Natus Vincere - the first and second youngest team
The first team to ever win TI was the legendary Natus Vincere squad around the "Golden Boys" Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov and Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin.
However, this duo was actually not the young talents of that squad: Alexander 'XBOCT' Dashkevich was the youngest player. He was 20 years old.
It's a bit surprising, but by looking at the average age of the squad we realized that the TI1 winners were actually the second youngest successful squad in TI history. The age difference between the CIS players is only three years, from the youngest (XBOCT) to the oldest which is Dmitriy 'LightOfHeaven' Kupriyanov. He was 23 years old when he lifted the trophy.
Natus Vincere 2011:
Ivan 'Artstyle' Antonov (22 years old)
Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin (21 years old)
Alexander 'XBOCT' Dashkevich (20 years old)
Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov (21 years old)
Dmitriy 'LightOfHeaven' Kupriyanov (23 years old)
Invictus Gaming - the first Chinese champions
Invictus Gaming won The International 2012 and was the first team to win the title on American soil in Seattle. Meanwhile, only one player of this squad is still active: Zeng 'Faith' Hongda - and that is not a surprise given that he was the youngest player in iG's TI winning squad.
Faith was 20 back then, while oldschool player Jiang 'YYF' Cen was already 25 years old.
With an average of 22 years they're one of the youngest teams to win the trophy. Ferrari, Chuan, Zhou and Faith were all younger than 23 years when they claimed the trophy. Too bad that they couldn't keep that level, otherwise one of them probably would have already won the trophy a second time. Faith is the only player of this squad who made it into another TI Grand Finals. But he didn't win it.
Invictus Gaming 2012:
Chen 'Zhou' Yao (22 years old)
Luo 'Ferrari_430' Feichi (22 years old)
Jiang 'YYF' Cen (25 years old)
Wong Hock 'Chuan' Chuan (21 years old)
Zeng 'Faith' Hongda (20 years old)
Alliance - the European oldies
Alliance vs Natus Vincere is still considered to be one of the best Dota 2 series of all time, maybe even the best. The Swedish squad won in the end and Jonathan 'Loda' Berg and his team-mates finally lifted the Aegis.
It was a long way to get there, especially for Jonathan 'Loda' Berg and Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall. Both were 25 years old when they lifted the trophy.
The youngest player in this squad was by the way Gustav 's4' Magnusson with 21 years. He's the only player of this squad who's still playing on a top-notch level. With an average of 23 years they are one of the older squads to win the trophy.
Jonathan 'Loda' Berg (25 years old)
Gustav 's4' Magnusson (21 years old)
Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' Ahnberg (22 years old)
Jerry 'EGM' Lundkvist (22 years old)
Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall (25 years old)
Newbee - the oldest team to win a TI
Newbee are the TI winning oldtimers. However, we weren't able to figure out the age of Wang 'Banana' Jiao, but the rest of his team is so old that he would need to be super young to still lower the average.
Chen 'Hao' Zhihao is with 23 years the youngest while Zhang 'xiao8' Ning and Wang 'SanSheng' Zhaohui are already 25. The average of that four players is at 24.25 - they're the oldest squad to win The International.
Chen 'Hao' Zhihao (23 years old)
Zhang 'Mu' Pan (24 years old)
Zhang 'xiao8' Ning (25 years old)
Wang 'Banana' Jiao (no details)
Wang 'SanSheng' Zhaohui (25 years old)
Evil Geniuses the oldest and youngest winner
Evil Geniuses is the first and only North American team to win The International. At TI5 EG won the Grand Finals against CDEC Gaming and the team broke several records that are still relevant.
Clinton 'Fear' Loomis's odyssee ended at TI5 - he's still the oldest player to ever win The International with an age of 27 years. The funny part is: his team-mate broke the record for the youngest player to lift the Aegis. Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan was 16 years old back then. The age difference between SumaiL and Fear is more than eleven years - incredible.
Evil Geniuses 2015:
Clinton 'Fear' Loomis (27 years old)
Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan (16 years old)
Saahil 'Universe' Arora (25 years old)
Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling (23 years old)
Peter 'ppd' Dager (24 years old)
Wings Gaming - the youngest team
It's not a surprise that the biggest underdog victory is also a record breaker considering the average age: Wings Gaming's players were on average 20 years old. The youngest players of that squad were Zhang 'Faith Bian' Ruida and Zhang 'y`' Yiping with 18 years.
By the way, y` and Li 'iceice' Peng are the only TI winners that celebrated their birthday during the event. y` was 17 years old when the tournament started, iceice was 20.
The oldest team-mate of these youngsters was Zhou 'Blink' Yang with 24 years.
Wings Gaming 2016:
Chu 'Shadow' Zeyu (19 years old)
Zhou 'Blink' Yang (24 years old)
Zhang 'Faith Bian' Ruida (18 years old)
Zhang 'y`' Yiping (18 years old)
Li 'iceice' Peng (21 years old)
Team Liquid - the biggest stomp in TI Grand Finals
Team Liquid's run at The International 2017 was quite impressive. They already lost in the first round of the Upper Bracket and had to make it all the way through the Lower Bracket. In the end they beat Newbee with a 3-0 - the only clean sweep in TI Grand Finals history.
Although Kuro S. 'KuroKy' Takhasomi has been part of the Dota 2 scene for ages - he was even a professional in DotA - it's surprising that Kuro is not even close to be one of the oldest players to win the trophy: at TI7, he was 24. The youngest member of this squad is Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi with an age of 20 years.
Team Liquid has one of the lowest age differences around the TI winners and with an average of 22 years, they are on the same level as Invictus Gaming.
Team Liquid 2017:
Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen (22 years old)
Amer 'Miracle-' Al-Barkawi (20 years old)
Ivan 'MinD_ContRoL' Borislavov (22 years old)
Maroun 'Gh' Merhej (22 years old)
Kuro S. 'KuroKy' Takhasomi (24 years old)
OG - the ultimate underdog
OG is the reigning TI champion - and the Grand Finals series against PSG.LGD is the first one to be considered on the same level as the Alliance versus Na'Vi match.
The best player on OG's side was Anathan 'ana' Pham during that event, although he's by far the youngest player of the squad with 18 years.
The oldest player of that squad is Sebastien 'Ceb' Debs who didn't play professionally for more than two years - and he's still "only" 26 years old. Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka is the same age as Ceb. This makes them both the second and third oldest players to ever win a TI.
Anathan 'ana' Pham (18 years old)
Topias 'Topson' Taavitsainen (20 years old)
Sebastien 'Ceb' Debs (26 years old)
Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka (26 years old)
Johan 'BigDaddyN0tail' Sundstein (24 years old)
Will one of these 40 players win the trophy again this year or will we get another completely new TI winner in 2019?
Photo credit: Valve