Though they aren't on the front lines of competition, casters are an invaluable part of it. They explain storylines, give valuable context and occasional game knowledge and most of all, underline the emotion of the most powerful moments in Dota history.
10. It’s a Disasta!
Affectionately dubbed the “six million dollar Echo Slam,” Universe’s game-winning ulti secured TI5 — and $6,634,661 — for EG in a truly epic slam dunk of an Aegis steal.
Almost as famous as the actual play is Tobiwan’s extremely Australian pronouncement of CDEC’s situation.
9. No one has ever done that in the history of Dota!
Before they were known as Alliance, the No Tidehunter roster were already writing their names in the history books with a revolutionary Roshan bait at DreamHack Winter 2012.
Down a game in the best-of-three, NT took an early lead by faking a Level 1 Roshan. They left Admiralbulldog as a sacrificial lamb, then the Swedish soon-to-be legends drew EG into an ambush that netted them two kills and a strong lead.
In case anyone at home didn’t realize amazing this gambit was, Tobiwan made it exactly clear with a caster call that’s almost as famous as the Roshan bait itself.
8. Liquid are doing it!
Though neither team would go on to win TI3, the lower bracket slugfest between Team Liquid and LGD Gaming was a slugfest for the ages.
While TL led LGD by almost double the kills by the time the game ended, the final team fight over LGD’s Ancient was certifiably insane and the mania certainly infected the casters as they described the blow by blow action.
7. The whole kit and kaboodle
Tobiwan is one of the most popular casters in Dota and for good reason. Not only is the Australian’s bombastic excitement infectious, but he has a talent for describing plays with turns of phrase straight out of Little House on the Story. Or whatever Australian equivalent exists.
6. Ah Fu! You thief in the night!
Another case of Tobiwan’s Australian accent and folksy sayings creating a legendary moment, there were plenty of ways he could have described LFY’s Ah Fu stealing VP’s Roshan at TI7.
However, none of them would have been as funny as: “Ah Fu! You thief in the night!”
5. 200 minutes
The bout between Cloud9 and SFZ in Star Series Season 12 in 2013 remains the longest pro game in history at 3 hours, 20 minutes and 34 seconds. It was certainly more than ODPixel and Purge bargained for when they agreed to cast the event.
However, the duo took it in good stride despite getting discernibly haggard as the battle ground on… and on... and on... Eventually, OD enlisted the aid of a soundboard to play epic music to raise the energy whenever a team fight broke out.
But the excitement was real when Qwis Ta rushed C9’s Ancient at just over 200 minutes in and brought the ordeal to a close.
4. The Play
A call as legendary as the play it accompanies, one referred to solely as “The Play,” casters LD and Luminous did an excellent job breaking down one of the defining moments in all of Dota.
While Na`Vi only won Game 2 of the TI 2 Grand Final against Invictus Gaming, the wombo combo of Black Hole, Blade Fury and Dendi’s stolen Ravage is the true legacy of the tournament in no small part thanks to the casters' shocked excitement.
Not to mention Dendi jumping out of his seat and yelling like he’d just won his second TI.
3. Ding Ding Ding Motherfucker
Some would say dirty humor is cheap comedy. However, sometimes a perfectly placed cuss can elevate a moment into the realm of legend. Just take the TI6 match between Alliance and Evil Geniuses where LD perfectly punctuated EGM’s last second destruction of EG’s ancient in just seven syllables.
How does one condense all the action, all the drama, all the sheer emotion of Puck dodging an auto attack in a single weirdly pronounced exclamation of excitement? Just ask LD.
1. TI 3 Finish
The International 2013 was a special tournament. Not only was it the first TI with a crowdfunded prize pool, it was also the crowning achievement of Alliance’s freshman year in Dota. The legendary roster of Loda, s4, AdmiralBulldog, EGM and Akke had already won the DreamHack Invitational 2013 and Season 6 of the StarLadder StarSeries Season 6.
After going undefeated in the group stage and dropping only one game in the upper bracket of TI3, the young guns of Alliance faced off against TI 1 champions Na`Vi in a bitter, five-game match in the Grand Final.
It was a grueling epic, and the casters were at their best for every twist and turn right up until the bitter end. Just listen to the emotion as they crown the Kings of the North champions.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.