posted by Vekus,
Key Arena, big stage for big battles!
The International 2014 will once again be the most prestigious event of the year with 16 teams battling it out in the KeyArena, Seattle from July 18 to July 21. The first two Internationals promised the enormous prizepool of $1,600,000 with a total of $1,000,000 for the winner. The third edition managed to even top this with a total prizepool of $2,874,380 and first place reward of $1,437,190.
Previous Winners of The International
The International 2011 - Natus Vincere
The International 2012 - invictus Gaming
The International 2013 - Alliance
This year´s International will feature 11 invited teams, 4 that fought themselves through a regional qualifier as well as one wildcard, making the total amount of teams in the main event once more 16.
The English casting will be covered via two regional hubs: one European and one American. Both of them will cover the regional qualifiers over a sixteen day period to feature their unique casting styles. While the European hub will be based out of the GD Studio´s house, the American hub will be based from the Beyond The Summit studio. Both of them will feature a wide array of casters, personalities and talents available.
Valve hasn´t announced their tournament format for the main event yet, but it is rather safe to assume that they will repeat last year´s format. The teams will be split into two groups of 8, where they will play each other twice, determing their seedings in the following double elimination playoffs. While the Top 4 of their respective groups will go to the upper bracket where they will play Bo3 matches, the Bottom 4 of each group will move straight to the lower bracket, where the matches will be played out in a Bo1 format with exception of the Lower Bracket Final which will be a Bo3.
If this is the case the Overall final will be played out in a Bo5 format, with no advantages for the team that came through the upper bracket but the fact that they will only have to play the Bo5 on the final day. Whereas the team that advanced from the lower bracket will have to play the Lower Bracket Final and the Overall Final on the same day, resulting in a maximum amount of 8 consecutive games.
Below you can find a list of all the eleven invited teams, as well as the particiapants of the regional qualifiers. Is your favourite team not directly invited? Don´t worry, they have two chances to qualify for the event, thanks to the wildcard!
What about the qualifiers?
This years Interantional will not feature two but four qualifiers unlike than the years before. Each qualifier holds 10 teams, that will battle each other over the course of 4 days. The first stage of the qualifiers takes place at the first 2 days, where each team will play each opponent in a Bo1 round robin format.
On day 3, the second stage of the qualifiers kicks off. The top 4 will advance into the playoffs where they will face each other in a double elimination format. The top 2 will start in the winners bracket, while the third and fourth place will start in the lower bracket.
The fourth day of the qualifiers will feature a Bo3 consolidation match as well as a Bo5 grand finals, to determine, who will join the ranks of the directly invited.
May 12 - 15th NA Qualifier
1. CNB e-Sports Club
2. No Earthspirit
3. North American Rejects
4. Osiris Gaming
5. Revenge eSports
6. Sneaky Nyx Assassins
7. Team eHug
8. Team Liquid
10. Union Gaming
May 16th - 19th SEA Qualifier
1. Arrow Gaming
3. First Departure
4. Mineski Infinity
6. MVP Phoenix
7. Orange Esports
8. Rex Regum Qeon
9. Scythe Gaming
10. Team Zephyr
May 20th - 23th Chinese Qualifier
1. CIS Game
6. LGD Gaming
7. New Element
9. Speed Gaming.cn
24th - 27th European Qualifier
1. Aware Gaming
2. hehe united
4. Meet Your Makers
6. Power Rangers
9. Team Dog
New to the professional teams or want to refresh your knowledge about the participants? Check out our quick summaries for each team! This isn´t enough for you? Don´t Worry! Before The International commences we'll release a series of articles that will cover the history of each team in depth!
Alliance is a swedish squad with a history that sounds quite miracolous: founded in the September of 2012 as No Tidehunter (which they ironically did play only one time and lost) by EternalEnvy and s4. That october held impressive results as they managed to win both The Revenge #1 and the ESWC after beating both Moscow 5 and Evil Geniuses in the semi- and grandfinals.
By the end of October, LodA and Akke were added to the team, replacing Black^and kizzles. The new year continued with stable performance and good achievements until a slump in February. As a result, EternalEnvy got kicked from the roster and replaced by EGM a few days after.
With the new lineup, they managed to win the SLTV StarSeries S5 and, as a result, got picked up by Alliance, a brand new eSports organization back then, on April 12.
After another slump early on at the RaidCallEMS One, the new squad under the flag of Alliance had warmed up and began their domination, winning 8 tournaments in a row, most notably G-1 League 2013, DH Summer 2013, SLTV StarSeries S6 and of course The International 2013, where they managed to beat Natus Vincere in a nail-biting 3-2 victory.
Alliance at The International 2013
In less than a year, the players of the Alliance made what must be the dream of every avid Dota player a reality. Especially AdmiralBulldog made a quick progression from playing high level pub games to his first competitive team NTH, which eventually bested the whole world to win the biggest prizepool in the history of Dota until now.
Generally, Alliance plays a splitpush orientated lineup with which they can quickly progress from succeddful teamfights to taking towers and snowball out of control with the given advantage. Their style also proved quite effective when playing from behind, as it forces the enemy to defend their objectives rather than use their advantages.
After TI3, Alliance continued to play top notch level of Dota and are once more top contenders for the title. However, they can´t assert their dominance like they did last year, as the scene has caught up and will put up a fight.
Roster and Roles
Jonathan 'Loda' Berg - 1 - Carry (Captain)
Gustav 's4' Magnusson - 2- Midlaner
Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' - 3 - Offlaner
Jerry 'EGM' Lundkvist - 4 - Support
Joakim 'Akke' Akterhall - 5 - Hard Support
The history of Cloud9 started with a small, unsponsored team called Kaipi, that has been the stepping stone for many aspiring pro players such as Arteezy and FATA. Initially started by BABARRR, the roster went through a lot of changes until nobody from the initial squad was left.
With the addition of EternalEnvy, the team slowly but steadily produced better and better results and gaining its current shape. SingSing joined Kaipi after a rather unsuccessful experience with the QPAD Red Pandas. One after another, the team added bone7, Aui_2000 and pieliedie. The team got its first sponsorship offer on September 19, 2013 by the chinese organization Rattlesnake after steady improvements, who they played for in the name of Speed Gaming.
Cloud9 at MLG
After an upset with their manager and some dirty laundry going public, Speed Gaming seemed to lose interest in further partnerships. As soon as Rattlesnake decided to part ways with their international squad, Cloud9 stepped in as the main sponsor.
Cloud9 proved themselves worthy as they took second places in the D2CL S2, the Monster Energy Invitational and most recently, the DreamHack Bucharest Invitational.
Cloud9 has been steadily improving since its Kaipi days. While initially they were smiled at as yet another Tier 3 team, they moved up through the ranks and now rightfully take up one of the spots alongside the best the community has to offer.
The team isn´t afraid to try breaking up the metagame with their unconventional picks and strategies. Although this makes them unpredictable to draft against, it also bears the risk of a particular strategy not working as expected and losing the game. However, their style is often top notch and shines spotlight on lesser played heroes such as Drow Ranger and Shadow Demon.
Cloud9 has proved their potential on numerous occassions and have managed to gather some LAN experience in the previous months. If you want to win the International, you´ve got to beat them first.
Roster and Roles
Jacky 'EternalEnvy' Mao - 1 - Carry
WehSing 'SingSing' Yuen - 2 - Midlaner
Pittner 'bone7' Armand - 3 - Offlaner
Kurtis 'Aui_2000' Ling - 4 - Support
Johan 'pieliedie' Âström -5 - Hard Support
Team DK is one of the oldest existing Dota teams, signing their first professional team for Warcraft 3 DotA in 2010. They are considered one of the best teams from the East and were the home for many legendary chinese players at some point.
The first member of the current squad was BurNing, joining on the 16th of January back in 2011 from the legendary chinese squad EHOME. In his new team, he played alongside chinese oldschoolers Super and rOtK as well as his friend LongDD. DK switched over to playing Dota 2 in March 2012, with the prospect of getting invited to The International 2012. Their run at the event was great, as they managed to achieve fourth place, after getting knocked down to the lower bracket by Natus Vincere and finally getting eliminated by invictus Gaming.
DK lookin´ scary
DK didn´t manage to go through the post-TI shuffle untouched, as they swapped LongDD and Zippo with Dai and QQQ, once more from EHOME. In the following months, they managed to get various second places at events such as G-1 Champions League and the WCG 2012. The first half of 2013 didn´t start so well, however, DK still managed to achieve acceptable results in events such as the G-League 2013, the AlienwareCup 2013 and a second place at the D2 Super League.
Confident to once more do well in the biggest event of Dota, they started The International 2013 with a 10-4 run in the groupstages. The playoffs didn´t end so well, as they lost to both Alliance in the upper bracket and Orange in the lower bracket, finishing the tournament with a 5th to 8th place.
These results weren´t satisfying enough for the aspiring chinese squad and so they once more switched up their roster during the post TI reshuffle. Initially everybody but BurNing was removed from the team, leaving him to build up a new squad. Just a week later, DK revoked their decision about Dai, welcoming him into the team once again. Mushi and LaNm were the next to join the forces, leaving iceiceice to finalize the roster in the beginning of September.
The impact of these changes to DK´s lineup was impressive, as they managed to claim a second place at the MLG Columbus 2013 and a first place at the Fengyun Championship at the end of the year. 2014 has started off in a great fashion so far, with DK dominating all the way through SLTV StarSeries S9.
It is safe to say, that the dragons has showed his claws and teeth and now everybody knows how dangerous he can be. The biggest task for DK will be to stay ahead of the other teams, because they will work hard on catching up, however if they do so, DK is a top contender for the title of the fourth champon of the International.
Roster and Roles
Xu 'BurNIng' Zhilei - 1 - Carry(Captain)
Chai 'Mushi' Yee Fung - 2 - Midlaner
Daryl 'iceiceice' Koh - 3 - Offlaner
Zhi 'LaNm' Cheng Zhang - 4 - Support
Lei 'MMY' Zengrong - 5 - Hard Support
Team Empire is one of the oldest names in professional Dota, however their latest squad has to be considered one of their most succesful ones. Empire made their first appearance in late 2011, as they switched over their Heroes of Newearth team to prepare for the upcoming year and the next International.
However, the team was unstable at all times, leading to many roster changes as well as them missing the event. In the post-TI reshuffle the team took up CIS star players Goblak, Funn1k and Silent. THe raw potential finally kicked in, with Empire advancing to one of the best European teams. The synergy broke as Na´Vi aquired Funn1k for their parting LighTofHeaveN and Empire suffered a drop in performance.
Empire in the past days
The year 2013 was a harsh one for Empire, as they didn´t manage to reproduce their former results, missing out the third edition of the International as well, leading to yet another reshuffle. In September, Empire step for step aquired new players, taking in Silent and VANSKOR, Mag~ and ALWAYSWANNAFLY to follow. The last change was made as the team swapped Scandal for Resolut1on, an incredible young but talented ukranian player.
From the last rosterchange on, Empire gained steam, dominating the European scene in late 2013 and early 2014. Despite their streak being broken recently, there is no doubt that they will shape up once again for The International 2014 and try to bring home the title.
Roster and Roles
Airat 'Silent' Gaziev - 1 - Carry
Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok - 2 - Midlaner
Andrew 'Mag~' Chipenko - 3 - Offlaner(Captain)
Andrey 'ALWAYSWANNAFLY' Bondarenko - 4 - Support
Ivan 'VANSKOR' Shorokhod - 5 - Hard Support
While the team itself is not a recent addition to the North American scene, the S A D B O Y S are. They have quickly rose to prestige through strong performances in the jDL and MLG T.K.O and were rumored to be a test lineup for the Evil Geniuses organization very early on. With their strong veterans Fear and Universe, and the impressive youngsters ppd, Arteezy and Zai the new EG squad quickly rose in prominence within the Western scene after taking down Team Empire in the finals of the ESP Shock Therapy Cup and Cloud9 in the Monster Energy Invitational at SXSW.
Roster and Roles
Clinton 'Fear' Loomis - 1 - Carry
Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev - 2 - Midlaner
Saahil 'Universe' Arora - 3 - Offlaner
Ludwig 'Zai' Wâhlberg - 4 - Support
Peter 'ppd' Dager - 5 - Hard Support(Captain)
Fnatic’s roster is one of the most stable in the Dota 2 scene, with a group of 5 players that have been together since they dominated the competitive Heroes of Newerth scene before switching to Dota 2 in 2011. They put up a respectable 7th place finish at The International 2013, and recently won both the XMG Captain’s Draft Invitational, defeating Na’Vi, and MLG T.K.O. Europe, where they bested Empire in the finals. Fnatic has recently been playing a lot of N0tail’s signature hero, Meepo, and if that trend continues 2014 might mark the first time the hero gets picked at The International.
Roster and Roles
Arian 'Era' Kryeziu - 1 - Carry
Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbueckers - 2 - Midlaner
Kalle 'Trixi' Saarinen - 3 - Offlaner
Johan 'N0tail' Sundstein - 4 - Support
Tal 'Fly' Azik - 5 - Hard Support(Captain)
Invictus Gaming had trouble getting their footing during TI3 which lead to a disappointing 5-6th place finish for the former International champions as such were certainly not safe from the post-TI shuffle. Just a few short days later Invictus Gaming traded their captain and carry player, Zhou for former Tong-Fu player Hao. This was followed by picking up another Tong-Fu player, Banana, making it a 6-man roster. This incarnation of the team has had great success taking 2nd place in WPC ACE 2013 and G-League 2013, 1st place in Red Bull ECL 2013, and 4th place in the recent StarSeries IX Finals.
iG has been in the news lately more because of their internal difficulties but their amazing results. Especially Chuan seemed to be upset with the disagreements, as he thought about leaving the team prior to the invite. It looks however as if iG has their problems settled and are ready to rumble once again. Their potential to place once more in Top 5 or even better is there, however it will all come down to how well they will communicate. The opponents won´t forgive any mistake, even the slightest this year.
Roster and Roles
Yinqui 'Luo' Luo - 1 - Carry
Luo 'Ferrari_430' Feichi - 2 - Midlaner
Jiang 'YYF' Cen - 3 - Offlaner(Captain)
Wong Hock 'Chuan' Chuan - 4 - Support
Zeng 'Faith' Hongda - 5 - Hard Support
Natus Vincere is one of the oldest teams in the history of competitive Dota. Starting from the end of 2010 with an all-ukranian team, they switched their roster over the years, however they are one of the most consistent and successful teams in Dota. In 2011, they attended the first International in Cologne, Germany, with the squad of the following players: XBOCT, Puppey, Dendi, Artstyle and LighTofHeaveN. The squad dominated through the groupstages without even dropping a single map. Na´Vi topped the event and took home the $1,000,000 prize.
After the event, difficulties with the management arose for Artstyle, leading to him leaving the team in favour of Ars-Art. The team itself didn´t shift up any more, as they put up an amazing show throughout the second half of 2011 and the first of 2012, leading up to their second International.
The groupstages at The International 2012 went fairly bad for Na´Vi. Especially the first day left a lot of fans in tears, as it looked like Na´Vi would have to fight themselves through the lower bracket. However, they pulled themselves together on the second day, making it to the upper bracket, from where they directly marched into the grand finals once again. There they faced invictusGaming which they previously dropped to the lower bracket. The chinese giant was too much for them to handle a second time, leaving them with a second place at the worlds biggest Dota event.
Na´Vi at the International 2013
Initially, the post-TI shuffle didn´t get to Na´Vi as they stayed strong and got their fair share of winnings, however ultimately trouble started brewing with internal difficulties and a slow but steady drop in performance. This finally lead to the switch of Ars-Art and LighTofHeaveN for KuroKy and Funn1k.
Slowly but steadily they gained steam over the course of the next months, leading to increibly performances such as in the RaidCall EMS One or the AlienWareCup 2013 they attended while bootcamping in China, giving them a lot of confidence for the upcoming International 2013.
The event started out great, as they topped their group with a clean 11-3 score, advancing to the winners bracket. Once more they had a really good run, until they got dropped down by Alliance and had to face Orange in the Lower Bracket Final. Once more, Na´Vi managed to come out ahead and andvanced into the third grand final of the International. What followed was one of the most nail biting Bo5´s ever played, leaving everybody on the edge of their seat and beyond.
However, Alliance smartly outplayed them in the last game and Na´Vi had to settle with the second place.
Na´Vi´s future looked unsure after the tournament, as arguments sparked, but they were soon settled. Winning their fair share of titles over the course of the end of 2013 and the start of 2014, Na´Vi managed to stay on top of the scene and there is no question that they once more will be top contenders for the title, although their opponents are stronger than ever.
Roster and Roles
Aleksandr 'XBOCT' Dashkevych - 1 - Carry
Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin - 2 - Midlaner
Gleb 'Funn1k' Lipatnikov - 3 - Offlaner
Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov - 4 - Support(Captain)
Kuro Salehi 'KuroKy' Takhasomi - 5 - Hard Support
NewBee is one of the newest teams in the scene, founded just at the end of February around chinese star player xiao8. The team did announce itself at first in form of rumours regarding a new and coming DreamTeam. After weeklong speculations, the roster finally got revealed, featuring some of the strongest players in the chinese scene: xiao8, Hao, Mu, ZSMJ and KingJ.
Just a week later, legendary carry and Medusa player ZSMJ got replaced by banana from iG. The newest addition to the team was made just a few days ago in shape of SanSheng, who will replace KingJ, according to Valve´s list of particiapating players.
Although big results are still pending, NewBee have shown their raw potential on more than one occassion and each player is a master in hisn own discipline. The key factor for the upcoming International will be how good the team can fit together, combining their strenghts and eliminating their weaknesses.
Roster and Roles
Chen 'Hao' Zhihao - 1 - Carry
Zhang 'Mu' Pan - 2 - Midlaner
Zhang 'xiao8' Ning - 3 - Offlaner(Captain)
Jiao 'Banana' Wang - 4 - Support
Zhao Hui 'SanSheng' Wang - 5 - Hard Support
Shortly following the post-TI team shuffle, Titan Gaming announced that they had picked up former members of Orange; which had disbanded in response to their performance during the tournament. Their first taste of success as a team came from winning the Asian Cyber Games 2013 and taking home $15,000 in prize money. Following this, however; star player Meracle left to join up with his friend hyhy in the reformed Scythe team. kYxY moves to the carry role while another former Orange player, YamateH took the reigns mid. In this move YamateH rededicated himself to playing professionally full-time, as mentioned in this statement to GosuGamers:
Joining Titan marks the turning point of my career from semi-professional to a full-time professional player. I hope that I can achieve my dream with Titan, which is to stand on top of the world of the competitive gaming scene, as well as to hold up the winner's trophy. Bring it on, I am ready for any challenges that this journey will bring!
Roster and Roles
Lee Kong 'kYxY' Yang - 1 - Carry
Ng Wi 'YamateH' Poong - 2 - Midlaner
Chong Xin 'Ohaiyo' Khoo - 3 - Offlaner
Wai Pern 'Net' Lim - 4 - Support
Joel 'XtiNcT' Leong - 5 - Hard Support(Captain)
Vici Gaming; after being eliminated from the International 2013 qualifiers had to pull themselves back together. The team made several changes, including the departure of their executive PandaPanPan and manager Nada. Shortly before the GEST Challenge Season 1 Vici replace their carry player ZSMJ for Sylar who many would say has been an instrumental part of their comeback, leading all the way up to receiving this invite for The International 2014. Most recently Vici Gaming have taken 3rd place in the Dota 2 League and picked up EHOME legend QQQ as their team coach. Will he help lead Vici to victory?
Roster and Roles
Liu 'Sylar' Jiajun - 1 - Carry
Xie 'Super' Juanhao - 2 - Midlaner
Bai 'rOtK' Fan - 3 - Offlaner
Chao 'Fenrir' Lu - 4 - Support(Captain)
Linsen 'fy' Xu - 5 - Hard Support
The article is a coproduction of the following writers:
This article was written by Jessica Hunter, joinDOTA's writer.Typical hipster, coffee fiend, English major. She has been playing Dota since the early Guinsoo days. Huge proponent of North American Dota and growing the eSports at the community level.Location: BC, CanadaFollow her on @jD_Emeldavi.
This article was written by Markus Fischer, joinDOTA's Senior Writer. Vekus started to follow Dota rather late, as he joined the community in 2012. From then on he tried to get a job in Esports and found it later at joinDOTA. Reallife is mostly spend at university trying to understand physics and running. Avid wearer of Bandanas. Chemnitz, GermanyFollow him on @VekusDota.