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The International 7 invites announced

Dota 2’s biggest tournament of the year will be revamping one of its featured invite systems.

Invites for The International 7, consistently the biggest Dota 2 tournament with the largest prize pool in esports, have been announced by Valve.

The developers gave Dota 2 fans no rest before dropping its invites for The International 7. They were announced mere minutes after the conclusion of Dota Summit 7, which took place over the last several days. It was speculated that the results of this tournament, plus Galaxy Battles that also wrapped up Sunday, would affect the TI7 invites.

Direct Invites

The full list of direct invites to the event is as follows, in order of listing on Valve’s site:

  • OG (Europe)
  • Virtus.Pro (CIS)
  • Evil Geniuses (North America)
  • Team Liquid (Europe)
  • Invictus Gaming (China)
  • Newbee (China)

This means that every team listed above will be guaranteed a place at the main event in Seattle and will not need to play into the tournament.

At the top of the list is four-time Valve event winner OG, looking to grab their first win at the annual Seattle event. The team has remained consistently strong over the last two years, but they weren’t able to climb out of the lower bracket last year.

Virtus.Pro nearly took first in Kiev, but fell to OG. Still, they’ve had an impressive performance over the last few months, and they wrapped up the circuit by winning Dota Summit 7 minutes before the invite announce.

Newbee has also been at the forefront of the international scene, taking the last two LAN events over the past two weekends and placing high in others.

Regional Qualifier Slots

The tournament portion of the International will consist of 18 teams, up two from previous years, meaning that 12 will need to play their way in. Regions have been given an assortment of slots, including the well-received sub-regional play-ins. Here are the number of regional qualifier spots available for each region:

  • Europe: 2
  • CIS: 1
  • China: 3
  • Southeast Asia: 3
  • North America: 2
  • South America: 1

Teams wishing to secure these slots will need to play through the Regional Qualifiers, which were announced alongside the main invites.

There are also the Open Qualifiers, where any team can fight through a massive bracket, and the return of the Champions Cup slots (Europe, North America, China) for the in-game Battle Cup’s highest scorers. These two feed directly into the Regional Qualifiers.

The full lists of invites and other slots for each region are available on the site.

18 Teams, Two Group Stage Losers

Most notably, though, long-time fans may notice that there are 18 teams instead of 16, but there’s the absence of a “Wildcard” slot. This meant that runner-ups of each major region were able to attend TI, though they had to play against other teams to round out the Group Stage of the main event. Now, runner-ups will attend anyway and go directly to the group stage.

However, now the bottom seed of each group in the group stage will be eliminated before the main event.

The Champions Cup Qualifiers begins on the 21st, the Open Qualifiers begin June 22, and the Regional Qualifiers begin June 26th.

The main event takes place in Seattle, Washington’s Key Arena from August 7th through the 12th.