The International 2019 is simply a life-changing tournament for any professional Dota 2 player. Apart from the immensely high prize pool which is currently sitting at over $32,000,000 – winning the event also bestows a legendary status upon it’s victor. Although the tournament has played out 8 times so far, we are yet to see a player who has lifted the Aegis of Champions more than once.
Judging by the quality of this years’ participants, we might be in for a treat. Join us as we take you through what you need to know before (probably) the biggest esports event of the year.
TI 9 is essentially the concluding tournament of the Dota Pro Circuit. Unlike the previous years based in Seattle, this time the full tournament will be held in Shanghai, China. Those wishing to cheer on their team in-person will be making their way through the megalopolis to the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
There are only two ways teams can earn a spot to play at The International. The first is to receive a direct invite via their Dota Pro Circuit, or ‘DPC’ ranking, which is a point-based system accumulated from the officially sponsored Majors and Minors. If a team is unable to finish in the top twelve, there is only one chance left – the open qualifiers.
Format of the tournament
There will be 18 teams battling it out in China. As previously mentioned, twelve of them are directly invited whereas the remaining six are pulled from the regional qualifiers.
Similar to previous TIs, there will be a Group Stage and Main Event. In fact, the group stages are starting in just three days and will end on the 18th of August. In order to make it fair, all eighteen teams will be divided into two groups of nine teams each. All matches will be played in a best-of-2, round-robin format.
The top four teams of each group earn a place in the Upper Bracket, whereas the bottom four will journey down to the Lower Bracket. Unfortunately, the team that finishes at the bottom of each group will have to go home. This is definitely a controversial decision, but hey, Valve is the one writing the rules.
The Main Event will take place from the 20th to 25th August, 2019. Only the first round of the lower bracket will be a best-of-one, while the rest will be run as best-of-three. Needless to say, the Grand Final will be a classic best-of-five.
You can check the prize pool distribution in the picture below.
We are almost certainly going to bear witness to the most hyped event in Dota 2’s history. Be sure to grab enough snacks for the ride, as the next two weeks are going to be wild.