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The International 2019

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The International 2019
Tournament information
SportDota 2
LocationShanghai, China
DatesAugust 20–25, 2019
Venue(s)Mercedes-Benz Arena
Participants18 teams
Final positions
1st runner-upTeam Liquid
2nd runner-upPSG.LGD

The International 2019 (TI9) was the ninth iteration of The International, an annual Dota 2 world championship esports tournament. Hosted by Valve, the game's developer, the tournament followed a year-long series of awarding qualifying points, known as the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), with the top 12 ranking teams being directly invited to the tournament, which took place in August 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. In addition, six more teams earned invites through regional qualifiers played in July 2019. The grand finals took place between Team Liquid and OG, who had respectively won the International's 2017 and 2018 events. There, OG defeated Team Liquid 3–1 in the best-of-five series to become the first-ever repeat champion of an International.

As with every International from 2013 onwards, the prize pool was crowdfunded by the Dota 2 community via its battle pass feature, with the total at over US$34 million. In addition, various related activities were also held during the event, such as an all-star game and cosplay and submitted short film contests. The event had over a million concurrent viewers during the grand finals on the livestreaming platform Twitch.


Dota 2 is a 2013 multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed by Valve. In it, two teams of five players compete by selecting characters known as "heroes", each team has a unique set of talents and powers, and cooperate together to be the first to destroy the base of the other team, which ends the match. The game is played from a top-down perspective, and the player sees a segment of the game's map near their character as well as mini-map that shows their allies, with any enemies revealed outside the fog of war. The game's map has three roughly symmetric "lanes" between each base, with a number of defensive towers protecting each side. Periodically, the team's base spawns a group of weak CPU-controlled creatures, called "creeps", that march down each of the three lanes towards the opponents' base, fighting any enemy hero, creep, or structure they encounter. If a hero character is killed, that character respawns back at their base after a delay period, which gets progressively longer the farther into the match.[1][2]

As with previous years of the tournament, a corresponding battle pass for Dota 2 was released in May 2019, allowing the prize pool to be crowdfunded by players of the game.[3] 25% of revenue made by it was sent directly towards the tournament's prize pool.[4] In July 2019, the prize pool had reached over US$30 million.[5] At the time of event, Dota 2 featured 117 playable characters, called "heroes". Prior to each game in the tournament, a draft is held between the opposing team captains to select which heroes their teams use, going back and forth until each side has banned six and selected five heroes. Once a hero is picked, it cannot be selected by any other player that match, so teams used the draft to strategically plan ahead and deny the opponents' heroes that may be good counters or would be able to take advantage of weaknesses to their current lineup.[1]

Format and teams[edit]

The main event was hosted at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai

The International 2019 featured a series of pre-qualifying tournaments running from October 2018 until June 2019, known as the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), with the top 12 ranking teams receiving direct invitations.[6] In addition, six single-elimination qualifying playoff brackets were held in July 2019, with the winners from the regions of China, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe, North America, South America, and Southeast Asia earning invites to the main event, bringing the total number of participating teams up to 18.[7][6]

To seed the elimination bracket for the main event, round robin group stages featuring two groups of nine teams were played from August 15–18, 2019.[6] In it, each of the teams played each other within their group in a two-game series. The top four placing teams of each group advanced to the upper bracket of the main event, while fifth through eighth advanced to the lower bracket. The lowest placed team from both groups were eliminated from the competition.[7] The main event was held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai from August 20–25, making it the first International to take place in China.[8] An all-star game, featuring the top 10 players based on their fantasy points during the group stage, was also played during the event.[9]


Inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena

Group stage[edit]

Group A
Pos Team W L
1 PSG.LGD 13 3 Advanced to the upper bracket
2 Team Secret 11 5
3 TNC Predator 9 7
4 Newbee 9 7
5 Alliance 8 8 Advanced to the lower bracket
6 Mineski 8 8
7 Team Liquid 6 10
8 Keen Gaming 5 11
9 Chaos Esports Club 3 13 Eliminated
Source: [12]
Group B
Pos Team W L
1 OG 14 2 Advanced to the upper bracket
2 Vici Gaming 11 5
3 Evil Geniuses 9 7
4 Virtus.pro 8 8
5 Infamous 7 9 Advanced to the lower bracket
6 Fnatic 7 9
7 Natus Vincere 7 9
8 Royal Never Give Up 6 10
9 Ninjas in Pyjamas 3 13 Eliminated
Source: [12]

Main event[edit]


Upper round 1Upper round 2Upper finalGrand Finals
Vici Gaming0
Vici Gaming2
TNC Predator1
Evil Geniuses1
Team Secret1
Evil Geniuses2
Team Liquid1
Lower round 1Lower round 2Lower round 3Lower round 4Lower round 5Lower final
Evil Geniuses0
Alliance0Royal Never Give Up2
Royal Never Give Up0Team Liquid2
Royal Never Give Up1
Team Liquid2PSG.LGD1
TNC Predator0
Team Liquid2Team Liquid2
Fnatic0Team Liquid2
Team Secret0
Team Liquid1
Vici Gaming0
Infamous0Team Secret2
Keen Gaming0
Team Secret2
Team Secret2
Natus Vincere0


Note: Prizes are in USD[13]

Place Team Prize money
1st $15,620,181
2nd $4,462,909
3rd $3,089,706
4th $2,059,804
5th–6th $1,201,552
7th–8th $858,252
9th–12th $686,601
TNC Predator
13th–16th $514,951
Keen Gaming
17th–18th $85,825


The International 2019 set a crowdfunded esport prize pool record by eclipsing the previous years' record, finalizing at US$34,330,068. The tournament was the most watched Dota 2 event ever on the livestreaming platform Twitch, with a peak of over 1.1 million viewers during the grand finals.[14] Other related events took place during the tournament, such as a cosplay and submitted short film contest with their own independent prize pools,[15][16] as well as two new hero announcements for the game itself.[17] An episode of True Sight, Valve's documentary film series on the professional Dota 2 scene, was filmed during the event. It followed OG and Team Liquid during the grand finals, documenting a number of behind the scenes moments for both teams before and after matches. It was released online for free on January 28, 2020, and also premiered to a live audience at the Kino Babylon in Berlin.[18]



  1. ^ Qualified as Forward Gaming, but they ceased operations due to financial reasons a month prior to the tournament.[10] The roster was then signed as free agents by the Chinese organization Newbee.[11]


  1. ^ a b Gies, Arthur (August 2, 2017). "The Normal Person's Guide to Watching Competitive Dota 2 (2017 Edition)". Polygon. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  2. ^ Kim, Ben (July 9, 2013). "A comprehensive comparison of Dota 2 and League of Legends". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  3. ^ Cox, Matt (May 9, 2019). "The Dota 2 International 2019 Battle Pass includes lizards, a new mode, and problems". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  4. ^ Dota Team. "The International 2019 Battle Pass". blog.dota2.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  5. ^ Webster, Andrew (July 22, 2019). "Dota 2 tournament The International 2019 surpasses $30 million prize pool, topping Fortnite". The Verge. Archived from the original on July 24, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Rose, Victoria (July 25, 2019). "The International 2019: Everything you need to know". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on July 27, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Sadbhav, Shruti. "TI9 dates confirmed: Complete schedule and details of Qualifiers and Main Event revealed". Fox Sports Asia. Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  8. ^ Belandrial. "Valve confirm The International 2019 dates". VP Esports. Archived from the original on June 7, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  9. ^ Michael, Cale (August 18, 2019). "Somnus and SumaiL headline The International 2019 All-Star rosters". Dot Esports. Archived from the original on August 18, 2019. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "The International qualifier Forward Gaming suspends operations". ESPN. Reuters. July 22, 2019. Archived from the original on July 31, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  11. ^ Tan Guan Hao, Dexter (July 25, 2019). "Newbee picks up ex-Forward Gaming roster for TI9". Dot Esports. Archived from the original on July 27, 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Tan Guan Hao, Dexter. "The International 9 group stage results and standings". Dot Esports. Archived from the original on August 16, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "Dota 2 - The International". dota2.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  14. ^ Boudreau, Ian (August 26, 2019). "The International 2019 was Twitch's most-watched Dota 2 event ever". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  15. ^ Michael, Cale (August 24, 2019). "The International 2019 Cosplay Contest was an insane showcase of the Dota 2 community's talent". Dot Esports. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  16. ^ Michael, Cale (August 21, 2019). "Path of Vengeance wins The International 2019 short film contest". Dot Esports. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  17. ^ Horti, Samuel (August 25, 2019). "Valve unveils new Dota 2 heroes, including a grandma with a shotgun who bakes cookies". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  18. ^ Dota Team. "True Sight — The International 2019". blog.dota2.com. Retrieved January 4, 2020.

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