The International 2023, also known as TI12, is the twelfth edition of the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world. This year, the battle for the Aegis of Champions will be held in Seattle, close to Valve's headquarters. This marks a significant return, as it will be the first time the tournament will be held in North America since 2018 and the first in the United States since 2017.

The tournament will bring together 18 of the world's best Dota 2 teams for a showdown after a long Dota Pro Circuit season with three tours, each leading to a Major event. The anticipation for this event is high, as it promises to be a thrilling showdown of skill, strategy, and teamwork. The International has always been a platform for the best teams to showcase their prowess and for emerging groups to make their mark.

The Game: Dota 2

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The game is a sequel to Defense of the Ancients (DotA), a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Dota 2 is played in matches between two teams of five players, with each group occupying and defending its respective base on the map. Each ten-player independently controls a powerful "hero" character with unique abilities and differing play styles.

The Venue and Schedule

The International 2023 will occur at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. This multi-purpose indoor arena opened in 1962 for that year's World Fair and has a capacity of 18,300 for basketball games and 17,151 for hockey matches. This year, the tournament will welcome the largest audience in the event's history, promising an electrifying atmosphere for players and fans. The choice of venue is significant, as it provides a large capacity for spectators and a historical context, adding to the event's grandeur.

Dota 2 International 2023

The twelfth iteration of The International will kick off on October 10 with the group stage. The exact format has yet to be revealed, but based on last year's event, the 18 participating teams should be split into two round-robin groups. The group stage and the playoffs are part of what Valve described as the Road to the International and will lead to the Finals Weekend, scheduled for October 27-29.

More details about the event will be announced in the coming weeks and months. With the date approaching, the excitement and anticipation among the fans and players are expected to reach a fever pitch. The schedule provides ample time for the teams to strategize and for the fans to engage with the event.

The Teams and Competition

A total of 12 teams will receive a direct invitation to TI12 based on their Dota Pro Circuit rankings. The remaining six teams will come through the regional qualifiers that will be held across the globe. So far, only Team Liquid has been confirmed to compete at TI12, and the other teams that will ensure a slot at the tournament will be selected gradually as the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2023 progresses.

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The competition is expected to be fierce, with each team bringing their A-game to the tournament. Last year's event in Singapore saw Tundra Esports crowned the world champion after beating Team Secret in the grand final. Tundra took home over $8.5 million, almost half of the event’s $18,930,775 prize pool.

The International has always been known for its intense competition. With the best teams worldwide competing, the tournament showcases the highest level of Dota 2 gameplay. Each match is a battle of wits and skills, with teams employing complex strategies and innovative tactics to gain the upper hand. The stakes are high, and the pressure is immense, but the glory of winning The International is a prize worth fighting for.

The Dota Pro Circuit

The Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) is the official ranking system of professional Dota 2. It was introduced in 2017 by Valve Corporation to determine which teams are the best in the world and thus deserve direct invitations to The International, the biggest annual tournament and the final goal of every team. 

The DPC has undergone several iterations, with the current format featuring a series of regional leagues leading up to three Major tournaments, culminating in The International.

The International: A History

The International was first held in 2011, coinciding with the release of Dota 2. The inaugural tournament was held at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, and featured a prize pool of $1.6 million, the largest in esports history. Since then, The International has grown exponentially in prize pool and global attention. 

The prize pool for The International is crowdfunded by Dota 2 fans through the purchase of the Battle Pass, a digital tournament pass, and a features bundle tied to the event that offers numerous rewards, including cosmetic item sets, new game modes, and many other features.

Final Thoughts

The International 2023 promises to be thrilling, with the world's best Dota 2 teams battling for the coveted Aegis of Champions. The tournament returns to Seattle after a six-year gap, so American fans are in for a treat. With the Dota Pro Circuit 2023 progressing, more teams will secure their spots at the tournament, adding to the anticipation.

The International 2023 is an event one will want to attend. The prize pool for The International 2023 has yet to be announced, but it is expected to be a staggering amount, given the tournament's history. Looking forward to this grand event, the world of Dota 2 is buzzing with excitement and anticipation.

The International is more than just a tournament. It is a celebration of the game of Dota 2, bringing together players, fans, and enthusiasts worldwide. It is a testament to the growth and popularity of esports, showcasing the players' talent and skill and the fans' passion and dedication. With many awaiting the start of The International 2023, we can only imagine the thrilling matches, the epic plays, and the unforgettable moments that are sure to come.