With a world record-breaking prize pool of over $23 million US Dollars, the Dota2 2017 International is by far the biggest esports event of the year. Each International event has broken records for each consecutive year, with the 2016 tournament reaching a pool of just over $20.7million. Even this is almost $15million more than the biggest League of Legends prize pool and $18.5million bigger than the largest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive prize.
This year’s Dota2 2017 International will be hosted at KeyArena in Seattle where it has been held since 2014. The KeyArena has a much larger capacity than previous venues, and it’s been much needed as interest in the event has risen alongside the prize pool.
The Group Stages will begin on August 2nd until August 5th with 18 teams from all corners of the globe playing for a spot in the Main Event. Split into two groups of 9 teams; the Group Stage will be a series of Best of 2 (Bo2) matches played in a Round Robin format.
Teams left at the bottom of each group will be eliminated from the tournament, taking home a guaranteed $58,000 share of the prize pool. The top four teams will move on to the Upper Bracket, and anyone left in the middle will move to the Lower Bracket of the Main Event.
With 16 teams remaining, the Main Event will be played from August 7th until the Grand Final on August 12th. Like years before, the Grand Final will be played out over an epic Bo5 match for over $10m to first place and $3.7m+ for the runners up.
Virtus Pro and Evil Geniuses are joint favourites to win this year’s event against a solid selection of the world’s best teams.
This year’s event has a very different feel to the last, namely as it will be the first tournament with no defending champion. 2016 saw Wings Gaming win 1st place and take home their share of $20m. This leaves the door even wider open for underdogs to make a run for the top spot.
Virtus Pro is looking incredibly strong, having not lost a series since mid-June after losing 1-2 to LGD. Interestingly, Evil Geniuses have had a tougher few weeks with a rocky set of results. They have also lost 0-1 to LGD as well as losses to teams such as OG and Newbee, who are just behind in overall rankings. Their inability to win many games against teams with similar skill and the lack of any recent winning streak has hurt their rankings and perhaps their momentum for The International.
At this year’s tournament, LGD is by no means an underdog, but they are not favourites either. In overall rankings, they are currently standing at 5th, just above OG and underneath Newbee. Late June and early July saw a long streak of wins for the Chinese team against teams such as OG, Clutch Gamers and Evil Geniuses.
With any Valve event, OG is a must-watch. Of the 5 Dota 2 Majors that have happened in the game’s history, OG has claimed 1st place in 4 of them. This achievement cements not only their stability as a team but their prowess at Valve-sponsored events. OG should never be counted out for the games on the biggest stage. Still seeking an International title, OG will look to establish themselves as legends.
Team Liquid is well worth a mention as they currently hold eight consecutive wins, although they struggled to get past Fnatic for 8th place in 2016.
The full list of contenders for the Group Stages
- Cloud9 / Fnatic / Team Liquid / Hellraisers
- Virtus Pro / Invictus Gaming / Team Secret / Evil Geniuses
- LGD Gaming / Team Empire / Newbee / OG
- Digital Chaos / TNC Esports / Execration / LGD Forever Young
- IG Vitality / InFamous