After five grueling days of combat, it had all come down to this. With the score tied at two games apiece, Sweden’s team Alliance and the Ukraine’s team Na’Vi would battle one final time. It's the championship match of Valve Software’s annual tournament for the game Dota 2. At stake was first place and the lion’s share of a $2.8 million prize pool, the largest in the history of competitive video gaming.


The players massaged aching fingers and strategized with their teammates. Each team selected a group of five mythical heroes they used to try and destroy the enemy’s home base. For the first 40 minutes it was a close match, but then things took a dramatic turn.


Both teams abandoned their defensive positions and threw everything they had at their opponent’s fortifications. Na’Vi scored first blood, destroying one of Alliance’s main towers. But when they tried to teleport home, Alliance blocked their move. Suddenly Na’Vi was stranded in the middle of the field and Alliance was wreaking havoc inside their base.


The crowd roared its approval as the announcers tried to keep up with the action. “They’re in huge trouble. Alliance is outmaneuvering Na’Vi. KuroKy is down. KuroKy is dead! Admiral Bulldog hexes on Funn1k. Funn1k is going down as well. Oh my god they are doing it!” As Alliance went on to win the final game, more than 1 million people from around the globe watched the action unfold live on a little known video startup called Twitch.