The International 2016: Bigger, Better, And Louder Than Ever

Posted on July 20, 2016 - Last Updated on October 4, 2022

The long-awaited moment is finally knocking on the door. With little less than three weeks remaining, The International 6, one of the biggest events in esports and probably the biggest one in Dota 2, is finally here.

Held at the Key Arena in Seattle for the third consecutive year, the championship will unfold between Aug. 8 and Aug. 13.

Qualifiers are over; Main Event’s teams are set

Open and main qualifiers, which ran in the last two weeks of June, are over. A total of 18 teams will head to Seattle, including four “wild card” teams, which have yet to win their battles to qualify for the main event.

The China, SEA, Europe, and America qualifiers have determined this year’s participants:

  • OG, Team Liquid
  • Newbee
  • LGD-Gaming
  • MVP Phoenix
  • Natus Vincere
  • Team Secret
  • The Alliance
  • Wings Gaming
  • Vici Gaming Reborn
  • TNC Pro Team
  • Fnatic
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Digital Chaos

And this year’s “wild card” teams are:

  • Execration
  • Escape Gaming
  • compLexity Gaming

These teams will also head to Seattle, but will have to overcome one last barrier before qualifying for the main event. Only two of the “wild card” teams will join the other 14 teams for the main event’s group stage.

TI6 prize pool close to surpass last year’s biggest-ever prize pool of $18 million

Even though TI5 was huge compared to past tournaments, TI6 is on its way to surpassing last year’s biggest-ever prize pool of $18 million.

Dota 2 International prize pool 2016

Shown in the chart above (click for larger size), TI6 is near equaling TI5’s prize pool, with plenty of time left for the amount to rise.

Last year’s The International 2015 had the biggest prize pool in esports history in the amount of $18,429,613, which was an incredible achievement for the esports community.

The faster-than-ever growth of this year’s TI prize pool reflects how positively perceived this event is by the community. With a base pool of $1,600,000 and currently standing at little under $18 million, more than $16 million was contributed by the community through in-game item purchases.

Moreover, since only 25 percent of each contribution goes towards the final prize pool, the actual current contribution of supporters is already more than $64 million.

Possible record audience?

The esports industry has grown massively since TI5, both in audience numbers and awareness, so it is only normal to expect that this year could see a record number of fans at the event, as well as online enthusiasts.

Ticket sales can be a good measure of how popular an event is. Both TI5 and TI6 tickets sold out in less than an hour, a clear indicator of high demand. Peak viewership of the 2015 event was also amazing, and stood at 4.6 million during prime time.

Moreover, according to Dota News, the popularity of the event almost doubled year-over year, with TI2 having 567,000 viewers, TI3 having 1 million viewers, and TI4 boasting 2 million viewers. Accurate data for TI1 viewership numbers is unfortunately not available.

It’s amazing to see the event’s growth in popularity, which is in line with the entire esports industry steadily expanding for the past couple of years.

The International 2016 will feature a first-time-ever cosplay competition

Cosplay competitions have seen massive success lately, especially during big events. The recent Manila Major and ESL One Manila both hosted cosplay competitions during their shows, and the entertainment was a massive success.

Announced last week, this year’s TI will feature a cosplay competition on Aug. 11 at the main stage. Dedicated Dota 2 cosplayers will be able to present their Dota-themed costumes and compete for a prize pool of $15,000.

Additionally, those not fond of competing with their costumes on, but still want to show-off their crafts, can claim their Dota 2 Cosplay Pin simply by showing up at the event wearing cosplay outfits.

Based on past TI’s and their successes, whatever TI6 brings will surely be big, exciting, and entertaining.

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Image credit: Roman Kosolapov /

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Dejan Zalik

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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