Welcome to The International

It’s that time of the year again. Take a look at the seasoned history of Dota 2 and The International and what you should expect at this year’s iteration of the biggest tournament in the history of esports.

It is finally here, The International 2018, the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year. After a whole season of Major and Minor tournaments, 22 in total, it all comes down to this. The reason young gamers all over the world turn from casual players to professional competitors, the reason they give up everything else and dedicate their lives to becoming the best at the game.

A lot has gone down in the history of Dota, and a lot more is yet to come, especially this year. For those new to the world of esports or Dota 2, some things are absolutely crucial to know and understand the grandiose and awe-inspiring nature of The International that drives the ethos of the community.

The International Brief History

Dota 2 was introduced to the world through The International 2011, the first tournament of its kind in the entire esports stratosphere to award $1 million dollars as its first-place prize. Since then it has grown into more than just a game. The places it could reach and the millions of hearts it could hold its place in was perhaps not anticipated even by Valve. Through the years, it has evolved constantly, with new content constantly being added and the dynamic of each hero transforming, all while remaining Free to Play.

The documentary about the lives of some of the professional Dota 2 players and behind-the-scenes stories about their struggle in the game was almost universally well-received. It still stands strong as a great portal into the somewhat isolated world of esports and Dota 2 for the rest of the world.

The Growth

Despite its not-so-humble beginnings, The International has continued to overshadow its previous year, breaking records and monopolizing the throne of the biggest prize pool in esports year after year. After the International 2011, the subsequent events were held in Seattle in the United States of America every year, except for the International 2018. This year, it is being held in Vancouver, Canada for the first time. And although the prize pool has struggled to stay ahead of that of last year’s, it is still expected to break the record with 10 more days to go.

Exceptional Plays

There is no debate that the stage The International sets, invites the highest level of competitive Dota 2 plays ever. Through the years, we have witnessed incredible, jaw-dropping plays that have gone down in the annals of history as the best in the business.

The Million Dollar Dream Coil, The Six Million Dollar Echo Slam, The Play are just a few of the most memorable, high-skilled plays that were single-handedly responsible for teams winning the game, and even the tournament. Every single player competing at The International wants to give it their best, but only the rare few make bold moves in a high-stress situation to pull out such plays.

The International Production Value and Content

Over the years, The International has not only been known for its staggering prize pools but also its unique and top-of-the-notch production and content in terms of quality.

The DPC Rewind and International Low Down

Since The International 2015, Jake “SirActionSlacks” Kanner has created his own meme-filled, quirky and hilarious impressions of each team competing at TI called “The International Downlow”. This year, Valve officially hired him to do a series of videos on the Dota Pro Circuit and the journey of each team through this season of the DPC called “The International Lowdown”. The series is immensely helpful for players new to the game or the professional scene understand the background of each player and team and what they strive for.

Purge’s Weatherman Analysis

Starting from The International 2016, the community’s most well-known Dota 2 analyst, Kevin “Purge” Godec, gave his insight and knowledge into some of the plays that make or break a game. The response to the sometimes serious, sometimes funny segment was overwhelmingly well-received and is now expected to appear in this year’s iteration of The International for the third time in a row.

Viewing options

One of the great things about esports is the number of options you have for watching tournaments, and for an event like The International, that list is only longer. Not only has Valve introduced the Newcomer Stream to help people new to the game understand what is going on in the complex world of Dota 2, but you can also view the matches within the in-game client.

There, you can control all the different aspects of how you want to view the game, including the statistics of every player and how they are provided. You can find information for this, and much more on the official site of The International 2018.

The International 2018 Stakes

The potential for a two-time TI winning team

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