The International (or TI as it’s known by Dota 2 fans) is the Dota 2 World Championship. This tournament is celebrated as one of the most important events in esports and is known for its enormous prize pools. Organized by Valve and taking place in August once per year, TI usually lasts for 11 days and provides numerous esports betting opportunities for those who like to bet on Dota 2. Most editions of The International were held in Seattle. But in recent years, the competition has travelled around the world to places like Vancouver, Shanghai, and Stockholm.
The International Betting Sites
Here’s a list of some of the best Dota 2 betting sites that offer odds on The International. On these sites you will find both pre-match and live betting options that you can place on the teams you think will win!
TI 10 Betting Markets
TI betting markets are incredibly varied, and every bookmaker is striving to be both thorough and innovative. These days, you can bet not only on who will win a particular match but also on who will win a particular game, on who will get the most kills, on who will kill the first Roshan, on who will destroy the first tower or barracks, on who will get first blood, and so on.
TI 10 Betting Bonuses
These bonuses vary from bookmaker to bookmaker. To learn more about such opportunities before the tournament starts, check what the top Dota 2 betting sites have to offer.
The International Format
The International has one of the best competitive formats in all of esports and is regarded as a hallmark of professionalism. The reason is that the TI format maximizes its competitors’ number of chances to prove themselves and gives them a large safety net.
The International features a total of 18 competitors from 6 regions, and it takes place in 2 consecutive stages.
The Group Stage
For this first stage of the event, the 18 teams are split into groups of 9. These groups are simply called A and B, and each of them consists of a round-robin. There are eight matches per team, and the format of these matches is Best-of-2 (or Bo2). Based on the number of points they get, the competitors are ranked from 1st to 9th.
At the end of this stage, the 9th team is eliminated while the other eight advance to the Playoffs. The first four start in the Upper Bracket while the next four start in the Lower Bracket.
The beauty of this competitive format is that it allows every competitor to test its strength against numerous opponents to determine in an objective way who are the strongest teams and who needs to be eliminated. So instead of playing just one match, which in some esports is a Bo1, teams get to play nine matches or 18 games in total.
The Playoffs consist of a double-elimination bracket. So if an Upper Bracket team loses, they don’t get eliminated right away. Instead, they fall to the Lower Bracket and get a second chance. In some cases, a team happens to lose a key match in the first round of the Upper Bracket but then proves its worth by defeating everyone in the Lower Bracket, reaching the Grand Final and winning the tournament. This happened in Team Liquid’s case at The International 2017.
The match format during the Playoffs of TI is Bo1 for the first round of Lower Bracket matches. Every other match, except for the Grand Final (Bo5), is Bo3.
The International Attendees
The International has a very rigorous selection process. Tournaments are held throughout the year in 6 regions of the world: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Southeast Asia, and China. Based on the results of these tournaments, the best teams from each region are sent to Major events. These events offer substantial prize pools and qualification points for TI.
At the end of the Dota Pro Circuit, which usually consists of 2 seasons or cycles per year, the 12 best teams (based on their number of points) are directly invited to The International. The other 6 participants are determined based on qualification tournaments. Each region gets one ticket.
Valve often changes the format of the Dota Pro Circuit from one year to the next. Still, the overall process stays the same: regional tournaments followed by Majors and direct invitations offered to the top 12 teams based on how many points they managed to gather.
The International Past Editions
When it comes to The International’s history, the tournament is quite prestigious. So far, there have been nine editions. The first one was held in Cologne, Germany, in 2011, and had a prize pool of $1.6 million. This was a staggering amount at the time, but the prizes would only get higher. In 2019, The International had a prize pool of $34.3 million. And for the 10th edition, it’s going to be even higher: $40 million.
Here’s a brief history of The International’s winners. The following teams have managed to win the Aegis of Champions:
- 2011 edition: Location – Cologne; Winner – Natus Vincere
- 2012 edition: Location – Seattle; Winner – Invictus Gaming
- 2013 edition: Location – Seattle; Winner – Alliance
- 2014 edition: Location – Seattle; Winner – Newbee
- 2015 edition: Location – Seattle; Winner – Evil Geniuses
- 2016 edition: Location – Seattle; Winner – Wings Gaming
- 2017 edition: Location – Seattle; Winner – Team Liquid
- 2018 edition: Location – Vancouver; Winner – OG
- 2019 edition: Location – Shanghai; Winner – OG
So far, the only team that managed to win the tournament twice is OG.
In 2020, The International had to be cancelled because of the global crisis. The competition was postponed for 2021.
The International 10 (2021)
The International 10 takes place between August 5th – 15th, features 18 teams and offers $40 million in prizes. The chosen location was Stockholm, Sweden. So, despite the one-year delay, the original location was kept. The first team that qualified for The International 2021 was Evil Geniuses.
Among other things, The International 2021 features a short film contest. This contest has a $40,000 prize pool and requires participants to submit a film no longer than 90 seconds that celebrates Dota 2 in some way. Given the success of Dragon’s Blood, the Dota 2 inspired Netflix anime, many of the participants are expected to pay tribute or make some kind of reference to it.
The International 10 takes place in the usual format: Group Stage (August 5th – 8th) followed by Playoffs (August 10th – 15th). In total, there will be ten days of competition.