DOTA 2 International: All You Need To Know

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DOTA 2 is one of the world’s most popular esports games. Since the game’s release, it has grown consistently, attracting players from every part of the world. One of the things going for this multiplayer game is its intriguing gameplay.

DOTA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game created by Valve Corporation. Each gameplay involves two teams comprising five players battling to defend the opposing team’s home base, known as Ancients. Each team player controls one hero character. Each of these characters has unique features, strengths, and weaknesses and plays several roles during gameplay.

Each player needs to choose a hero character that will balance their teams and give them a better chance at victory. Unbalanced teams usually lose the game easily. The first team to destroy the opponent’s Ancient wins the game.

DOTA 2’s intriguing gameplay unique features led to its increase in popularity. It soon had a large esports scene with several teams worldwide battling each other in leagues, championships, and tournaments. DOTA 2 is also available in esports betting sites where bettors stake on their favorite teams to win, among other betting market options.

Valve, in partnership with third-party organizers, holds a series of tournaments which are played under an event format called the DOTA Pro Circuit. Teams earn pro circuit points based on how they perform in these tournaments. The points they earn gets them a direct invitation to the biggest DOTA 2 tournament of the year, called The International. In the next sessions of this article, you will learn more about The International and come to terms with just how big it is.

DOTA 2 International

The International DOTA 2

It is a DOTA 2 championship that Valve hosts and produces annually. The first event of this kind was held in 2011 as a promotional event for the now-famous game. Since then, The International has been held every year. The DOTA 2 International 2023, which has now been postponed to 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the tenth edition of the championship. It is scheduled to be held at Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden. Since its inception, The International has undergone several changes in its prize pool, scheduling, number of participating teams, among others.

Past Editions

The International began on August 17, 2011. The tournament’s first edition was held in Gamescom, Koelnmesse, Cologne. Valve funded the tournament, and it had a total prize pool of $1.6 million, with the winner walking home with a grand prize of a million dollars. The final was played between Ukrainian team Natus Vincere and China’s EHOME, with the former winning 3-1. EHOME walked away with $250,000, while the remaining 14 teams shared $350,000.

In 2012, The International was held in Benaroya Hallo, Seattle, from August 31 to September 2. Again, the prize pool was $1.6 million. Invictus Gaming, a China-based team, defeated previous winners Natus Vincere to win $1 million.

Other editions and winners include:

Year Winner Prize Pool Date Held Venue
2013 Alliance $2,874,380 August 7-11 KeyArena, Seattle
2014 Newbee $10,923,977 July 18-21 KeyArena, Seattle
2015 Evil Geniuses $18,429,613 August 3-6 KeyArena, Seattle
2016 Wings Gaming $20,770,460 August 3-13 KeyArena, Seattle
2017 Team Liquid $24,787,916 August 7-12 KeyArena, Seattle
2018 OG $25,532,177 August 20-25 Rogers Arena, Vancouver
2019 OG $34,330,068 August 20-25 Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai

The International’s prize pool increased progressively from 2013 until 2019, when it broke the record for having the largest prize pool in esports history. It is billed to break the record for this year’s postponed edition, with the DOTA 2 international 2023 prize pool already reaching $35 million.

The renowned championship has been able to break its prize pool records consistently due to the set up of an in-game battle pass called “Compendium” in 2013. The Compendium allowed for the crowdfunding of the tournament’s prize pool. With it, players purchase bonuses and other exclusive in-game virtual items. 25% of the money raised from the Compendiums goes to the prize pool. This has led to a progressive increase in the championship prize pool ever since.

DOTA 2 International game

DOTA 2 International Schedule And Format

As earlier stated, there are a series of tournaments featured in The International called DOTA Pro Circuit. Winners of these tournaments earn points. The top 12 ranking teams from the Pro Circuit receive a direct invitation to The International.

The Qualifiers

Qualifiers are also held before the start of The International to decide the other participating teams in the tournament. These qualifiers are held in the following regions:

  • Commonwealth of Independent States
  • China
  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Southeast Asia

Teams that win the qualifying playoffs in these regions qualify for the main tournament. The six qualified teams added to the twelve directly invited teams bring the total participating teams to 18.

The Group Stage

After the qualifiers, the main competition begins with the group stage. There are usually two groups comprising nine teams. The teams face off against each other in the groups, with the least-ranked team in both groups at the end of all group matches getting eliminated. After the group stage, the sixteen remaining teams make it to the competition’s next round.

The Double Elimination Round

The sixteen teams progress to the main event at the tournament’s host venue. The teams are separated into two groups, with the top four ranked teams in each group advancing to the upper bracket.

Single Elimination Round

The four lower-ranked teams in each group also move to the lower bracket. The lower bracket matches are played as single elimination, meaning any team that loses their first match crashes out of the competition. Each round of the upper and lower brackets is played as a best-of-three (bo3), meaning the team that manages to win two games wins the round.

The Grand Final

The Grand Final is played between the best team in the upper bracket and the best team in the lower bracket. The final is played in a best-of-five series, with the team which manages to win three games being crowned as the winner of The International.

the international dota 2 championships

The DOTA 2 Trophy

Being the grandest DOTA 2 Championship, The International not only gives its winners a massive grand prize but also presents them with a beautiful trophy. The DOTA 2 International trophy is called “The Aegis of Champions.” The trophy features a reverse side that is permanently engraved with the names of all the players in the winning team. The trophy is designed in the form of a shield and inspired by Chinese and Norse designs. It is also molded in silver and bronze by a prop studio, Weta Workshop.

Is There Media Coverage Of DOTA 2?

Viewers and fans worldwide can watch The International via the live streaming platform, Twitch. Viewers also get to enjoy analysis, live game commentary, interviews, etc., during the tournament. They can also watch the games in various languages, which has led to an increase in the game’s popularity.

DOTA international remains one of the biggest esports events of the years and is only primed to get bigger and better, rewarding players and teams with the biggest prize pool in esports history.

  • Blog
  • November 30, 2020 / Updated: 25 Mar 2024

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