Dota 2 fans rejoice, for the final dates for The International 2019 finally has finally been announced.
For the first time ever, Dota 2’s The International will be held in Asia. The International 2019, or more commonly referred to as TI9, will see Valve’s massive record-setting esports tournament take place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China from August 20-25.
The announcement comes after a lot of players within the Dota 2 community, in particular on the Dota 2 subreddit, expressed their concerns regarding the lack of clarity in Valve’s part. Many feared that they would be able to attend Dota 2’s most prestigious annual event because they wouldn’t be able to plan for it ahead of time. But, now, players who are planning on flying into China to watch The International 2019 can now finally start scheduling their trip.
Valve reportedly had to delay the selling of tickets because they no longer wanted to work with the Alibaba-owned ticketing platform, Damai. Valve had already worked with Damai earlier this year for the Chongqing Major. However, it didn’t go quite well. Apparently, bots ended up snagging majority of the tickets for the second Major of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit. Scalpers then used this opportunity to jack up the prices. Tickets reportedly sold for as much as 2,000 yuan (around $300 USD) instead of just 599 yuan (around $90 USD). Not to mention, fake tickets started flooding the market almost immediately after the tickets started being sold.
Valve will have a lot of incentive to make sure The International 2019 goes well. Among other things, Fortnite had already overtaken Dota 2 by setting the largest esports prize pool ever with $30 million up for grabs for its inaugural World Cup in July.
When Is The International 2019 Compendium Going to Release?
We don’t exactly have a definite date yet, however. But, we should expect it to come soon. Valve usually released the Compendium or Battle Pass soon after they start selling the tickets for TI. If not within the next couple of weeks, we should see the TI9 Battle Pass release in a month, tops.
The Compendium, or the Battle Pass, has been Valve’s go-to method for helping increase the prize pool for The International.
Valve initially puts up $1.6 million USD out of their own pockets as prize money for The International. Valve then allows the Dota 2 community to crowd-fund the prize pool by buying the battle pass and other accompanying items. Last year’s prize pool reached $25.5 million before crowdfunding ended. This set the record for the largest esports prize pool ever. Or, at least, until Epic Games put up $30 million for Fortnite’s inaugural World Cup.
The International 2019 will serve as the culmination of the revamped Dota Pro Circuit. Unlike in its maiden year, there are fewer tournaments this time around. The number of Minors and Majors are down to just five of each as well. Also, both tournaments now run in parallel with each other, with the Minor winners earning a slot at the Major. Also, among the many big changes is the number of direct invites to The International. Instead of just eight, twelve teams will receive a direct invite to The International 2019, based on their standings on the season leaderboards.
So far, only four Dota 2 teams have mathematically secured a spot at The International 2019. The list includes Virtus.Pro, Team Secret, Vici Gaming, and Evil Geniuses.