What is The International?

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Every experienced Dota 2 player knows that The International is the year's most important event. They know that the Battle Pass allows players to contribute to the tournament’s prize pool. This explains why The International often has some of the largest prize pools in the world.

Although most of you know TI and everything it represents, some of our readers are new to the game. Unsurprisingly, they don’t know much about the competition, other than the fact that it has a massive prize. That’s why we will look at everything you should know about Dota 2 The International.

So, what is The International?

The International is Dota 2’s most prestigious annual championship that features the best teams in the world. They used to receive direct invites, but after the introduction of the DPC (more on that later), they had to collect enough points to get there. Those who fail have to go through regional qualifiers.


Aside from the fact that people call it “TI,” there are a couple of crucial things you should know about this event. First, this annual competition held by Valve takes place every year from 2011 until today. The only exception was in 2020 because the global pandemic prevented the event's hosting.

The original TI occurred in Cologne, Germany, in 2011. It was when Valve revealed Dota 2 to the world and invited some of the best teams from DotA. TI features a jaw-dropping $1.6M prize pool. Unsurprisingly, this tournament impacted Dota 2’s popularity.

The story behind the massive prize pools

Apart from gathering the best Dota 2 teams in the world, The International is also famous for having the biggest prize pool in eSports. The $1.6M during TI and TI 2 might seem impressive, but they are shallow compared to TI 10’s $40+M reward.

The International's prize is as big as it is because Valve decided to create a seasonal in-game item called “Battle Pass.” Unsurprisingly, this item does not provide any in-game benefits because Dota 2 is not a Pay To Win Game. Instead, everything you get from the item is cosmetic. We got an independent review of the 2022 Battle Pass, but most of the things were also available in the previous versions of this item.

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Every Battle Pass purchase (whether you get the item itself or buy levels) will have a 25% contribution to TI’s prize pool. In other words, Valve gives one-fourth of the money it gets from this item so that professional players can have a more impressive reward.

Format and Teams

Before we share more information about the teams and the formats, it is worth mentioning that every TI is different. We’ve seen events with sixteen teams, but The International 11 has a total of 20 participants. Fortunately, the tournament’s format remains relatively the same.

Regardless of the number of teams, they are usually divided into two groups. In most cases, the teams play in a single round-robin format where the top four advance to the Upper Brackets of the Playoffs. The 5th-8th placed teams go to the Lower Bracket, whereas the rest are eliminated.

In terms of the Playoffs (also known as the Main Event), all teams play in a double-elimination bracket. Like any other big event from Valve, all games until the Grand Finals are in Bo3, whereas the final is in Bo5.

Notable Winners

Since TI brings together the best teams in the world, it shouldn’t be surprising that only a few of them have won the tournament. So far, OG remains the only Dota 2 team that has won this event twice. Even more impressive is that the EU powerhouse achieved this twice a row, which no one thought was possible.

Aside from OG, there are a few other winners - Wings Gaming, Natus Vincere, Invictus Gaming, Team Spirit, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Newbee, and Alliance.

Final Thoughts

The International is Dota 2’s most important event, so it shouldn’t be surprising that it receives much attention. Besides being covered by the most popular news outlets in the world, TI is broadcasted in multiple languages. This includes English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese.


With more than 22 years of gaming experience and 5+ years in the writing business, zlosterr knows how to put his knowledge to good use. Expect a variety of Dota 2 articles that cover the hottest news and provide in-depth analysis and tips.


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CS Virtual Trade Ltd, reg. no. HE 389299 Registered address and the principal place of business: 705, Spyrou Araouzou & Koumantarias, Fayza House, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus
Copyright © 2023 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.