It’s got the biggest prize pool in esports history. That’s right, Dota 2’s The International is back and it’s bigger than ever.
The Valve-sponsored event, which sees 18 of the best Dota 2 teams come together to battle it out for the Aegis of Champions in a packed arena, is the ultimate end to the Dota 2 sporting calendar. Last year’s event, TI9, was the best yet, with OG becoming the first team to to claim two The International titles over Team Liquid in a thrilling best of five series.
With The International rounding off the Dota 2 season and millions on the line, there’s a lot of action to get stuck into both on an off the server. But when and where is the next The International, what is the prize pool, and which teams have won it? Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the biggest Dota 2 tournament in history.
When is The International?
The next TI event was due to take place in Europe in summer 2020. The main event was slated to run from August 18-23, 2020 in Stockholm, Sweden. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Valve has taken the decision to postpone the event until further notice. Although we don’t have any firm dates yet, Valve says TI10 will likely be held in 2021 instead.
The International 2020/2021 will have three stages: qualifiers, playoffs, and the main event. Teams will compete in one of four regional qualifiers over a two week period, with the winner and runner-up advancing to the play-offs stage. The play-offs will take place over seven days and will decide which eight teams advance to the main event.
Where is The International?
The main event of TI10 is due to take place at the 16,000 capacity Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s the first time that the tournament has been held in Europe since 2011 and it’s pretty fitting given that Sweden hosted a number of Dota 2’s first tournaments.
The International has been held in China, Canada, the United States, and Germany in previous years. However, Valve has recently opened a bidding system for cities around the world to host The International in 2021, so we could see the tournament head to a new location next year.
What is The International prize pool?
The International has a base prize pool of $1.6 million but this is guaranteed to increase over the course of the tournament. The International has a partly crowdfunded prize pool, which means we won’t know the full amount until the event is over.
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In 2013, Valve introduced the Compendium, an in-game battle pass, which saw a quarter of all revenue added to the existing $1.6 million. As a result, the prize pool for the event has grown year on year, something which Alan ‘Nahaz’ Bester believes is a “huge red flag.” In 2019, the prize pool reached $34 million, with the winners, OG, taking a $15 million cut. Expect to see the sum for 2020 exceed this amount.
Which teams are in The International?
We don’t currently know which teams will play at The International, as the tournament follows a point system based on official Majors and Minors. The twelve teams with the most points at the end of the Pro Dota Circuit season automatically qualify for The International.
A further six teams will qualify for the TI10 through a series of regional qualifiers taking place in North America, South America, Europe, Southeast Asia, China, and CIS.
How do I watch The International?
The International is broadcast live on Twitch and SteamTV. You can also watch the tournament through the Dota 2 client, which will allow you to control the camera and watch specific players.
Where can I buy tickets for the international?
Valve has not yet announced where you’ll be able to buy tickets for TI10 but the official ticket sales site will be announced by the Dota 2 developers in due course.
Last year Valve faced criticism after tickets for TI9 sold out in 50 seconds. Dota Plus subscribers and battle pass owners were given early access to the site prior to the worldwide sale, but there is no word from Valve if this will be allowed again this year.
Will the INTERNATIONAL be cancelled?
Although Valve has postponed The International, it has not yet been cancelled. While it remains a possibility, it appears the developer is committed to bringing the tournament to a stadium near you – even if it’s a little bit later than planned.
Who has won The International?
The current champions are European team OG, who were the first Dota 2 team to win back-to-back The International titles. Their win was featured in a recent TI trailer.
These are the Dota 2 teams who have won The International:
As The International is heading into its tenth year, expect to see big things from this Valve-sponsored event. Given that TI9 broke all manner of records, the bar for this year’s event is incredibly high, meaning we should see some good fights when the tournament returns later this year.