|Genre||Dota 2 esports tournament|
|Inaugurated||August 17–21, 2011|
|Most recent||August 20–25, 2018|
|Organized by||Valve Corporation|
The International (TI) is an annual Dota 2 esports tournament hosted by Valve Corporation, the game's developer. The first tournament took place in Cologne, Germany at Gamescom in 2011 and was held shortly after the public reveal of Dota 2, with a total prize pot of $1.6 million. The second International took place in 2012 at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and retained the same $1.6 million prize structure. For the third International in 2013, again at Benaroya Hall, Valve introduced an interactive, digital "compendium" which fans could purchase to follow the event and contribute to the prize pool; which reached a $2.8 million prize pool with $1.2 million added from compendium purchases.
Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which was a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion pack, The Frozen Throne. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each team occupying and defending their own separate base on the map. Each of the ten players independently controls a powerful character, known as a "hero", who all have unique abilities and differing styles of play. During a match, players collect experience points and items for their heroes to successfully defeat the opposing team's heroes in player versus player combat. A team wins by being the first to destroy a large structure located in the opposing team's base, called the "Ancient".
Esports is a form of competition using video games. Most commonly, esports takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players and teams. Although organized online and offline competitions have long been a part of video game culture, these were largely between amateurs until the late 2000s, when participation by professional gamers and spectatorship in these events through live streaming saw a large surge in popularity. By the 2010s, esports was a significant factor in the video game industry, with many game developers actively designing toward a professional esports subculture.
Valve Corporation is an American video game developer, publisher and digital distribution company headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. It is the developer of the software distribution platform Steam and the Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and Dota 2 games.
The fourth International, this time held at the larger Seattle venue KeyArena in 2014, continued the practice of compendium sales and ultimately broke records for having one of the largest prize pool in esports history, with a total of nearly $11 million. The fifth International took place in 2015, with the prize pool totaling over $18 million,making it the largest esports prize pool for a single tournament until being consecutively surpassed by the sixth and seventh Internationals. The eighth International was held at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada in August 2018.
The International 2014 (TI4) was the fourth edition of The International, an annual esports Dota 2 championship tournament, which took place at the KeyArena in Seattle. Hosted by Valve Corporation, the tournament began on July 8 with the Playoffs phase and closed on July 21 with the Grand Final. The 2014 edition of The International featured nineteen Dota 2 professional gaming teams that competed for a Grand Prize of over US$5.0 million. Overall, US$10.93 million were awarded at the event, making it the largest esports event by prize money until it was topped by the next International.
The Seattle Center Arena, known colloquially as KeyArena after a previous naming rights sponsorship, is a temporarily-defunct multi-purpose arena in Seattle, Washington that is currently under redevelopment. It is located north of downtown in the 74-acre (30 ha) entertainment complex known as Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 World's Fair, the Century 21 Exposition. It was used for entertainment purposes, such as concerts, ice shows, circuses, and sporting events. The redeveloped arena, estimated to cost $850 million, is anticipated to open in the spring of 2021.
The International 2015 (TI5) was the fifth edition of The International, an annual Dota 2 esports championship tournament, which took place at the KeyArena in Seattle. Hosted by Valve Corporation, the game's developer, the tournament began in May with the qualifier phase and ended after the main event in August.
Valve Corporation announced the first edition of The International on August 1, 2011. 16 teams were invited to compete in the tournament, which would also serve as the first public viewing of Dota 2 , and it was streamed online with commentary in four languages; English, Chinese, German, and Russian. The tournament was funded by Valve, including the $1 million USD grand prize, with Nvidia supplying the hardware.It took place at Gamescom in Cologne from August 17 to 21 the same year.
Nvidia Corporation is an American technology company incorporated in Delaware and based in Santa Clara, California. It designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets, as well as system on a chip units (SoCs) for the mobile computing and automotive market. Its primary GPU product line, labeled "GeForce", is in direct competition with Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) "Radeon" products. Nvidia expanded its presence in the gaming industry with its handheld Shield Portable, Shield Tablet and Shield Android TV.
Gamescom is a trade fair for video games held annually at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Beginning in 2018, it is organised by game – Verband der deutschen Games-Branche; and before that, by the Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (BIU). Until 2008, it was held in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. Gamescom is used by many video game developers to exhibit upcoming games and game-related hardware.
Cologne is the largest city of Germany's most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and its 1 million+ (2016) inhabitants make it the fourth most populous city in Germany after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. The largest city on the Rhine, it is also the most populous city both of the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, which is Germany's largest and one of Europe's major metropolitan areas, and of the Rhineland. Centred on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of North Rhine-Westphalia's capital of Düsseldorf and 25 kilometres (16 mi) northwest of Bonn. It is the largest city in the Central Franconian and Ripuarian dialect areas.
The tournament started with a group stage in which the winners of each of the four groups were entered into a winner's bracket, and the other teams entered the loser's bracket. The rest of the tournament was then played as a double-elimination tournament.The final of this first tournament was between Ukrainian team Natus Vincere and Chinese team EHOME, with Natus Vincere winning the grand prize after beating EHOME in three out of the four matches. Runner's up EHOME won a second place prize of $250,000 USD and the other top eight teams split the remaining prize pool of $350,000 USD.
A double-elimination tournament is a type of elimination tournament competition in which a participant ceases to be eligible to win the tournament's championship upon having lost two games or matches. It stands in contrast to a single-elimination tournament, in which only one defeat results in elimination.
Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) is an esports organisation based in Ukraine. Founded in 2009, the organisation has teams and players competing in various games, such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, FIFA, World of Tanks, Paladins, League of Legends and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
EHOME.cn is a Chinese Dota 2 team. The team was founded in 2004 which consist of Warcraft III and Counter-Strike teams. The Dota division was started in 2007. EHOME is one of the most successful Dota teams of all time. EHOME disbanded after The International 2012 but rebuilt in 2015. Now, EHOME is one of the highest ranked Dota 2 teams in China.
The International was the central focus of the 2014 documentary Free to Play , which explored the lives of three of the players.
Free to Play is a 2014 documentary film by American video game company Valve Corporation. The film takes a critical look at the lives of Benedict "hyhy" Lim, Danil "Dendi" Ishutin and Clinton "Fear" Loomis, three professional Defense of the Ancients(DotA) players who participated in The International, the most lucrative eSports tournament at the time. The central focus of the film is how their commitment to DotA had affected their lives and how this debut tournament for the sequel, Dota 2, would bring more meaning to their struggles.
The International 2012 was announced in May 2012 and held during PAX Prime.The event was held at the 2,500 seat Benaroya Hall in Seattle from August 31 to September 2, with teams situated in glass booths on the main stage. The total prize pool remained $1.6 million USD, with $1 million USD for the winning team, and it was again broadcast in multiple languages.
Benaroya Hall is the home of the Seattle Symphony in Downtown Seattle, Washington, United States. It features two auditoria, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, a 2500-seat performance venue, as well as the Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, which seats 536. Opened in September 1998 at a cost of $120 million, Benaroya quickly became noted for its technology-infused acoustics, touches of luxury and prominent location in a complex thoroughly integrated into the downtown area. Benaroya occupies an entire city block in the center of the city and has helped double the Seattle Symphony's budget and number of performances. The lobby of the hall features a large contribution of glass art, such as one given the title Crystal Cascade, by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.
Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of King County, Washington. With an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U.S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.87 million, and ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the Top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U.S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States.
The previous winners, Natus Vincere, were beaten 3-1 by Chinese team Invictus Gaming in the final.In November 2012 Valve released a documentary following the event online for free featuring interviews with the teams and following them from the preliminary stages through to the finale.
Valve announced The International 2013 on April 25, 2013. It was again hosted at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle from August 7 to 11. The first team to be invited were the defending champions, Invictus Gaming. Sixteen teams participated, thirteen of which received invitations, and the final three being decided in two qualifying tournaments and a match at the start of the tournament.On May 6, it was announced that an interactive compendium would be available for purchase, detailing and cataloging the progression of The International, in addition to allowing for extensive interactivity to be made. A quarter of the revenue from the compendium was added to the original $1.6 million prize pool for the tournament, thereby extending the winnings of the participating teams. Via the sales of interactive compendiums, The International reclaimed its previous title as the largest prize pool in electronic sports history, exceeding the two million dollar prize pool from the League of Legends Season 2 World Championship. The total prizepool awarded to the winners was $2,874,381. KCPQ news anchor Kaci Aitchison acted as a host to The International 2013 and provided behind-the-scenes commentary and interviews with professional players and analysts. The International 2013 was viewed by over one million concurrent online viewers with many utilizing live streaming websites such as Twitch.tv.
On March 31, 2014, Valve announced The International 2014, which would take place from July 18 to 21 at the KeyArena, which is a venue with a significantly larger capacity than Benaroya Hall from the previous two years. Unlike the previous three events, there would be three tiers for admissions, including general admission, floor seating and VIP passes.For The International 2014, eleven teams would receive direct invites, with an additional four spots determined by regional qualifiers taking place between May 12 and 25. The sixteenth spot would be determined by a wild card qualifier between the runners-up from the regional competitions. The tickets for the event were sold out within an hour of going on sale on April 4, 2014.
The prize pool for the tournament broke records for being the largest in esports by reaching the $10,000,000 (USD) mark on June 27, almost three weeks prior to the start of the tournament.At the end of the tournament, with a final total prize pool of $10,931,103 and over $5 million split amongst the five players of the 1st place team, eight Dota 2 players became the highest ranking players in terms of prize money won, surpassing the highest ranking player at the time, StarCraft player Lee "Jaedong" Jae-dong. The prize pool is as follows:
The first details pertaining to The International 2015 were revealed on January 5, 2015, with the preliminary announcement of the tournament. Sixteen teams attended the event, which took place from August 3 to 8 at the KeyArena in Seattle.The prize pool totalled more than US$18 million, of which US$16.4 million was contributed by players.
The invited teams were:
The winners and runners-up of the regional qualifiers were:
|Americas||Complexity Gaming||Team Archon|
|Europe||Natus Vincere||Vega Squadron|
|Southeast Asia||MVP.Hot6ix||MVP Phoenix|
The prize pool is as follows:
The first details pertaining to The International 2016 were revealed on March 31, 2016, with the announcement of ticket sales for the tournament.Open qualifiers for The International 2016 began on June 21, with regional qualifiers following on June 25. Following the qualifiers, the tournament main event took place from August 3–11, with the finals being held on August 13.
The initial prize pool was seeded with $1,600,000 from the developers, with more to be added from players through in-game purchases of the Battle Pass. The final prize pool reached $20,770,460, making the tournament have the largest prize pool in esports history.
On June 19, 2016, Valve released the names of the invited teams, as well as details for qualification through each regional qualifier. The number of invited teams was reduced to six (down from ten from 2015), resulting in both the winner and runner-up of each region (China, Europe, Americas, and Southeast Asia) obtaining qualification. The final two spots were made up of Wild Card teams, which were found through their own qualifier.
The qualifiers for each region consisted of eight invited teams (five for the Americas) and two from open qualifiers (organized by FaceIt and Perfect World in China). These qualifiers placed all 10 teams (seven for Americas) into a single table where each team played the others in a round robin competition with the top team in each region advancing to The International as the regional qualifier. Of the remaining teams, the next highest four teams were placed into a double elimination tournament with each round played as a best of three, while the remaining five teams (two for the Americas) were eliminated. The Grand Finals winner of each regional playoff also automatically qualified for The International as their region's playoff qualifier. The playoff runners-up received a spot in the Wild Card qualifier; a single bracket, double elimination tournament held in Seattle a day before the main event, with the semi-final victors receiving the final two spots.
The invited teams were:
|Region||Regional qualifier||Playoff qualifier||Wild card qualifier|
The final prize table was as follows:
As with previous years of the tournament, a corresponding battle pass for Dota 2 was released before the event, allowing the prize pool to be crowdfunded.Known as the "Compendium", 25% of revenue made by it was sent directly towards the tournament's prize pool.
The tournament initially began with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), China, Europe, North America, South America, and Southeast Asia regional qualifiers in June 2017.Prior to the main event on August 2–5, two separate best-of-two round robin groups consisting of nine teams each were played, with the bottom placed team of each group being eliminated. The remaining 16 teams moved on to the double elimination main event at the KeyArena in Seattle from August 7–12, with the top four finishing teams from both groups advancing to the upper bracket, and the bottom four advancing to the lower bracket. The first round of the lower bracket was treated as single-elimination, with the loser of each match being immediately eliminated from the tournament. Every other round of both brackets was played in a best-of-three series, with the exception being the grand finals, which was played between the winners of the upper and lower brackets in a best-of-five series. This also marked the first time in an International where the winning team of the tournament won 3-0 in the grand finals.
The International 2018 was held at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada from August 20–25, 2018.The location change was due to the KeyArena undergoing renovation construction at the time. As another change from previous Internationals, it featured a series of tournaments, running from October 2017 until June 2018 and known as the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), that awarded qualifying points with the top eight ranking teams receiving direct invitations. The grand finals took place between OG and PSG.LGD, with OG winning the series 3–2. Their victory was considered a Cinderella and underdog success story, as they had came from the open qualifiers and were not favored in matches throughout the competition.
The International 2019 will be held in Shanghai at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
The primary medium for The International coverage is through the live streaming platform Twitch.tv. Throughout each year, tournament coverage is done by a selection of online gaming and electronic sports organizations who provide live streaming, commentary, and articles surrounding games in the progress, similar to sports commentators and analysts.Multiple streams are provided in a variety of languages. The International also sometimes provides a "newbie stream" that is dedicated to casting each game for viewers who are unfamiliar with the game and its rules.
For The International 2014, Valve announced that coverage would also be presented in collaboration with ESPN on its live multi-screen sports network, ESPN3. In addition, an exclusive show previewing the final match was presented on ESPN2.
ESL, formerly known as Electronic Sports League, is an esports organizer and production company that produces video game competitions worldwide. ESL is the world's largest esports company, and the oldest that is still operational. Based in Cologne, Germany, ESL has eleven offices and multiple international TV studios globally. ESL is the largest esports company to broadcast on Twitch.tv.
Alliance is a professional gaming and esports organization based in Sweden that was formed in April 2013. They have teams in Dota 2, Hearthstone, the Super Smash Bros. series and Fortnite, and previously had teams in League of Legends and StarCraft II.
PSG.LGD is a professional Dota 2 team, formed as a partnership between French football club Paris Saint-Germain and Chinese esports organization LGD Gaming in April 2018. LGD Gaming's original Dota 2 team was founded in 2009, and had varying degrees of success.
The Frankfurt Major, also known as the Fall Major, was a Dota 2 tournament which took place from November 13–21, 2015. The tournament took place at the Festhalle Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany. It was the first of three Valve Corporation sponsored major Dota tournaments for the 2015-16 season, which were announced by the company on April 25, 2015. 16 teams competed in the tournament, which used the same format as The International 2015. The Electronic Sports League (ESL) hosted and organized the tournament.
OG is a professional Dota 2 eSports team based in Europe. Formed in 2015, they are best known for winning The International 2018, a US$25 million tournament, as well as four wins in the Dota Major Championships series. They also represent other games, such as the Super Smash Bros. series.
The International 2016 (TI6) was the sixth iteration of The International, an annual Dota 2 esports world championship tournament. Hosted by Valve Corporation, the game's developer, the tournament began with the qualifier phase in June 2016, and ended after the main event at the KeyArena in Seattle in August.
Smite World Championship is the annual world championship for the multiplayer online battle arena video game Smite.
Wings Gaming is a former Chinese Dota 2 esports team that was based in Chongqing. They were best known for winning over US$9 million at The International 2016 (TI6), which was one of the most lucrative esports tournaments in history. Wings were founded in the aftermath of post-The International 2014 roster shuffles in China, with the TI6 winning roster being put together in August 2015.
The Kiev Major was a professional Dota 2 eSport tournament that was held in April 2017 at the National Palace of Arts in Kiev, Ukraine. The tournament featured eight directly invited teams, as well as eight qualified teams from six different worldwide regions.
The International 2017 (TI7) was the seventh iteration of The International, an annual Dota 2 esports world championship tournament. Hosted by Valve Corporation, the game's developer, the tournament began with the online qualifier phase in June 2017, and ended after the main event at the KeyArena in Seattle in August. The Grand Finals took place between the European-based Team Liquid and Chinese-based Newbee, with Liquid defeating Newbee 3-0 in a best-of-five series, winning nearly $11 million in prize money.
The Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) is a professional tournament format system of Dota 2, a competitive five-on-five video game. It was introduced in 2017 by the game's developer, Valve Corporation, to determine which teams are eligible to obtain a direct invitation to The International, the premier annual tournament for the game produced by them. The DPC replaced the former Dota Major Championship series (2015–2016), which was criticized due to Valve's non-transparent and unpredictable nature for handing out International invitations.
ESL One Hamburg 2017 was a Dota 2 eSports championship tournament hosted by ESL. It took place in Hamburg, Germany in October 2017. This is the first ESL One event held in Hamburg, after three previous ESL One events in Germany were held in Frankfurt. In accordance with the new Dota 2 competitive season format set by Valve Corporation, the game's developer, the tournament will be the first Dota 2 Major tournament of the 2017 Dota Pro Circuit season.
ESL One Genting 2017 was a Dota 2 esports championship tournament hosted by ESL that took place in Genting Highlands, Malaysia, in January 2017. The tournament involved eight teams, which included three directly invited teams and five teams each represented qualifying regions of Americas, China, Europe, Malaysia and Southeast Asia. In the finals, Digital Chaos defeated Newbee 3-2 to win the tournament and their first major trophy. The 3rd place of the tournament went to The International 2016 champions Wings Gaming and Virtus.pro.
The Overwatch World Cup (OWWC) is an Overwatch eSports tournament organized by Blizzard Entertainment, the video game's developer. The tournament is competed by international teams.
The International 2018 (TI8) was the eighth iteration of The International, an annual Dota 2 world championship esports tournament. Hosted by Valve Corporation, the game's developer, TI8 followed a year-long series of tournaments awarding qualifying points, known as the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), with the top eight ranking teams being directly invited to the tournament. In addition, ten more teams earned invites through qualifiers that were held in June 2018, with the group stage and main event played at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver in August. The best-of-five grand finals took place between OG and PSG.LGD, with OG winning the series 3–2. Their victory was considered a Cinderella and underdog success story, as they had came from the open qualifiers and were not favored to win throughout the competition.