One-stop guide to TI9 including newly revealed groups

Dota 2 Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani

TI9 kicks off tomorrow and GosuGamers has you covered with a comprehensive, one-stop guide to all things TI9 to keep you in the know. 

Its the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas. The International.

Photo courtesy of Kaci Aitchison
Photo courtesy of Kaci Aitchison, long time host, and TI personality

No other event rivals The International and TI9 will be no exception. Staggering prize pools, prime cut games between teams of the highest caliber, gut-wrenching action, emotional storylines, top-notch production, unique and engaging content and perhaps a surprise or two will create the landscape that fans around the world will talk about for the rest of the year and aspiring players will etch into their hearts as their goal and dream for next year. 

Ten days of glorious Dota 2 will kick off tomorrow with the Group Stage. Eighteen teams will begin, only one will seize the Aegis of Champions and the lion's share of the almost $33 MILLION prize pool. 

Fun Facts

After nine years of hosting The Internationals, there are still plenty of interesting facts and trivia that make for a unique experience. 

  • Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, China is an indoor arena located on the former grounds of Expo 2010 in Pudong, Shanghai, China, with a seating capacity for 18,000 people.
  • Mercedes Benz Arena is the site of the now-infamous Shanghai Major of 2016. Never forget
  • China will have the largest representation of players at the event. 18 of the 90 participating will be competing on their home soil. 
  • In preparation of TI9 in China, Virtus.pro set up a weibo account for fans to follow and rebranded using culturally significant red colors and swapping out their iconic polar bear for one of China's national animals, the Panda Bear. 
  • Shanghai Metro's Line 8 will feature Dota 2 themed cars to and from the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Check HERE for some stunning photos. 
  • 30 different countries will be represented at TI9. After China with 18 players, the second country sending the most players? The Philippines with 9. 
  • There are only two TI all-timers: Kuro 'Kuroky' Salehi Takhasomi and Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov. Both have claimed the Aegis of Champions once.
  • 21 players will be making their TI debut
  • Infamous is the only full TI debutant team attending. Na'Vi and Alliance are both comprised of 4/5 TI newcomers. 
  • Both TI iconic teams Alliance and Na'Vi are back to The International after missing the last two years
  • This is the first year that three organizations - RNG, Keen Gaming and NiP will have their banners hung at The International


Twelve teams Team SecretVirtus ProEvil GeniusesViCi GamingFnaticPSG.LGDTeam LiquidNiPOGKeen GamingTNC Predator and Alliance were directly invited based off of their results in the 2018-2019 DPC season. These teams were rewarded for their high points earned competing in the various ten majors/minors. The remaining teams - MineskiNa'ViInfamousRNGChaos, and Newbee had to survive the brutal qualifiers for only one spot per the designated six regions. 

Storylines worth keeping an eye on 

Nothing screams The International like the emotional storylines and journeys. For all the glitz and glamour on the stage, the real heartbeat is fueled by the players and teams themselves. Be it the team that claims it all against all odds, such as OG last year, or the dark horse such as Wings Gaming in 2016. 

Sometimes it is the stunning way in which a team performs at the event such as Team Liquid in 2017, the first time in the history of The International that a team came back from the second round of the lower bracket and won the whole thing, with a 3:0 sweep no less which is another thrilling first. 

Here's a peek at some of this year's potential storylines:

  • Xu "fy" Linsen is the only player who has competed in the Grand Finals of The International twice and has yet to claim the trophy. Third time's a charm?
  • Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen will have a chance for revenge against Team Liquid who benched him just before EPICENTER - after the team attained enough points for a direct invite to TI9. The Finnish player will now have his chance with Chaos E.C after they qualified in the European region. 
  • No team or player has ever won The International TWICE
  • Newbee is fielding their first-ever International team as they signed Forward Gaming after the team was unexpectedly dropped from their organization after qualifying in the North American region. 
  • With both Na'Vi and Alliance back to the big event, fans are crossing their fingers and praying for another thrilling TI3 rematch between these El Clasico teams. 
  • For the last few years, Virtus.pro has gone into TI as one of the top favorites and failed to deliver. CIS fans are holding their breath that this will be the year the team can follow through on their stunning DPC season performance and end with the bang they are capable of. 
  • TNC Predator picked up Lee "Heen" Seung Gon as their coach. Heen is the man behind the curtain that helped lead Team Liquid to victory in 2017 and has already brought TNC to a new level in just months together. 

Group Stage

18 teams will start the journey to the grand finals tomorrow, August 15th. Over the course of four days teams will battle it out for the main event seeding and two teams will fail to realize their TI9 dreams.

Group Stage - August 15th - August 18th, 2019

  • All eighteen teams are divided into two groups where they play in a Round Robin format.
    • All matches are played in a Bo2.
    • The top four teams in each group advance to the Upper Bracket of the Main Event.
    • The bottom team in each group is eliminated.
    • The remaining teams advance to the Lower Bracket of the Main Event.


Main Event

The main event will be held in the arena in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,000 fans. Millions more around the world will watch from the comfort of their homes or with others at local pub stomp or viewing event.  

Main Event - August 20th - August 25th, 2019

  • Sixteen 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 round is Bo1, Grand Finals are Bo5, all other rounds are Bo3.


Prize Pool

The current total prize pool is $32,893,268 - thats $31,293,268 added to the original base reward of $1,600,000. Only 25% of the sales contribute to the prize pool meaning that $125,173,072 has been spent in purchases by fans across the globe.

There are still 12 more days for the crowd to continue to fund the prize pool before it hits the final tally. 

Last year, The International prize pool reached $25,532,177 ($23,932,177 added).


The event will be officially streamed in three different languages with on-site talent - English, Chinese and Russian. In addition, there will be other streams with various languages available for fans across the globe. 

Last year over nearly 15 million people worldwide tuned in to watch TI8.


Twitch:  Main Channel |  Stream #2 |  Stream #3 |  Stream #4 |  Stream #5

 Newcomer Channel

MultiTwitch:  Streams 2+3+4+5


Twitch:  Main Channel |  Stream #2 |  Stream #3 |  Stream #4 |  Stream #5

MultiTwitch:  Streams 2+3+4+5


Twitch:  Main Channel |  Stream #2 |  Stream #3 |  Stream #4 |  Stream #5

MultiTwitch:  Streams 2+3+4+5

Other Streams:

Pod #1 | Pod #2 | Main Hall | Workshop

Other Languages:

 Korean |  Spanish |  Filipino |  French

The International 9

Valve will bring the biggest Dota 2 event of the year to the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.  All 18 teams are confirmed to attend - Team SecretVirtus ProEvil GeniusesViCi GamingFnaticPSG.LGDTeam LiquidNiPOGKeen GamingTNC PredatorAllianceMineskiNa'ViInfamousRNGChaos and Newbee. The prize pool has exceeded $25 million and that of TI8 (more than $23 million added by crowdfunding) and is now over $32 million. 



Are you hyped for the start of TI9?

Yes, I am quivering with anticipation
Thank you for voting!
Nah, wake me up when its over
Thank you for voting!
Cristy “Pandoradota2” Ramadani
Pandora is a behind the scenes Dota 2 professional Jack of All Trades. When not busy with Dota 2 work, she is out trying to save the world or baking cupcakes. Follow her on Twitter @pandoradota2


  • "Booncz" ,
    Hope we'll get a big final again...nothing against underdogs, but most of the time, it's the best teams failing rather than smbdy stepping up...over the yearsmany times an underdog ended up in the final OG even managed to win it...but what about epic bo5 VP vs Secret? or Liquid Secret or Liquid VP?
  • Marlena "esport" Kuzniecova ,
    mega international !
  • Marlena "esport" Kuzniecova ,
    does gosugamers/ have its own department of typers like other websites e.g. https://esporttalk.org/ , https://www.hltv.org/ ???


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