Malaysian professional gamer Cheng Jin Xiang won a share of USD5,202,400 (about RM21,636,781) in the recently concluded DOTA 2 tournament, The International 10 (TI10).
Cheng — or more popularly known in his in-game name NothingToSay — competed in the largest e-sports tournament with a total prize pool of USD40,018,195 (about RM166,435,673) under China-based team PSD.LGD.
The five-player team finished second in the grand final last night, 17 October. They were defeated by an underdog team from Russia — Team Spirit — who walked away with a whopping USD18,208,300 (about RM75,673,694).
20-year-old Cheng is the only Malaysian player in PSD.LGD. There was no Malaysian majority team competing in TI10.
In the main event of the tournament, there were four players from Malaysia
They were Thiay Jun Wen (JT-) and Chan Chon Kien (Oli) competing in Chinese team Invictus Gaming, and Ng Kee Chyuan (Chyuan) in Fnatic. Malaysian-born Canadian David Tan Boon Yang (MoonMeander) played for Team Undying.
Thiay and Chan’s team finished fourth and took home about RM10 million, Ng’s team won RM3.3 million, while Tan’s team won RM2.4 million.
PSG.LGD is a well-known team in the DOTA 2 competitive scene as it had competed in nine TI tournaments in the past, according to liquidpedia.
Going into the grand final, many analysts and former TI champions predicted that PSG.LGD was poised to take home the championship as the people behind the team have the experience and mental fortitude to withstand the mounting pressure of winning the tournament.
China is a powerhouse in producing strong teams in the history of DOTA 2. Prior to 2017, teams from the country took home the championship every subsequent year since TI was first held in 2011.
However, the last time a team from China won TI was five years ago. Many Chinese fans expected one of the Chinese teams to bring back the glory this year.
During the final games last night, Cheng played an important role in preventing his team from losing without winning a single match.
To win the tournament, a team has to be the first to win three games in order to walk home with the grand prize.
PSG.LGD lost the first two games to Team Spirit. Cheng’s team was one game away from losing against the Russian team with a clean sweep.
However, Cheng salvaged the situation by playing his signature Hero (an avatar DOTA 2 players control to compete in the five-on-five strategy game) — Tinker.
Former TI champions, such as AUI_2000, Ceb, and NoTail, acknowledged Cheng for being the best Tinker player in the world before the third game began yesterday.
Cheng, who plays the second most important position for the team, helped PSG.LGD break the chain of losing and regained confidence for the team.
Former TI champions have always said a strong mental fortitude is needed to win TI as interpersonal skills may be disrupted due to the pressure from the high-stake situation.
PSG.LGD went on to win the fourth game before losing the final game to Team Spirit.
According to Gosu Gamer, Cheng’s total professional game earnings were USD1.1 million (about RM4.6 million). It is unsure how much he will receive from the USD5.2 million prize money, but it is believed it will be in the millions in ringgit terms.