Valve announces the new format of The International 4

Dota 2 Andreas “drouks” St

This year's version of The International will have a slightly different format compared to the previous years. Instead of the previous two-group round-robin phase, there will be one 16-team round-robin stage followed by two days of playoffs to determine the placement in the main event.

After the changes in date, location and regional qualifiers, Valve decided to introduce a system in their annual tournament, The International. While the Main Event will still have a double-elimination format, it will feature eight teams (instead of 16) that will earn their spots through the newly introduced playoffs. 

The playoffs will have three stages (four, including the regional qualifiers that have already been played):

  • The first stage is the Play-In tournament for the regional runner-ups, with the single winner earning the ticket to the second stage. It will be played on July 8.
  • The second stage is a 16-team groupstage, with each participant playing best-of-one matches against everyone else. The top two teams will directly advance to the Upper Bracket of the Main Event, eight teams will move to the third playoff stage and six teams will be eliminated. It will take place from July 9th through July 12th, with over 120 matches being played in the span of four days.
  • The third stage is similar to the Lower Bracket of the double-elimination format. The teams with the lowest position in the groupstage will have to face each other, and as win matches, they will advance to play against the higher-ranked teams. Each day will feature three matches in total. The losers of the first match of each day will be elminated, while the losers of the second and third match will be placed in the Lower Bracket of the Main Event. The winner of the third match of each day will be seeded directly to the Upper Bracket of the Main Event. The third stage will take place from July 13 through July 14th. All the matches are best-of-three.

With the new system, the 'sense of safety' of the previous years has been lost for the teams that travel to Seattle. Bad results during the playoffs will result in elimination, and not just placement in the Lower Bracket of the Main Event. This means that the teams have to show their best performance from the moment they reach Seattle, and the competition will be even more fierce! With a prize pool that is about to reach 10 million dollars, the challengers will have to fight very hard to get their hands on the money.

For more information about the new system, check out the official Dota2 blog post here. The International 4 main event will take place Key Arena, Seattle from 18th through 21th July. It will be the most prestigious event to ever take place in eSports, so fasten your seatbelts - it will be a wild ride!


For the latest updates, team profiles and general information about the event, visit our coverage hub here.

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Andreas “drouks” St
There's really not much to say about Andreas 'drouks' Stavridakis, except that he sleeps two hours a day, plays the guitar and survives solely on Diet Coke. He also writes about DotA sometimes.