This year Admiral Bulldog was unable to attend the event as a talent citing issues with his visa. And Gabe didn’t let anyone forget it with this sick reference.
The biggest announcement coming out of the opening ceremony, however, was the fact that all TI8 attendees would get a access to the Artifact beta which will launch in October. The actual game will be available in November for 20$.
SirActionSlacks and Kaci Atchinson have are known for bringing some great content during TI and are appreciated and seeing their faces during the opening ceremony was a good reminder of that. While it was nothing compared to last years opening ceremony when Slacks cosplayed as Crystal Maiden, their signature mix of cringe and awkwardness was still there in all its glory as they came on the stream after Gabe’s opening address.