The International is Dota 2’s annual prestigious tournament featuring eight-figure prize pools. After a competitive year in the Dota Pro Circuit, all the most successful teams will battle it out for the Aegis of Immortality. Every team aims to win The International, which will immortalize you in the game forever. The twelfth iteration of The International is just over the horizon. If you want to tune in, here’s everything you need to know!
The schedule for The International 2023 has been decided. The tournament will last two and a half weeks, starting on 12 October and ending on 29 October.
The International 2023 will return to the United States after six years. The tournament will take place in Seattle and will have two venues. The Playoffs Weekend will be held in the Seattle Convention Center’s Summit, while the Finals Weekend will be held in the Climate Pledge Arena, where a new TI champion will be crowned.
The International 2023 will follow a new tournament format not used in TI history. The tournament will be divided into two phases. The first phase is called “The Road To The International,” the second phase, or the main event, is titled “The International” itself.
All twenty participants will start in “The Road To The International,” where they will eliminate each other through group stages and playoffs until only eight teams remain. These eight teams will make it to the second phase, “The International”.
The group stage itself will have two phases, making the process last longer than it usually did, as more Dota 2 matches will be played.
If you’ve been out of the loop for a while, here are the top five teams who have stood out in the DPC year’s Dota 2 scores.
The Gaimin Gladiators have drastically improved after only changing one player: their addition of Quinn “Quinn” Callahan. The new version of the Gladiators won all three Valve Majors in 2023 and two back-to-back DreamLeague Seasons.
However, they have slowed down after subpar performances in Riyadh Masters 2023 and DreamLeague Season 21. Still, they are undoubtedly the most successful team this year so far, but TI will decide if all of that will stay valid.
Team Spirit also changed their roster, swapping out Alexander “TORONOTOKYO” Khertek for Denis “Larl” Sigitov in the mid-lane. The team had a rough start to the year, failing to make deep runs in relevant tournaments.
However, they have recently turned up after winning the two most recent Tier 1 tournaments, Riyadh Masters 2023 and DreamLeague Season 21. They are looking like the best team coming into The International. Can they win their second TI?
Though Team Liquid has yet to win a title this year, they have consistently made deep runs in tournaments. They finished second in all three Valve Majors, losing every Grand Final to the Gladiators.
Team Liquid made it to the Finals of the Riyadh Masters, but the Gladiators weren’t the problem, as they still suffered a loss against Team Spirit. Can Liquid finally win a tournament this year, and will TI be the one?
The BetBoom Team, led by TI winner Alexander “TORONOTOKYO” Khertek, has the most individually skilled lineup in the Dota scene. However, it isn’t easy to manage all these talents to make the team work.
Though they have had their fair share of troubles, the BetBoom Team could still make multiple deep runs in Tier 1 tournaments. If the team can gel together in time for The International, they will have unlimited potential and have the skill to win the whole thing.
Tundra Esports were the champions of last year’s TI, but they have faced some problems this year due to Martin “Saksa” Sazdov being in and out because of health issues. Though Saksa couldn’t play with the roster for multiple tournaments, the team could still make deep runs with their coach as a stand-in.
Ultimately, Saksa decided not to play for Tundra in the upcoming Dota 2 matches at The International. In response, Tundra brought two-time TI winner Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen to play mid for them. Can this full roster of TI winners repeat their victories?
Though the most dominant teams are pretty clear coming into The International, a few teams have shown immense potential, and it wouldn’t be too surprising if these names could make a deep run at The International.
- Talon Esports – Finished third place at Riyadh Masters 2023 and Lima Major 2023
- Evil Geniuses – Made multiple deep runs but is an inconsistent team with lots of potential.
- 9 Pandas – Highly skilled individuals with reliable captain. Has the potential to go toe-to-toe with the best teams.
- Team SMG – Faced immediate improvement after adding Volodymyr “No[o]ne-” Minenko to the team.
- Quest Esports – Recently became a fierce competitor but had contractual issues that hindered their progress.
Here are some storylines to spice up The International!
Topson has been playing with Old G, a team that has struggled to make it out of Division II all year, meaning they have achieved zero results. Despite the rough year, Topson could still play on Dota 2’s biggest stage after getting invited to play for Tundra Esports. With this roster move, everyone has set their eyes on Tundra. Will they crack under pressure in front of the Dota 2 live crowd?
Over the past years, every team that has done well before The International has never won it. The Gladiators have won five out of seven Tier 1 tournaments in the year, making them the most successful team so far. Will these results “curse” the Gladiators, or will they break it by winning The International 2023?
After winning Ti10, Team Spirit has not been as dominant as they looked. After the Ti12 roster shuffle, Team Spirit took in Larl, a highly skilled but inexperienced mid-laner. Larl’s presence did not have an immediate effect, as Team Spirit couldn’t achieve notable Dota 2 scores throughout the year. However, in the past two months, Team Spirit has suddenly looked like the best team in the world and is headed toward a projection to win their second TI title.
Chinese Dota has been dominant throughout Dota 2’s history. The country has single-handedly won four TI titles. Though they have not won one in a while, they would always have great teams, making it very deep in the tournament. However, with lots of players retiring, Chinese Dota looks to be at its weakest.
In conclusion, Dota 2 is the most competitive it has been for years. Though there are clear favorites in the tournament, their victory is not guaranteed, as many hungry underdogs with immense potential lurking in the shadows. The new format for The International will feed viewers a higher volume of exciting Dota matches, so look forward to that!