The International is an annual tournament organized by Valve Corporation. It\u2019s the major concluding tournament of the Dota Pro Circuit with 18 teams battling it out to emerge victors. The first International was held in Cologne, Germany, during the Gamescom trade show, in order to unveil Dota 2 to worldwide audiences. What has changed since then for us to have the Dota 2 TI9?\r\n\r\n \tTHE BEST AND WORST CHANGES IN THE DOTA 2 7.22D PATCH\r\n \tVALVE'S WAY OF DOTA CHESS: DOTA UNDERLORDS\r\n\r\nIt drew attention due to its staggering $1.6 million USD prize pool. 16 teams were invited to play for the title. As of 2018, 63 different teams have appeared in the group stages of The International. TI9, or The International 9 is the ninth annual edition of the Dota 2 tournament, and is due to happen in the mid of August 2019.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe International 9 Venue\r\n\r\n\r\nFor the first time ever, the tournament is going to be held in Shanghai, China. It\u2019s scheduled to happen in the Mercedes-Benz Arena.\r\n\r\nFormat and Schedule\r\nDota Pro Circuit was a series of the pre-qualifying tournament that ran from October 2018 up to June of this year. The top 12 teams will receive direct Invitations to The International. Furthermore, six single-elimination qualifying playoffs are scheduled to be held this month, with the winners from the regions of China, Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe, North America, South America, and Southeast Asia earning the invites to the main event, thus making the total number of participating teams 18.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThese qualifying rounds are going on presently. There are two open qualifiers for each region, leading to a closed qualifier which decides the main qualifier from each region to fight in the main event.\r\n\r\nThe format of the qualifiers is as listed below:\r\n\r\n \t\r\nGroup Stage\r\n\r\n \tRound robin\r\n \tAll matches are played in a\u00a0Bo1\r\n \tTop four teams advance to playoffs\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \t\r\nPlayoffs\r\n\r\n \tDouble-elimination bracket\r\n \tGrand final is played in a\u00a0Bo5\r\n \tAll other matches are played in a\u00a0Bo3\r\n \tWinner qualifies for the final tournament\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNow onto the main event, the Group Stage of the tournament will be played from 15-18 August. The Group Stage will be the foundation of the tournament as the elimination bracket will be based upon the overall positions of the teams after the Group Stage. The 18 teams will be divided into groups of 9 and will feature a round-robin format. Each team will face the opposing team from their group in a 2-match series, gaining points based upon the results and performances of each team collectively.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOnce the Group Stage ends, the last team in each group will be eliminated from the tournament, while the top 4 teams will move on to the upper bracket and the rest of the teams will move on to the lower bracket.\r\n\r\nFinally, the winner from the upper bracket will battle it out against the winner from the lower bracket, in a Grand Finals match on August 25th to take home the prize.\r\n\r\nPrize Pool\r\nAs with previous years of the tournament, a corresponding battle pass for Dota 2 was released in May 2019, allowing the prize pool to be crowdfunded by players of the game. The initial prize pool of the tournament was $1,600,000. 25% of revenue made by the battle pass was sent directly towards the tournament's prize pool, immensely increasing the prize pool to a breathtaking $26,596,921, hence surpassing The International 2018 for the largest crowdfunded prize pool in an esports event of all time.\r\n\r\nCheck out this cool website to show you the prize pool growth and comparison to other TI's!\r\n\r\nThe stakes for this year\u2019s TI are high, motivating teams to be more competitive, as well as play strategically.\r\n\r\nSelected Teams\r\n\r\nDirect invitation (DPC)\r\n\r\n \t\u00a0Team Secret\r\n \t\u00a0Virtus.pro\r\n \t\u00a0Vici Gaming\r\n \t\u00a0Evil Geniuses\r\n \t\u00a0Team Liquid\r\n \t\u00a0PSG.LGD\r\n \t\u00a0Fnatic\r\n \t\u00a0Ninjas in Pyjamas\r\n \t\u00a0TNC Predator\r\n \t\u00a0OG\r\n \t\u00a0Alliance\r\n \t\u00a0Keen Gaming\r\n\r\n\r\nRegional qualifier winners:\r\n\r\n \t\u00a0TBD\u00a0(China)\r\n \t\u00a0Natus Vincere\u00a0(CIS)\r\n \tTBD\u00a0(Europe)\r\n \tTBD\u00a0(North America)\r\n \t\u00a0Infamous\u00a0(South America)\r\n \t\u00a0Mineski\u00a0(Southeast Asia)\r\n\r\n\r\nCurrent Champions: \r\nThe International 2018 was held at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada from August 20\u201325, 2018.\u00a0 As another change from previous Internationals, it featured a series of tournaments, running from October 2017 until June 2018 and known as the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), awarding qualifying points, with the top eight ranking teams receiving direct invitations. The grand finals took place between OG and PSG.LGD, with OG winning the series 3\u20132.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThis win was a huge shock to the entire Dota 2 community, as the OG had come up from the open qualifiers and surprised everyone with their undeniably outstanding performances and marvelous strategies. This serves to illustrate that you never know what can happen.\r\n\ufeff\r\nTeams to look out for:\r\nAlthough all teams competing in this event have an equal shot at the trophy, some teams in recent history have really been killing the competition, and you might want to look out for them in the tournament.\r\n\r\n1. Team Secret:\r\n\r\n\r\nGlobally ranked #1. With a win percentage of over 68%, Team Secret has the best combination of players, who know their roles and can strategize even under extreme pressures.\r\n\r\n2. ViCi Gaming:\r\n\r\n\r\nSecond-ranked in the world. The best Chinese Dota 2 team, who have gotten their first opportunity to participate in a TI on their own soil. They hope to win this competition in order to establish a name for themselves and show that they are a force to be reckoned with.\r\n\r\n3. Team Liquid:\r\n\r\n\r\nWinners of The International in 2017. They have strongly established players, who have proven themselves as highly effective in the past. Having a win percentage of 61% isn\u2019t an easy task, but team Liquid has managed to hold their position high in the Global Rankings, at 3rd place.\r\n\r\nHow to Watch:\r\nThe entirety of TI9 will be available on the Dota 2 channel on Twitch, and if you are in Shanghai you might still be in luck with the tickets to experience the breath-taking battles live.\r\n\r\nTI9 is going to be a huge event and will surely go down in history as one of the largest Dota 2 events. If you don\u2019t want to miss out on any TI9 news be sure to follow Gaming4.Cash. Don\u2019t forget to comment which team you are supporting down below.