The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers Preview: Format, Teams, Schedule

The International 2018 regional qualifiers will see 6-8 teams per competitive region fighting over the last couple of slots for Dota 2’s biggest event later in August in Vancouver, Canada. 

The International 2018 is nearly here. Soon enough, we’ll see 18 teams fighting over a still-growing prize pool of $14.5 million. But, before that happens, we’ve got some filling out to do first. Since only eight teams received a direct invite to the main event in August, as based on the season standings, the rest will have to be determined via the regional qualifiers, which will take place from June 18 to June 25.

The International 2018 regional qualifiers will be no different from the various regional qualifiers for the DPC tournaments that took place earlier in the season. A select number of teams will be playing for the slots allocated to their region. A select few teams received a direct invite to the said qualifiers. For the other hopefuls, they had to fight through literally hundreds of other teams. Regardless of how they made it, there’s no doubt that all of them will have their eyes set on playing in Vancouver this August.

Having said that, The International 2018 regional qualifiers will be a lot to take in. That’s why we’re here to help you with our guide to each one.

Click here for our complete preview of Dota 2’s biggest annual event, The International 2018. 

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers: CIS (June 18-21)

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers

Bogdan ‘Iceberg’ Vasilenko and FTM played spoilers at EPICENTER XL as they upset the hometown favourites to earn a third-place finish. (EPICENTER)

Where to watch: https://www.twitch.tv/beyondthesummit2

The CIS qualifiers will include competitors from all the countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States in Eastern Europe.

Only one team from the CIS qualifiers will go to The International 2018.

Participating Teams:

— Vega Squadron (Direct Invite)
— FlyToMoon (Direct Invite)
— Team Empire (Open Qualifier)
— Double Dimension (Open Qualifier)
— Espada (Open Qualifier)
— Team Spirit (Open Qualifier)
— 20 min afk les (Open Qualifier)
— Gambit Esports (Open Qualifier)

Phase One Format:

— All eight teams will play each other in best-of-one matches for points.
— The four teams with the most points at the end of the Round Robin group stage will move on to Phase 2.

Phase Two Format:

— The remaining four teams will play each other in a double-elimination-style playoff bracket. The 1st-place team from Phase 1 will play the 4th-place team, while the 2nd-place team will play the third-place team. Losers will go to the “lower brackets”

— All matches will be a best-of-three, except for the Grand Finals, which will be a best-of-five.

— The winner of the Grand Finals will qualify for The International 2018.

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers: China (June 18-21)

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers

Tue ‘ah fu’ Soon Chuan and the rest of the team will look to try and recapture the same magic that led them to a third-place finish at TI last year. (EPICENTER)

Where to watch: https://www.twitch.tv/beyondthesummit3

Unlike in previous years, China will not have the most qualifier slots this year. Instead, only two teams from the Chinese qualifiers will go to The International 2018.

Participating Teams:

— Invictus Gaming (Direct Invite)
— Team Serenity (Open Qualifier)
— Keen Gaming (Open Qualifier)
— CDEC Gaming (Open Qualifier)
— iG.Vitality (Open Qualifier)
— For the Dream (Open Qualifier)
— LGD.ForeverYoung (Open Qualifier)
— Young Dumb (Open Qualifier)

Phase One Format:

— All teams will play each other in best-of-one matches for points.

— The four teams with the most points will advance to Phase 2.

Phase Two Format:

— The remaining four teams will play each other in a double-elimination-style bracket, with no grand finals. The 1st-place team from Phase 1 will play the 4th-place team, while the 2nd-place team will play the third-place team. Losers will go to the “lower brackets”

— The winners of the opening rounds will face each other in the next round of the upper bracket. The winners will qualify for The International 2018.

— The lower bracket picks up after the upper brackets. The winning team of the first lower bracket matchup will advance to face the losers of the upper bracket. The winner of the lower bracket advances to The International 2018.

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers: South America (June 18-21)

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers

The addition of star midlaner Aliwi ‘w33’ Omar has turned paiN Gaming from regional powerhouses to fringe international contenders. (paiN Gaming)

Where to watch: https://www.twitch.tv/beyondthesummit3

Only one team from the South American regional qualifiers will advance to The International 2018.

Participating Teams:

— SG e-sports (Open Qualifier)
— paiN Gaming (Open Qualifier)
— inFamous (Open Qualifier)
— Torus Gaming (Open Qualifier)
— Thunder Predator (Open Qualifier)
Midas Club (Open Qualifier)

Phase One Format:

— All six teams will play each other in best-of-one matches for points.
— The four teams with the most points at the end of the Round Robin group stage will move on to Phase 2.

Phase Two Format:

— The remaining four teams will play each other in a double-elimination-style playoff bracket. The 1st-place team from Phase 1 will play the 4th-place team, while the 2nd-place team will play the third-place team. Losers will go to the “lower brackets”

— All matches will be a best-of-three, except for the Grand Finals, which will be a best-of-five.

— The winner of the Grand Finals will qualify for The International 2018.

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers: Europe (June 22-25)

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers

Having transitioned back to the support role, Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein will need to adjust fast if OG are to make it to TI8. (OG)

Where to watch: TBA

Only one team from the European Qualifiers will advance to The International 2018.

Participating Teams:

— Team Kinguin (Direct Invite)
— The Final Tribe (Direct Invite)
— Kingdra (Direct Invite)
— Singularity Esports (Direct Invite)
— OG (Open Qualifier)
— Wind and Rain (Open Qualifier)
— Alliance (Open Qualifier)
— BlinkPool (Open Qualifier)

Phase One Format:

— All eight teams will play each other in best-of-one matches for points.
— The four teams with the most points at the end of the Round Robin group stage will move on to Phase 2.

Phase Two Format:

— The remaining four teams will play each other in a double-elimination-style playoff bracket. The 1st-place team from Phase 1 will play the 4th-place team, while the 2nd-place team will play the third-place team. Losers will go to the “lower brackets”

— All matches will be a best-of-three, except for the Grand Finals, which will be a best-of-five.

— The winner of the Grand Finals will qualify for The International 2018.

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers: North America (June 22-25)

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers

After falling just a hundred points or so short of a TI invite, OpTic Gaming now play in the North American Qualifiers where they’re tabbed as the heavy favourites to take the first of three slots. (OpTic Gaming)

Where to watch: TBA 

With the top 9 to 12 point earners for the season coming from North America, with OpTic Gaming barely missing out on a direct invite, Valve saw it fit to extend the number of slots for North America to three for this year.

Participating Teams:

— OpTic Gaming (Direct Invite)
— Immortals (Direct Invite)
— Evil Geniuses (Open Qualifier)
— compLexity Gaming (Open Qualifier)
— Team Baidu (Open Qualifier)
— Team Leviathan (Open Qualifier)
— VGJ.Storm (Open Qualifier)
Jsut a Squad (Open Qualifier)

Phase One Format:

— All teams will play each other in best-of-one matches for points.

— The top seed (team with the most points) will qualify for The International 2018. The 2nd to 5th place teams will advance to Phase 2.

Phase Two Format:

— The remaining four teams will play each other in a double-elimination-style bracket, with no grand finals. The 1st-place team from Phase 1 will play the 4th-place team, while the 2nd-place team will play the third-place team. Losers will go to the “lower brackets”

— The winners of the opening rounds will face each other in the next round of the upper bracket. The winners will qualify for The International 2018.

— The lower bracket picks up after the upper brackets. The winning team of the first lower bracket matchup will advance to face the losers of the upper bracket. The winner of the lower bracket advances to The International 2018.

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers: Southeast Asia (June 22-25)

The International 2018 Regional Qualifiers

The All-Filipino TNC Pro Team are looking primed to make a lot of noise at The International 2018 if they can make it there via the regional qualifiers. (TNC Pro Team)

Two teams from the Southeast Asian regional qualifiers will advance to play at The International 2018.

Where to watch: TBA 

Participating Teams:

 TNC Pro Team (Direct Invite)
— Fnatic (Direct Invite)
— BOOM ID (Direct Invite)
— TNC Tigers (Open Qualifier)
— Alpha Red (Open Qualifier)
— Entity Gaming (Open Qualifier)
— Battle Arena Elites (Open Qualifier)
— Sterling Global Dragons (Open Qualifier)

Phase One Format:

— All teams will play each other in best-of-one matches for points.

— The four teams with the most points will advance to Phase 2.

Phase Two Format:

— The remaining four teams will play each other in a double-elimination-style bracket, with no grand finals. The 1st-place team from Phase 1 will play the 4th-place team, while the 2nd-place team will play the third-place team. Losers will go to the “lower brackets”

— The winners of the opening rounds will face each other in the next round of the upper bracket. The winners will qualify for The International 2018.

— The lower bracket picks up after the upper brackets. The winning team of the first lower bracket matchup will advance to face the losers of the upper bracket. The winner of the lower bracket advances to The International 2018.

Final Thoughts

With a lot on the line, all the matches will definitely be a must-watch. Unfortunately, there’s very little drama to be had at The International 2018 qualifiers. Had Natus Vincere made it out of the open qualifiers, or had North America received only one or two slots, then it would’ve been an entirely different story. But, that didn’t happen, and with three slots for North America this year, OpTic Gaming, VGJ.Storm, and Evil Geniuses, are all but guaranteed to advance to The International 2018.

But, if there’s one team to keep a close eye on, it’s the new-look OG roster, who are playing at the European regional qualifiers. Although incredibly talented, they haven’t had much time to build chemistry. Not only that, but they have a lot of competition as well. Both Team Kinguin and The Final Tribe have teased a sort-of breakthrough at various points earlier this season. Meanwhile, the other open qualifier teams aren’t half-bad themselves. In particular, BlinkPool, led by Rasmus ‘Misery‘ Filipsen, are a particularly skilled and experienced bunch that could go all the way.

In any case, we’ve got the entire week to look forward to for The International 2018 regional qualifiers. You can bet that we’ll be there to guide you through it all.

Which teams do you think we’ll see turn heads with their performance at The International 2018 regional qualifiers? Do you think we’ll see a lot of teams fail to make it to the event? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

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