Finally back to reviewing stuff. It has been a whole month since I did my last review, dedicating the entirety of January to publishing my end of year and end of decade lists (which were a success (I am especially proud of my end of decade lists, I think they are the best things I have ever written)).
If you saw my end of the decade list, you will know that ‘Dota 2’ took my #1 spot for best release of the decade. This documentary follows the grand finals of The International 2019, the largest esports event ever, where previous TI champions OG faced off against previous TI champions Team Liquid (with previous TI finalist w33). Although the story here doesn’t quite match the underdog story from last year’s TI grand finals, it is still great and it deepens my respect for not just both of these teams, but for ‘Dota 2’ professionals in general. The competition is difficult and it requires a huge grind and many hours of analysis and practice to be able to compete on this level.
As always, Valve does a superb job at putting things together. The audio and video is clean and well-executed with some clever and consistent decision-making to enhance the experience. The way that they manipulate the shots and edit them together is impressive, forming a cohesive and personal story for both teams but also having a good sense of humour (there is a scene where KuroKy calls OG “monkeys” and then the next shot is OG pounding their chests, chanting “Monkey King”, and eating bananas).
There are a few cinematics that are extremely well-done and make their portrayed moments even more enjoyable (such as Tiny smashing Rubick against the ground before throwing him into the Chronosphere, or when Ember Spirit goes hunting down mid-lane). But the thing that I really enjoy with these True Sight’s is getting into the booth and listening to the team’s as they draft, play the game. It is very insightful despite being cut up quite a bit and gives outsiders a bit of a look into something we don’t usually get to see (because we usually just end up listening to the casters/analysts during the drafting (understandably)).
Overall, this is a great documentary and as far as quality goes, it is comparable to what they did last year, even slightly exceeding it (they couldn’t control how the drama unfolded, so that is the only reason why last year’s was better in my opinion, along with having the advantage of having a more interesting set of grand finals games compared to this year).
8/10 – Great