Dota 2 fans remember that the first Riyadh Masters in 2022 was the biggest non-DPC tournament with a prize pool of $4M. We thought this was impressive, but compared to Riyadh Masters 2023, the latter has a jaw-dropping reward of $15,000,000. It goes without saying, but this will be the second-largest Dota 2 tournament of the year outside of The International.
Riyadh Masters 2023 will occur in Saudi Arabia’s capital city, starting on July 17. The event will last around 2 weeks and end on Jul 30. During that time, we will see 20 of the best teams in the world. Let's learn more about the tournament before sharing more details about some of the names you should watch.
Format and General Information
As mentioned, Riyadh Masters 2023 will have the biggest prize pool out of any non-DPC tournament in the history of Dota 2. Twenty teams will fight for it, 8 of which are selected for the Group Stage. Interestingly, one is the winner of DreamLeague Season 19, and the two are from DreamLeague Season 20. Additionally, the top 5 average placed teams in the two DreamLeague tournaments so far will also be a part of it.
Outside of the “direct invitations,” the remaining 11 teams will be decided based on the ETP ranking system. The last participant is from the MENA qualifier, which none other than Quest Esports won.
The event will have a Play-In stage as well as a Group Stage. The Play-In will consist of two groups where the top 2 will advance to the Group Stage, and the others will have to compete for the remaining slots in the Group Stage.
Speaking of the devil, the two groups will have 8 teams each and play in a Bo2 single round-robin format. The top 4 will go to the Playoff’s Upper Bracket, whereas the 5th and 6th-placed teams will go to the Lower Bracket. The remaining teams will be removed from the tournament.
In terms of the playoffs, we’ll see a double-elimination bracket. All matches will be in a Bo3 format, but the Grand Final will be in Bo5.
We’ve already mentioned that the Riyadh Masters 2023 will have a jaw-dropping prize pool of $15M. Here’s how it will be distributed:
- First Place - $5,000,000
- Second Place - $2,500,000
- Third Place - $1,700,000
- Fourth Place - $1,200,000
Interestingly, this is one of the few Dota 2 tournaments where even the teams that finish last will receive a prize. Check the complete overview for more information.
Riyadh Masters 2023 - Favorites
Considering the amount of money at stake, it is no surprise that the Riyadh Masters 2023 will bring together the best Dota 2 teams in the world. Multiple potential favorites could win this tournament, but a few of them stand out.
The first and the biggest favorite to win Riyadh Masters 2023 is Gaimin Gladiators. Quinn’s crew has been the best in the world in 2023 and won 4 big international events. The team got two Majors and won DreamLeague S19 and S20, so it is no surprise that almost everyone will consider GG the big favorite.
We’re yet to see the group the team will be in, but it will definitely do everything in its power to continue its winning streak. The International is just a few months away, so this event will give the team more opportunities to test its skills.
If we had made this prediction a few months ago, we wouldn’t have put this team on the list. However, Quest Esports’s dominant results in Tour 3 of the WEU DPC and the team’s impressive performance at the Bali Major 2023 mean that it is definitely one of the Dota 2 teams that fans need to keep a close eye on.
The team consists of talented young players who are still eager to prove themselves. Since Quest Esports has yet to win a big international competition, it will do everything possible to lift the trophy at Riyadh Masters 2023.
The only problem for this team is the lack of experience on the international scene, especially in LAN tournaments. In fact, the Bali Major 2023 was the squad’s first LAN event, so they may not feel that confident in Saudi Arabia.
The next name on the list is the current TI champion - Tundra Esports. Although the squad hasn’t won any tournaments in 2023 yet, it has had some consistent results, which is good. We must remember that something similar happened in 2022, and Tundra lifted the Aegis in the end.
The most recent success for the WEU squad was at the Bali Major, where it achieved impressive results. Nine and his squad were even involved in a controversy in their match against BetBoom because one of the players from the enemy team was spying on them by watching a live stream.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen one of the top-tier Dota 2 teams in China win a big international event. Even though it won’t be easy for PSG.LGD, to do that, the team definitely has the firepower, and it has proved it in the last couple of events.
LGD made many interesting roster changes, but its current squad has a great mixture of new and old that work well together. Although the team is struggling against some of the best in Western Europe, it gained solid experience on the new patch, so we would not be surprised if the team exceeds expectations and wins this event.
Riyadh Masters 2023 is an event you do not want to miss. It will include the best of the best, so don’t forget to follow the official streams if you want to watch them in action. Also, follow BLIX for the latest information about Dota 2 and all other popular esports.