It took a long while, but Dota 2 fans and players finally know when The International 2019 is going to take place.
Valve revealed that the live portion of TI9 will run from August 20 to 25 on the official Dota 2 Twitter page. This will be preceded by an off-stage set of group stages, though no start date was announced. Those looking to attend in person will have the opportunity to buy tickets in a couple of weeks as Valve is “still finalizing details that are required before tickets can go on sale.”
No other information was given on the build towards TI9, with no date given for the launch of the 2019 International Battle Pass or tournament qualifiers.
TI9 is set to break from recent tradition, with the largest Dota 2 tournament of the year heading across the Pacific to the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China. The news was announced at The International 2018 and was met with mixed reactions. While the first International tournament took place in Cologne, Germany, each installment since has taken place in North America, with 2012 through 2017 taking place in Seattle and 2018 taking place in Vancouver.
The move to Shanghai has left North America without a single prominent Dota 2 event in the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season, a fact that doesn’t sit well with fans and players from the region.
For the most part, the field of competitors for The International 2019 is still unknown. The event will feature 18 teams, with the top 12 squads from the Dota Pro Circuit receiving direct invites while the other six will be forced to work their way in through regional qualifiers.
Team Secret, Virtus.pro, Vici Gaming, and Evil Geniuses are the only teams to secure a spot in The International 2019 to this point. Fnatic and PSG.LGD are both well positioned to earn an invitation. Past that, almost any team could still earn a spot at the event.
The remaining invitations will be allotted based on the results of the remaining Dota Pro Circuit events, most notably the MDL Disneyland Paris Major and the Epicenter Major. A strong performance at any one of those events could earn a team a spot in Shanghai,
Previous installments of The International Battle Pass have arrived in May. Look for the build to officially start then, with information on the prize pool and qualifiers coming through the Dota 2 game client.