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A guide to each TI7 Regional Qualifier format

With more event slots come more tweaks to the system.

The season of The International is upon us, where 18 teams will compete for a prize pool of $16.5 million (and growing). So far, six teams have received direct invites to the main event in August from publisher Valve: OG, Virtus.Pro, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming, and Newbee. The remaining 12 slots will be determined through regional qualifiers, starting June 26.

The regional qualifiers are races to the top from some of the best teams in six regions: Southeast Asia, China, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States in Eastern Europe), Europe, North America, and South America. Some were invited to this qualifier, while some fought through pools of up to a thousand other teams. All have their eyes on the main event—and perhaps the top prize itself.

This year, each regional qualifier has a slightly different format. It may be a lot to take in, but we’ve got your guide to each one.

Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asia region includes competitors from Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mynamar (Burma), Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Thailand, Timor Leste, Singapore and Vietnam (via FaceIt). Three teams from the Southeast Asian qualifiers will go to The International.

Phase 1: Round Robin

All teams will play each other in best-of-one matches to accumulate points.

The team with the most points after the Round Robin qualifies for The International.

The 2nd-5th place teams go into Phase 2.

Phase 2: “GSL” bracket

A double-elimination-style bracket style, with no grand finals. The four remaining teams face off against each other in the first round. Losers to go “lower bracket.”

The winners face off each other in an “upper bracket;” the winner of this upper bracket match qualifies for The International.

The lower bracket continues with the inclusion of the upper bracket loser. The winner of the lower bracket qualifies for The International.

China

Three teams from the Chinese qualifiers will go to The International.

Phase 1: Round Robin

All teams will play each other in best-of-one matches to accumulate points.

The team with the most points after the Round Robin qualifies for The International.

The 2nd-5th place teams go into Phase 2.

Phase 2: “GSL” bracket

A double-elimination-style bracket style, all best of three, with no grand finals. The four teams face off against each other in the first round. Losers to go “lower bracket.”

The winners face off each other in an “upper bracket;” the winner of this upper bracket match qualifies for The International.

The lower bracket continues with the inclusion of the upper bracket loser. The winner of the lower bracket qualifies for The International.

CIS

The CIS region, or Commonwealth of Independent States, includes Ukraine and Russia, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the country of Georgia. One team from the CIS qualifiers will go to The International.

Phase 1: Round Robin

All teams will play against each other in best-of-one matches to accumulate points.

The top four teams proceed to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Double-Elimination Bracket

The four teams will play a full double-elimination bracket. All matches are best of three, except the Grand Finals, which will be a best of five match.

The winner of the double-elimination bracket qualifies for The International.

Europe

Two teams from the European qualifiers will go to The International.

Phase 1: Round Robin

All teams will play against each other in best-of-one matches to accumulate points.

The team with the most points after the Round Robin qualifies for The International.

The 2nd-5th place seeds proceed to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Double-Elimination Bracket

The four teams will play a full double-elimination bracket. All matches are best of three, except the Grand Finals, which will be a best of five match.

The winner of the double-elimination bracket qualifies for The International.

North America

The North American region includes teams from Mexico, the United States and Canada. Two teams from the North American qualifiers will go to The International.

Phase 1: Round Robin

All teams will play against each other in best-of-one matches to accumulate points.

The team with the most points after the Round Robin qualifies for The International.

The top 2nd-5th place seeds proceed to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Double-Elimination Bracket

The four teams will play a full double-elimination bracket. All matches are best of three, except the Grand Finals, which will be a best of five match.

The winner of the double-elimination bracket qualifies for The International.

South America

One team from the South American qualifiers will go to The International.

Phase 1: Round Robin

All teams will play against each other in best-of-one matches to accumulate points.

The top four teams proceed to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Double-Elimination Bracket

The four teams will play a full double-elimination bracket. All matches are best of three, except the Grand Finals, which will be a best of five match.

The winner of the double-elimination bracket qualifies for The International.