The game is Dota 2, and the match is named The Worldwide, a reputation that conveys the kind of respectability to which esports aspire. This yr will mark the eighth Worldwide. Hosted by Dota 2’s developer, Valve, The Worldwide has grown in stature at a outstanding charge since its inception. The primary Worldwide was held in a corridor at Gamescom with a grand prize of $1 million, however this yr, the eighth installment of the spectacle will fill Vancouver’s Rogers Area — as an alternative of the standard venue of KeyArena in Seattle — as groups struggle for a prize pool totaling virtually $25 million.
Wednesday, Aug. 15, by way of Saturday, Aug. 18: Group stage, begins at 9 a.m. PST
This yr’s match modified format from earlier Internationals, with groups qualifying for the principle occasion by way of the Dota Professional Circuit tournaments performed over the past yr. The highest eight groups certified robotically for the Worldwide. Ten extra groups obtained sufficient qualifying factors to make it to the match as properly.
At first of the Worldwide, all 18 groups compete in spherical robin play to determine bracket seeding. The groups are cut up into two teams, with every crew taking part in each different crew in its group twice. The highest 4 groups in every group advance to the higher bracket, whereas the fifth by way of ninth groups in every proceed to the decrease bracket. The underside crew from every group is eradicated.
Monday, Aug. 20, by way of Saturday, August 25: The primary occasion, begins 10 a.m. PST
The Worldwide correct is a double elimination match (groups that lose within the higher bracket are knocked all the way down to the decrease bracket, wherein one other loss means elimination.) Almost all sequence will probably be best-of-three, with the one exceptions being the primary decrease bracket matches (best-of-one) and the grand finals (best-of-five).
The place to observe The Worldwide eight stay
Wanting to ensnare the widest viewers attainable, Valve is offering some ways to observe the match (most of that are free!) There will probably be a lot of streams out there in completely different languages, every that includes completely different broadcasters commenting on the sport. New gamers might discover it useful to observe the “Newcomer Stream,” a stream targeted on strolling viewers by way of the fundamentals of the sport and what’s occurring throughout every match.
Dota 2 is free-to-play, and that features all of the gameplay options out there, together with the power to spectate video games and watch replays. Dota’s spectator mode can be sturdy, in all probability one of many nicest of any online game. One can watch the sport from the attitude of any broadcaster or gamers, or just management the digital camera themselves. Spectator mode additionally gives real-time graphs and stats, permitting viewers to research the sport because it progresses.
YouTube or Twitch
Perhaps you don’t need to set up the sport to observe it — maybe you merely need to watch it in your sensible TV. No matter why you could be unable or unwilling to observe in-game, Valve has you lined. All of the video games will probably be streaming at no cost on their official Youtube and Twitch channels.
In the event you miss a recreation and need to see the way it performed out, Valve will present replays each in-game and on the company’s official website. The replays additionally can help you pause and rewind.
Go to a pubstomp
Like traditional sports activities, esports are only a bit extra enjoyable to observe with a pint in hand, surrounded by cheering mates. Due to some enterprising bar homeowners, you will get that have whereas watching TI5. The International’s website has a list of pubs that will probably be exhibiting the match, making it straightforward to seek for places in your space.
A protracted-running esports group that competes in a lot of video games, Workforce Liquid managed to struggle its approach by way of 2017’s The Worldwide regardless of issues trying dire at the beginning of the match. After its first foremost stage bout, Workforce Liquid discovered itself knocked all the way down to the one elimination decrease bracket. It clawed its approach again with 5 straight wins, combating by way of the decrease bracket to emerge into the finals in opposition to a long-running rival: Chinese language crew Newbee. Regardless of a dominant run within the match, Newbee couldn’t deal with its resurgent opponents, and Workforce Liquid turned the champion of final yr’s TI7. This yr, Workforce Liquid is the defending champion, which paints an enormous goal on its again — particularly as a result of Newbee is again this yr, as properly.
Newbee took the championship spot in 2014, however struggled after some dangerous breaks and a tricky TI5. Issues had been powerful for a couple of years, till Newbee adjusted its roster and got here again with a vengeance within the 2017 match win. “Vengeance” is a defining theme for Newbee this yr, as properly. The crew was a robust pressure within the TI7 match, blasting its approach by way of the higher bracket, till it got here up in opposition to Workforce Liquid within the finals. Newbee had struggled in opposition to Workforce Liquid for some time — it hasn’t overwhelmed its rival since 2016 — and Workforce Liquid proved to be an excessive amount of in The Worldwide as properly. Newbee took second in 2017, however maintained its full crew from final yr and is out for revenge in in TI8.
Virtus.professional struggled in its early years of Dota 2 play, even dropping out of the sport on two completely different events, however shaped a brand new five-player crew in 2016 to turn out to be one thing extra. The Russian crew has been extremely dominant within the run-up to TI8, successful far more than some other crew within the Dota Professional Circuit tournaments all year long. In truth, Virtus.professional has been such a pressure within the DCP that it garnered greater than twice the qualifying factors of the subsequent greatest crew, Workforce Liquid (final yr’s winner of The Worldwide), and has taken house almost $1 million extra in winnings, as properly. The crew has been on a roll since including RodjER, who competed in TI7 for Workforce Empire, in February, successful the ESL One Kowtice in February, the Bucharest Main in March, and ESL One Birmingham in Could. Notably, they positioned second within the China Dota2 Supermajor in June — a loss to Workforce Liquid, creating an attention-grabbing dynamic for a rematch at TI8.
Dota is a posh and generally complicated recreation, significantly for brand new viewers. If you wish to familiarize your self with the sport a bit earlier than watching the match, there are a lot of assets out there.
The Dota 2 web site has a breakdown of all of the characters within the recreation, their roles, and their talents. Readers can even discover info on different facets of the sport akin to objects, updates, and prime performs.
Workforce Liquid is among the most prolific organizations in esports, and a big a part of that’s its neighborhood engagement. On the forefront of that is its Liquipedia community is a sequence of wikis masking completely different esports and their skilled scenes. LiquidDota is a superb useful resource for studying about skilled groups and gamers, in addition to the sport itself.
The Dota 2 subreddit has been one of many main neighborhood hubs for the reason that recreation was first introduced. It gives hyperlinks to quite a few guides, streams, and informative discussions. The one draw back is that you just may need to wade by way of a dank bathroom of memes.