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Published: January 31, 2024

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Both teams played at the finals of the ESL One Birmingham 2024 China closed qualifier
  • The series lasted a whopping 5 hours, 34 minutes, and 40 seconds
  • Considering both teams showed equal skill, the match length should not come as a surprise

G2.iG secured a spot for the ESL One Birmingham 2024 after defeating Azure Ray in a world record-breaking long series.

G2.iG Defeat Azure Ray

Everybody who has played Dota 2, be it casually or competitively, knows that games can be very short or become lengthy and take hours. Naturally, this also extends to high-level pro games, as matches have been recorded to last over 4 hours at times. The record for the longest game was 5 hours, 16 minutes, and 55 seconds and was made way back in 2015 during the series between Mamas-Boys vs at the Esportal Dota 2 League Ticket.

However, after almost nine years, that record has been shattered by a whole 18 minutes. This happened during the match between G2.iG and Azure Ray at the ESL One Birmingham 2024 China closed qualifier. The series between the two teams lasted a whopping 5 hours, 34 minutes, and 40 seconds.

The news was broken on Twitter following the end of the event by South African Dota 2 statsman Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen. He compared the game to nine other very long series, and interestingly, most of them seem to have been recorded between 2014 and 2016, perhaps suggesting that games, on average, were slower back then. Still, Azure Ray and G2.iG’s new record passed everything else that came before with its five games, lasting between 44 to a whopping 107 minutes.

Here’s a Breakdown of the Match

Considering both teams are some of the top ones in the Chinese region, it perhaps should not be too surprising that the match between them was tough and lasted so long. The fact that both teams traded games, necessitating the series to last the full five games, also played a huge role.

The very first game, which took a solid 83 minutes, set the tone for the rest of the match. It was taken by G2.iG after the team managed to take out Zhang “Bach” Ruida’s Primal Beast before attempting a high-ground siege. The second game was taken by Azure Ray and lasted a “modest” 52 minutes.

It was now clear that both Dota 2 teams were relatively balanced in terms of skills, so fans were up for a long and difficult match. Interestingly, the third game was relatively short, at 46 minutes, as there was very little Azure Ray could do against G2.iG’s choice of going with an early to mid-game draft.

However, both teams’ strategies changed in the fourth game, which lasted 107 minutes, the longest one of the series This is because the squads played cautiously, ensuring not to take reckless skirmishes. But Azure Ray was feeling a bit more confident, which allowed them to secure high-ground barracks at the 46th-minute mark after a wonderful team fight.

It was not over yet as G2.iG continued their stubborn defense despite having connectivity issues around the 72-minute mark, which saw the entire team disconnected due to FPS issues as per NothingToSay’s all-chat message. However, this did not shorten the game as both squads duked it out for more than 30 minutes before Azure Ray could finish the job.

Now that the scoreboard was reading 2-2, the fifth and final game was crucial for both organizations. Interestingly, it was also the shortest, at 44 minutes long. It seems that almost 4 hours of battle had worn out Azure Ray, as they were not able to put up much of a defense against the combined might of G2.iG’s players.

It was not long, compared to the previous games, before G2.iG wrapped up the game and qualified for the ESL One Birmingham 2024.

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