Just a few weeks back, details surrounding The International 2019 were somewhat vague. Indeed, it wasn’t until recently that we discovered that the host country for this year’s event would be China. The Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai will play host to the tournament from Aug. 15-25.
Of course, The International has gained its reputation chiefly on the back of its incredible prize money. The last five tournaments have each set a new benchmark in terms of the largest overall prize pool for an esports tournament. That began with a $10.9 million prize pool for The International 2014. Then, the figure swelled to an incredible $25.5 million last year.
The International 2019 has already seen its prize pool shoot past the $25.7 million mark in the last few days. The number could well creep closer to $30 million. This new record is due to Valve decreeing that 25 percent of all revenue from Battle Passes are put toward the prize pool.
With the venue in place and the prize money set to smash records, it’s time for the team announcements.
The International qualifiers confirmed
After five Major tournaments and five Minor events from last October through June, we have finally reached the end of the Dota Pro Circuit for 2018-19. Now, a dozen teams are set for China.
In truth, a number of top teams had already rubber-stamped their places. Those include Team Secret, Virtus.pro, Vici Gaming, Evil Geniuses, and PSG LGD. In the end, the events at EPICENTER 2019 decided how far up or down the qualifying table some of these teams would finish.
Things were more dramatic at the bottom end of the table. That’s where a number of teams were hoping for a much-improved display in Russia to try and creep into the qualifying 12.
Vici Gaming’s victory at EPICENTER 2019 saw them finish third in the table, with Virtus.pro, who finished third in the tournament, in second overall. Then, Team Secret, who had their poorest showing of the entire season in Russia, still finished top of the table on the back of two wins and a second-place finish in three of the five Major tournaments.
The full list of qualifiers from the Dota Pro Circuit is below:
- Team Secret – 14,400
- pro – 13,500
- Vici Gaming – 11,250
- Evil Geniuses – 6825
- Team Liquid – 5820
- PSG LGD – 5040
- Fnatic – 2880
- Ninjas in Pyjamas – 2620
- TNC Predator – 2046
- OG – 1218
- Alliance – 1179
- Keen Gaming 1140
The big winners from this weekend were TNC Predator and Alliance, whose fourth and fifth/sixth-place finishes, respectively, earned them enough points for the top 12.
These 12 teams will make up two-thirds of competitors at The International 2019. The remaining six will come from regional qualifiers.
The International 2019 – Regional Qualifiers
A total of six qualifiers will be played across the world in July. One team from each qualifier earns a spot in Shanghai. The six qualifiers and the teams competing (where known) are outlined below:
- North American Qualifier (July 11-14) – compLexity Gaming, Forward Gaming, J.Storm, beastcoast (+4 Open Qualifiers)
- South American Qualifier (July 7-10) – Team Ham, Infamous, Thunder Predator, paiN Gaming (+4 Open Qualifiers)
- Europe Qualifier (July 11-14) – The Final Tribe, Chaos Esports Club (+6 Open Qualifiers)
- CIS Qualifier (July 7-10) – Natus Vincere, Team Empire, Gambit Esports, Winstrike Team, Team Spirit (+3 Open Qualifiers)
- China Qualifier (July 11-14) – EHOME, Team Aster, Royal Never Give Up, Team Sirius (+4 Open Qualifiers)
- Southeast Asia Qualifier (July 7-10) – Mineski, BOOM ID (+6 Open Qualifiers)
Therefore, we’ll know the final lineup for The International 2019 by July 14.
Format for The International 2019
The action begins with the group stage, slated for Aug. 15-18. Then comes the main event on Aug. 20-25.
Last year’s winners, OG, will defend their crown after finishing 10th in the Dota Pro Circuit. We should also say it’s likely the winner of this tournament will receive the highest pay cheque in esports history.