Dota 2: The International 11 in Singapore to feature 30 teams, last chance qualifiers

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·Senior Esports Producer
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The International is Dota 2's annual world championship tournament that has, over the past decade, been setting and breaking the record for the biggest-ever prize pool for a single esports event. (Photo: Valve Software)
The International is Dota 2's annual world championship tournament that has, over the past decade, been setting and breaking the record for the biggest-ever prize pool for a single esports event. (Photo: Valve Software)

Dota 2 developer Valve Software announced on Thursday (2 June) a revamped format for The International 11 (TI11), this year's iteration of the game's annual world championship tournament that will be hosted in Singapore in October.

T11's format will feature a much longer schedule, a total of 30 participating teams, and a new last chance qualifier.

Unlike past editions of TI, which lasted around 10 days, TI11 will take place across 23 days from 8 to 30 October with longer breaks in between the different stages of the tournament.

The biggest change to the TI format for TI11 will be the addition of a last chance qualifier, which will be separate from the main regional qualifiers and is similar to the Wildcard Stage last seen in TI5 and TI6.

TI11's last chance qualifier will take place from 8 to 12 October and will feature the 12 runners-up from the main regional qualifiers fighting for two spots in the Group Stage.

The Group Stage will be held from 15 to 18 October and will feature a total of 20 teams, comprised of the 12 directly-invited squads, the winners of the six regional qualifiers, as well as the two teams who survived the last chance qualifier.

Once the Group Stage has concluded, there will be a two-day break before the beginning of the Playoffs, which has also been split into two stages.

TI11's preliminary Playoff stage will take place from 20 to 23 October at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. Once the competition has been narrowed down at Suntec, there will be a five-day break before the Final Playoff stage, which will be held from 29 to 30 October in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Valve said in their announcement that the decision to change TI11's format from that of past editions was made in an effort to "make the event and its broadcast as exciting and accessible as possible."

"We’re experimenting with a slightly different schedule that includes more breaks and a greater build to Finals," the developer added.

In addition to announcing the revamped format for TI11, Valve also revealed that the 7.31d gameplay update will be released on 8 June and will be "larger than normal."

TI11 will serve as the concluding event of the 2021-2022 DPC season. Teams in the DPC can earn their place at the tournament by earning DPC points from the circuit's regional leagues and Majors.

Teams will have one more chance to earn DPC points during the circuit's Summer Tour regional leagues and the Summer Major in Arlington, Texas.

Once the Summer Major has concluded, the 12 teams at the top of the DPC leaderboard will earn direct invites to TI11. The remaining slots in the tournament will be filled through regional qualifiers.

Since its inception, TI has been setting and breaking the record for the biggest prize pool for a single esports tournament.

The tournament's first iteration in 2011 featured a US$1.6 million prize pool while last year's tournament, TI10, had a whopping US$40 million pot. TI10 champions Team Spirit claimed the grand prize of over US$18.2 million.

TI11 will be a first for Southeast Asia

TI11 will mark the first time that the tournament will be held in Southeast Asia, one of the most competitive regions in the DPC and where arguably the most passionate Dota 2 fans reside.

All but one of the 10 iterations of TI thus far have been held in the West. The first-ever TI back in 2011 was held in Germany while the next six editions from 2012 to 2017 were hosted near Valve's headquarters in Seattle, the United States.

TI8 then moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2018 before the tournament finally came to the East for the first time when TI9 was hosted in Shanghai, China.

Last year's tournament, TI10, was initially planned to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, but the event was forced to pull out of its original venue after the Swedish government refused to give it official recognition.

Valve later announced that TI10 will be held in Bucharest, Romania in front of a live audience, though the decision to host a crowd of fans was later repealed due to rising coronavirus infection rates and new restrictions in the new venue.

Singapore is no stranger to hosting international esports tournaments. In April 2021, the country hosted the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Major, which was won by Chinese team Invictus Gaming.

The republic has also hosted the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang M3 World Championship last December and will host the League of Legends: Wild Rift 2022 Icons Global Championship later this month.

For more esports news updates, visit https://yhoo.it/YahooEsportsSEA and check out Yahoo Esports Southeast Asia’s Facebook page and Twitter, as well as our Gaming channel on YouTube.

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