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The International 7 format and prize pool, explained

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Your cheat sheet to the road through Dota 2’s biggest event.

Dota 2 Blog/Valve

The International 7, Dota 2’s biggest event boasting the largest prize pool in competitive gaming, is starting to come together, piece-by-piece. In its seventh iteration, this hotly-anticipated event will bring together the 90 best players from the 18 best squads in the world, putting on a grueling week-and-a-half competition for massive payouts and legendary status.

In its latest announcement about The International 7, Valve re-confirmed the double-elimination format that it used in prior years, one that many feel is fitting for such an extensive and important event. They’ve also confirmed the new eighteen-team round robin group stage format.

So what’s the road to fame, wealth and glory in Dota 2? We’ve got your guide to how the event will go, plus the breakdown of the cash prizes for the taking.

Group Stages—August 3-5

  • During the Group Stages, the full roster of teams will be split into two groups of nine each.
  • The Group Stage is in a round robin format, meaning that each team will play every other team in the group.
  • The matches will be best-of-two.
  • Teams are awarded points in the round based on their performance in each match.
  • At the end of the Group Stages, the four teams in each group with the best record will go onto the Upper Bracket of the Main Event.
  • The bottom team of each group will be eliminated entirely from the event.
  • The remaining four teams will be in the Lower Bracket.
  • Held off-stage.

Main Event - August 7-13

  • The bracket of the Main Event is a double-elimination format, with initial bracketing based on Group Stage performance.
  • Upper Bracket match losers are sent to the Lower Bracket.
  • All Lower Bracket matches are elimination matches.
  • The Grand Finalists are composed of the winners of the Upper and Lower Brackets. This means that a team can be sent to the Lower Bracket, but fight through and return for the Grand Finals.
  • Most games are best-of-three.
  • The first round of Lower Bracket is single-game elimination matches; the rest of the Lower Bracket matches return to best-of-three.
  • The Grand Finals are best-of-five.
  • Held in the Key Arena in Seattle.

Prize Pool Distribution

All eighteen teams will be receiving a slice of the $22 million-and-growing prize pool that is, once again, the largest in esports. Those eliminated in the group stages will take at least $55,000 home, and the prize pool only grows from there.

For the top team, at the time of writing, there’s $9,801,830.72 for the taking. For it to peak over $10 million, the prize pool would need to be $22,727,272.72 — less than $500,000 from its current amount.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • 1st: 44%
  • 2nd: 16%
  • 3rd: 10.5%
  • 4th: 7%
  • 5th - 6th: 4.5%
  • 7th - 8th: 2.5%
  • 9th - 12th: 1.5%
  • 13th - 16th: 0.5%
  • 17th - 18th (group stage elimination): 0.25%

The amounts are kept current on The International 7’s official overview page.