After a two-year lull in the sea of competitive Dota 2, the winds are picking up and the waves are crashing down on the ultimate esports championship — Dota 2’s The International. The International (TI) is the concluding tournament of the Dota Pro Circuit, with 18 teams invited based on points obtained through official regional leagues and Majors.
This year’s The International is the 10th edition of the event, initially scheduled for August 2020. That year, the crowning event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic; TI is back in 2021, and it’s bigger than ever! The best Dota 2 professional teams are headed for Arena Nationala in Bucharest, Romania, to stake their claim at the most coveted trophy in Defense of the Ancients 2 — the Aegis of Champions. The 2021 TI started on 7 October and will conclude with a Grand Final on 17 October.
THE INTERNATIONAL — WHAT’S ON THE LINE
Since 2013, the event’s prize pool has been crowdfunded through the game’s Battle Pass, with a quarter of all revenue added to the TI prize pool. With millions of active players, that means colossal winnings. Internationals have the largest single-tournament prize pools of any esports event, with each edition continually surpassing the previous year’s record-breaking sums.
➤ The current prize pool is sitting at $40,018,195 (€34.62m); the tournament’s winners will walk away with the Aegis in hand and $18,208,300 (€15.75m) in pocket.
THE INTERNATIONAL — GROUP STAGE
The groups are set, and the first stage of The International is heating up as 18 of the top Dota 2 teams are gearing up for battle. The teams are divided into two groups of nine, playing in a round-robin format through to 11 October.
GROUP A — Invictus Gaming, OG, Virtus.pro, Evil Geniuses, Team Undying, Alliance, T1, Team Aster and Thunder Predator.
GROUP B — PSG.LGD, Vici Gaming, Elephant, beastcoast, Fnatic, Team Secret, Quincy Crew, SG esports and Team Spirit.
GROUP STAGE FORMAT
- All matches are played in a round-robin, best-of-two format.
- The top four teams in each group advance to the Upper Bracket of the Main Event.
- The bottom team is eliminated, and the remaining teams advance to the Lower Bracket.
THE INTERNATIONAL DOTA 2 CHAMPIONSHIPS — 2021 SCHEDULE
Group Stage: 7 – 11 October
Main Event: 12 – 17 October
Grand Final: 17 October
WHERE TO WATCH THE INTERNATIONAL
➤ The International 10 is broadcast in five languages, featuring a new cheering system and improved Twitch integration, which means that you can support your favourites and engage with the event like never before. You can watch live Dota 2 matches or check the schedule, standings and VODs on the Dota 2 Pro Circuit hub.
DOTA 2 — THE INTERNATIONAL BETTING
To make the most of The International 10, head to our Sportsbook for the latest Dota 2 odds and The International betting markets. You can wager on Game Winner, Kills Handicap, Over/Under Total Kills and unique Dota 2 betting markets, like whether there will be a Godlike Streak in Game 1 or which team will bring down the game’s first Roshan.
The first matches are already behind us, but there’s plenty of action to be seen this coming weekend. On 8 October, the battle of the giants commences at 09:00 CEST (BST+1) when Evil Geniuses, at 7/10 (1.70) to win, go up against two-time TI champions OG, who are at 51/50 (2.02) to keep going strong towards their third consecutive title. EG don’t come empty-handed; the North American team is entering the fray with a 2015 TI victory under their belts and a fresh roster of top Dota 2 talent.
China’s PSG.LGD are at 4/9 (1.45) to extend their Group B lead in an 11:00 matchup against Vici Gaming, who are at 14/9 (2.55) to knock the top seed down a peg. Both teams had a great start this year, but PSG.LDG are known for their strong form in The International — the team has consistently placed in the top five since 2017.
Korea’s T1 (formerly SK Telecom 1) are looking to cement their legacy as one of the best esports organisations, which has already made a name for itself with multiple championship wins in StarCraft II and League of Legends. T1 are at 4/9 (1.45) to win and at 7/10 (1.70) to level the first tower to the ground in a Sunday matchup against Thunder Predator, who are at 3/2 (2.50) to hunt down the win and, hopefully, push through the ranks before it’s too late.
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.