The International 2019 is shaping up to become the biggest esports tournament in history. The crowd-funded tournament has already reached nearly $19 million in the prize pool and looks set to reach $30 million very soon. For the Dota 2 esports scene, The International remains the fulcrum for the players and the organisations. It is a massive event overshadowing the entire scene. Valve decided to focus the entire professional circuit as a qualification system for The International. The tournament circuit comprises of Majors and Minors each of which acts as a stepping stone to The International.
Valve keeps making changes to the Dota Pro Circuit learning from the problems and mistakes of the previous season. You can read about the Major Valve implemented changes for this season below.
The Dota Pro Circuit Season for 2018-19 saw significant changes last year after The International. The subsequent months saw multiple Majors and Minors, each of which contributed to the participants at The International 2019. The TI9 qualifier dates will help the teams prepare themselves for the qualifiers and hopefully plan their schedule accordingly. The qualifiers are set to begin just three days after the conclusion of the EPICENTER Major. However, since most of the top teams have already qualified for The International 2019, the schedule will allow the participating teams enough time to practice.
The current DPC season features five Majors and Five Minor tournaments. The Minors serve as a seeder tournament to the Major while the Majors provide Dota Pro Circuit points. These points serve as the benchmark for teams to secure an invite to The International.
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The International 2019 will take place in China, the first time that the event will take place in Asia. China represents a huge market for Valve and the Dota 2 community. Catering to Chinese fanbase is definitely a wise decision. In order to ensure fans are not waylaid by this decision, Valve announced TI9’s location during The International 2018 itself.
The Dota Pro Circuit Season 2018-19 has just one tournament remaining, the EPICENTER Major. With eight teams already confirmed as invites to The International, there are still four slots to fill. The EPICENTER Major will decide which teams will receive these invites. As of right now, Keen Gaming, OG, TNC and Ehome seem to be the frontrunners to receive a TI9 invite. However, things can change very fast especially lower down the DPC leaderboards.
Valve has announced the qualifier dates for TI9. The qualifiers will finalise the remaining eight teams to participate in The International 2019 Shanghai.
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) June 18, 2019
This tweet by Wykrhm tells us the dates for the qualifiers and sheds light on the schedule for many teams. The qualifiers start just a few days after the conclusion of the EPICENTER Major. Thankfully for most of the top teams, they have already secured their invitation to The International 2019 and will not have to go through the qualifiers.
The International 2019 is slated to be the biggest event in esports in terms of prize money. It commands respect across the esports community simply because of the level of competition and the quality of Dota 2. The International 2019 prize pool is growing at a very fast pace and it zoomed past $10 million in just three days. For now, you can watch the EPICENTER Major starting on June 22nd on Twitch here.
Which is your favourite team and how far do you see them going to The International 2019? Let us know in comments below.