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Dota 2's International Tournament has become famous for repeatedly breaking its own record for largest prize pool at an eSports tournament. Most recently, The International 2016 posted a prize pool of more than $20 million.
Despite that, The International Tournament has become infamous for a superstitious theory that keeps being proven true: The International Curse.
As the legend goes, whoever wins The International is doomed to a year of mediocrity and failure in the following year. This curse struck early at The Boston Major, where TI6 winner Wings Gaming, a team who many picked to win it all at the Boston Major, was eliminated on the first day following a 2-0 loss to Evil Geniuses (EG).
While many, including the commentators at The Boston Major, were quick to mention The International Curse, EG assuredly thought of it more as a classic revenge game, as it was Wings Gaming that knocked EG into the losers bracket of The International (where they were eventually eliminated) when EG was one step away from the grand final.
Still, though, Na'Vi has been doomed to a life of second place at best ever since winning the first International, (Na'Vi also shockingly failed to qualify for the Boston Major this year. IG hasn't been a serious International Contender since winning it all in 2012, (although they have done quite well at the Major circuit). Alliance won it all in 2013 and has only traveled to one International since, not doing well. Newbee went down hill in a hurry following their 2014 International Victory and haven't returned to contention since. And, while EG did all right last year, finishing third and earning a very pretty penny, they are still chasing the top prize.
But Wings Gaming's elimination may prove to be the strongest example of the so-called curse, since their roster didn't suffer any losses, whereas a lot of teams that struggled after their International Victory all lost players.
Like the famous Madden Curse, Dota 2 might be suffering from its own mysterious demon.