For the first time since its Gamescom origins, this summer, Dota 2 will be taking an international trip. The International 8, Valve's massive record-breaking esports tournament, will take place August 20-25 in Vancouver, Canada, at the Rogers Arena, Valve announced Thursday evening.
This follows up rumors of the event's move from previous location in Seattle, Washington, as the Key Arena, its previous venue, is scheduled to be undergoing massive renovations in the coming years.
As with the last previous years, tickets will be sold through Ticketmaster in two blocks with two types. Mid-week passes, costing $125 CAD, will grant admission from Monday the 20th through the 23rd, and finals weekend tickets for the 24th and 25th will be $250 CAD. Tickets will go on sale in two blocks, at 10:00 AM and PM PST.
While subscription service Dota Plus was announced earlier this week, there is no word on whether the annual International Compendium will be released as well. Each year, fans have purchased the Compendium and its accompanying items, with a quarter of the proceeds going towards a crowd-sourced prize pool, starting at Valve's contribution of $1.6 million USD. Last year, the price pool reached over $24 million USD, making it the largest competitive video gaming prize pool ever. It has broken this record each year since its inception in 2013. In other words, this scheme is likely to return, even if with a new face.
This this year, The International will be the conclusion of the first year of the Dota Pro Circuit, an event ecosystem designed to create transparency around the competitive scene. At Valve-sponsored events, the top four teams earn points that count towards eight direct invites for TI8. This means that the first eight teams attending the massive tournament will be known instead of being hidden behind an announcement by Valve itself, and eight more teams will battle it out in closed and open qualifiers leading up to the event. So far, the community has calculated that Virtus.Pro will be the first team to qualify for the event via the point system.