All You Need to Know About the International 2018
We are only two months away from the biggest event of this Dota 2 professional season – The International 2018, which will be held from August 15 to 25. It’s the first time the biggest Dota tournament will be held on Canadian soil, at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The main event takes place over five days, August 20–25. Let’s have a quick recap of the most important information about the participants and event schedule.
A total of 18 teams will fight for the prize pool of roughly $19,000,000. The prize money traditionally consists of two parts – the standard $1,600,000 brought by Valve, and the rest of the sum is gathered by taking 25% of each Battle Pass purchase. Overall the money is raised during 110 days.
Though the current reward is lower than it was last year, there’s still nearly two months to go. Probably the prize pool will reach, or even surpass last year’s level.
Here’s a brief history of Dota 2 Pro Circuit points for a better understanding of the situation. In previous seasons, teams could get direct invitations, issued by Valve. However, there were no clear directions on how to get these, or how the DPC points, which made a team eligible for an invite ticket, were distributed.
In this season, points were given to teams for taking the first four places in various minor and major championships during the season. The combined DPC points of the three players with the maximum number of points were regarded as the team’s total. In this season, a team had to earn 1935 points to secure their pass.
Thus, the eight highest-ranking teams in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit qualified for the International automatically. Here is the list with their final scores.
- Virtus.Pro 12,372
- Team Liquid 9,458
- PSG.LGD 7,332
- Team Secret 5,136
- Mineski 3,150
- Vici Gaming 2,835
- Newbee 2,445
- VGJ.Thunder 1,935
Ten other teams had to participate in open and closed qualifiers to get their tickets to Vancouver.
Open qualifiers featured up to 1024 teams fighting in a best-of-one single-elimination bracket. All matches from the first to the sixteenth rounds are played as Bo1; later rounds are held as best-of-three. The best teams were then invited to the closed regional qualifiers.
Regional or closed qualifiers were held in two phases. Depending on the region, some teams were invited directly, while others fought for their right to advance to regional qualifiers through open ones. Let’s have a closer look at the winners and stages of the competition.
- Phase 1 (South America, Europe, CIS, China, South-East Asia). All participating teams place in one group, and fight in round-robin format, playing best-of-one matches. The four best teams advance to Phase 2.
- Phase 1 (North America). NA qualifiers are similar in terms of competition, but have different rules when it comes to place distribution. The first place secures their invitation to the International, while crews placed from 2nd to 5th advance to Phase 2.
- Phase 2 (South America, Europe, CIS). All teams compete in a double-elimination bracket. Matches played as best of three, except for the final game, which is best of five. The winner receives an International invitation.
- Phase 2 (China, South-East Asia, North America). In these regions, teams compete in best of three matches even in the finals. The format of the tournament is still the double-elimination bracket, but both the winners of the Upper and Lower brackets qualify for the International.
Here is the list of all qualified participants:
- Europe – OG
- CIS – Winstrike*
- China – Team Serenity
- China – Invictus Gaming
- Southeast Asia – Fnatic
- Southeast Asia – TNC Predator
- North America Qualifier – VGJ.Storm
- North America Qualifier – Evil Geniuses
- North America Qualifier – OpTic Gaming
- South America – PaiN Gaming
*Winstrike signed FlyToMoon after they saw the team playing on the Epicenter XL.
We can see a lot of top-tier teams here that had to carve their way to the top through open qualifiers due to changes in the roster beyond the transfer window.
Since we still have nearly two months to go, the group structure is yet to be announced. However, we do have information about the tournament format.
The Group Stage starts on August 15 and will last through August 18. All 18 teams are divided into two groups, and will compete in a round robin system playing best of two matches. The top four teams in each group advance to the Upper Bracket of the main event; teams placed 5th to 8th are positioned in the Lower Bracket, and the last team is eliminated. After that, teams will have two days for rest and maybe a little sightseeing.
The Main Event starts on August 20 and will last for six days until August 25. The remaining 16 teams will compete in a double-elimination format, 8 teams in the Upper Bracket and 8 in the Lower one. The first round in the lower bracket is a Bo1 match, the Grand Final is Bo5, and all the remaining games are Bo3.
This season was filled with a lot of competitive drama, unexpected transfers, and heated tournaments. Indeed, The Dota pro circuit is becoming more and more spectacular to watch. Here is a set of eye-catching facts about the International 2018.
Na’Vi didn’t make it to the main event
The team’s fans are devastated by the fact that Natus Vincere didn’t manage to secure their invitation to the main event of the season for the second time in a row. Na’Vi’s CEO issued an official statement signifying the inactive status of the team. We’ll get more news about the new roster in the new season.
Chinese team invasion
Six out of the 18 pro teams to participate in the International are Chinese. Looks like they’ve really set their minds on winning this year’s competition.
Debut for 28 players
Congratulations to the 28 pro players that made it to the International for the first time! Here’s the list of the glorious participants and the teams they are playing for:
- PSG.LGD: Chalice, xNova
- Team Secret: Ace;
- Mineski: Moon, Jabz, ninjaboogie;
- Vici Gaming: Ori;
- VGJ.Thunder: Freeze, Yang, Fade;
- OG: Topson;
- FTM.Winstrike: Iceberg, Nongrata, NoFear;
- Team Serenity: zhizhizhi, Zyd, XinQ, Pyw, XCJ;
- Invictus Gaming: Srf;
- TNC Predator: Armel;
- VGJ.Storm: YawaR, SVG;
- OpTic Gaming: CC&C;
- paiN Gaming: hFn, Tavo, KINGRD, Duster.
Five debut teams
This season seems to be rich in newcomers. Meet five lucky teams that will make their first appearance in the championship:
- Pain Gaming
- Optic Gaming
- Team Serenity
Dota 2 Veterans
Shout out to Universe, Puppey, Kuroky, DDC — these four players have attended all the Internationals since 2011. This is some serious dedication!
Now you are completely ready for TI8, and the only thing left to do is wait. Oh, and make sure to check our blog and social media to read new articles and participate in giveaways so you don’t get bored waiting.