It's that time again. Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients): The International is set to kick off its fifth annual tournament. This event is back at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.
There's a total of 14 teams invited and two wild cards. The two wild-card teams were determined on July 26. The Group stage ran from July 27-30, and the best teams in the upper and lower brackets were established.
Here's a look at the teams included in the tournament:
- Vici Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- Team Secret
- Invictus Gaming
- LGD Gaming
- Cloud 9
- Team Empire
- Virtus Pro
- compLexity Gaming
- Natus Vincere
- CEDC Gaming (wild card 1)
- MVP Phoenix (wild card 2)
The main event action begins on August 3 and runs through August 8. Here's a breakdown of the format, per Dota2.com:
- 16 teams play in a double elimination format over six days
- Eight teams begin in the upper bracket; eight in the lower bracket
- First lower bracket game is best of one, Grand Finals are best of five, and all others are best of three
Matches begin at 1 p.m. ET, and each match will begin after the previous one ends.
How to Watch
There's a bevy of ways to watch the action if you can't make it in person.
Per Dota2.com, you can view the tournament on the game's official site via Steam Broadcasting. There, you can also keep track of the tournament standings as well as the complete DotaTV presentation from the tournament.
Want to know which Radiant or Dire team players are wreaking havoc? This is also the place to check.
In some local areas, there are pubstomps where you can go to watch the teams battle it out for supremacy. Click this link to check for a pubstomp in your area.
YouTube and Twitch
There's also a way to watch the action after it's over. You can check out the DVR replays at Dota2.com, and the results of the matches will be hidden.
As usual, the complete prize pool is a growing total dictated by the sales of the game's virtual currency known as compendium. Heading into the start of the tournament, the pool was well over $17 million, which is a record for any electronic sports event.
The winner will receive a grand prize well over $6 million. All 16 teams will receive some payout. You can see the latest prize totals here.
The Defending Champions
In 2014, Newbee came away victorious, and the four-man team split a prize pot of $5,028,038. They return to the tournament this year looking to make it two wins in a row. It's clear from this tweet and image, the champs are serious about repeating:
Wang Zhang, aka Rabbit, could be the X-factor for his team.
Rabbit was acquired in August 2014 for a reported $130,000 from the LGD squad. It was a high-profile move to replace Zhang "xiao8" Ning. Early on it appeared as if the move was worth it, but during 2015, Rabbit has won just under 32 percent of his matches, per gosugamers.net.
Newbee need a better performance from Rabbit if they hope to defend their title.