The greatest Dota 2 teams and players in the world will square off against one another in Singapore in just a couple of days for a chance to get their names etched onto the Aegis of Champions and to become a part of the game’s history – while also becoming millionaires in the process.
After two years of pandemic-skewed events, The International is now back proper as the showpiece Dota 2 event, featuring crowds and excitement and no visa issues. With the number of participating teams upped to twenty, even some of the struggling legends are still within a shout to make it to the main event, as long as they are able to fight their way through the action-packed Last Chance Qualifier.
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The International 11 Last Chance Qualifier: everything you need to know
The Last Chance Qualifier offers its participants a chance to nab one of the two extra spots at this year’s TI, where the number of participating teams was bumped up from 18 to 20. This means that some of the biggest names in the game, like PuppeY and ana, have one more chance to make it despite falling short throughout the season.
The second- and third-place finishers from the regional qualifiers were seeded into a mini-event that has a very similar format to the main competition: first, two groups of six play out a single round-robin bracket to determine the playoff seedings – no teams are eliminated at this point – and then the double-elimination bracket commences. The winner of the upper bracket and the lower bracket will both qualify for the main event.
Notable participants here include Team Secret, who are fighting to maintain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov’s streak of attending each TI event. The 32-year-old and his team had a rough DPC season, but they are still among the favorites in this competition.
Meanwhile, T1 brought in ana and TopsoN for their gambit to secure one of the last spots at The International this year: though they barely fell short in the regional qualifier, finishing third behind Talon Esports and Polaris, they also have enough of the veterancy pedigree to give them a strong chance here.
The TI11 Last Chance Qualifier runs between October 8 and 12.
The International 11 Main Event: groups and schedule and more
The main event of The International 11 takes place between October 15 and 30. The group stage is held in the Singapore Indoor Stadium between October 15 and 18. The playoffs are in the cavernous Suntec Singapore arena, and the action takes place across two chunks, October 20-23 and October 29-30.
The teams are distributed into two groups of ten, where they play out a single round-robin bracket. The bottom two teams are eliminated from the event, the top four get an upper bracket seeding in the double elimination playoff bracket and the 4-8th finishers are demoted to the lower bracket. With an extra series to win and no margin for error, this is a fate every team wants to avoid.
This year, PSG.LGD and Team Spirit are among the favorites again: the teams that contested the grand final of TI10 have done well in the DPC circuit, with the Chinese side finishing in first place after a set of super-consistent results in the seasonal round-robin events. Team Spirit, the title holders from Eastern Europe, ended up in third place overall despite winning the PGL Arlington Major.
Sandwiched between them are OG, the first outfit to win back-to-back TI titles, though the roster has nothing in common with the side that lifted the Aegis of Champions. After a bunch of unsuccessful temporary iterations, this squad now looks ready for the big time, having finished second in the DPC after winning ESL One Stockholm, the first Major of this season.
Next up, it’s beastcoast, Team Aster, Thunder Awaken and BOOM Esports, with TSM, Tundra Esports, Gaimin Gladiators, Evil Geniuses and Fnatic rounding out the list of directly invited teams.
Six more outfits from the TI11 regional qualifiers – Soniqs (formerly known as Quincy Crew), Hokori, Entity, BetBoom Team, RNG and Talon Esports –will join them at the showpiece event, with the last two participants soon to be confirmed in the Last Chance Qualifier.
If you’d like to catch up on the atmosphere and the action of The International 10, and to relive Team Spirit’s Cinderella run, the recently released annual True Sight documentary will serve you well:
2022 marks the first time that The International’s prize pool didn’t break the previous year’s record: this time, the teams will be competing for their share of $13 477 399 (and counting), a far cry from last year’s $40 million haul. This would place TI11 somewhere between TI4 and TI5 in terms of overall prize money: back in those days, Newbee and EG were the teams that lifted the Aegis of Champions.
How and where can I watch The International 11?
The main event will be broadcasted live on Valve’s dedicated Dota 2 Twitch channel at twitch.tv/dota2ti. The games will also be available in the Dota 2 client for you to watch.
There are also many different community streams and broadcasts in a wide variety of languages to follow: you can check them out by browsing Twitch’s Dota 2 directory whenever the event is live.