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The International Approaches

With The International Group Stage just eleven days away, it’s time to unveil more information on the talent, schedule, and events surrounding of the biggest tournament of the year.

Tournament News
You can find the Casters for this year’s event—featuring long-time favorites like Kaci and a new host in Sean “Day9″ Plott—through the dashboard or in the Talent section of the Compendium. We’ve also launched the official tournament website today, and the full schedule and format are as follows:

  • Group Stage: August 2nd – August 5th, 2017 – Two best-of-two groups of nine teams. Top four teams in each group advance to Upper Bracket, four – eight advance to Lower Bracket, bottom in each group is eliminated.
  • Main Event: August 7th – August 12th, 2017 – Like last year, 16 teams battle through a best-of-three double elimination playoff. Lower bracket first round is best-of-one, Grand Finals are best-of-five.

Newcomer Stream
Once the event begins, you can help any friends interested in learning more about Dota by sending them to the Newcomer Stream, which features the main broadcast enhanced with contextual overlays that call out information helpful for understanding the intricate world of Dota during the most exciting time of the competitive season.

Pubstomps
There’s nothing better than enjoying The International with friends. But not every fan can make the journey to Seattle to witness the tournament in person. To help people around the world connect with each other for their own celebratory Dota events, we’ve once again partnered with Barcraft United to facilitate Pubstomp administration. Just visit the Barcraft landing page to find a Pubstomp in your area.

The International 2017 Opening Reel
Each year, fans celebrate Dota together at tournaments and in gatherings around the world. This year we’d like to incorporate some more aspects of the worldwide celebration into the Opening Reel video that starts the tournament broadcast each day (check out last year’s video for reference). If you’ve taken video footage at past Valve events that you’d like to see included in The International broadcast, please head over to the Opening Reel Guidelines page to submit your video for consideration. Each day of the event will feature different footage, and we’ll be accepting new submissions—including new footage from this year—until August 11.

Battle Pass Season Extension
Players may have noticed that the Battle Pass Season was recently extended from the original end date of August 20 to help accommodate the delay in releasing Act I of the Siltbreaker campaign. While our initial extension was made knowing the delay would also affect the release of Act II, today we’re extending the Battle Pass Season until Monday, September 18 to ensure players have ample time to enjoy the conclusion of the multiplayer campaign once it releases shortly after The International.


Secret Shop Update

We want to apologize for the roll out of the Secret Shop, we know fans are disappointed. It is our responsibility to make sure we offer a good experience to our players, and we did a poor job of that. The shipping costs are too expensive all around and make it hard for fans to get the merchandise they want at an affordable price.

We’ve decided to shut down the Secret Shop for now while we figure out how to better handle global distribution. Providing merchandise for Dota has never been a profit focused endeavor for us. Our goal has been to give easy access to the greatest number of Dota fans possible so they can show their affiliation with the game we all love. The way it is currently set up makes it really hard for fans to do that, and until we can fix it, we shouldn’t have such an offer on the table. Anyone who already placed an order will continue to receive it, or may ask for a refund.


The International 2017 Secret Shop

The International 2017 Secret Shop is now open for business, offering this year’s new lineup of Dota 2 merchandise to fans around the world before the tournament even begins.

Featuring a host of both original and community-created designs, the Valve Store powered by WeLoveFine is now taking orders to ship this year’s products almost anywhere in the world. Plus, to help expand the reach of the shop’s offerings, our partners at Perfect World will be accepting orders next week at ChinaJoy and the Perfect World Secret Shop.

For fans making the journey to Seattle next month, the on-site Secret Shop will offer a select range of items for attendees at KeyArena, including several gifts with purchase exclusive to fans at the event. More information for on-site purchasing will be available to ticket holders soon, so keep an eye on the inbox associated with your ticket purchase.


Immortal Treasure III

Immortal Treasure III is now available, featuring Viper’s venomous debut onto the item scene, along with all-new items for Weaver, Legion Commander, Spectre, Winter Wyvern, and Sand King. Each Immortal Treasure III you open also offers increasing odds to receive a rare drop of 50 Battle Levels, a very rare Golden version of the Weaver item, or an ultra rare sword for Sven.

All Battle Pass owners can find an Immortal Treasure III ready to unbox in the Armory, and you can earn more of these treasures by increasing your Battle Level. Head over to the Battle Pass page for a preview of the new items and custom effects contained in today’s treasure.

With The International just around the corner, we’d also like to take a moment to thank the Dota 2 community for the incredible support that has helped this year’s prize pool eclipse past records to become the largest tournament purse in esports history. We look forward to welcoming the players and fans to Seattle for the annual celebration of Dota and the community that helps it thrive.


All-Star Voting and Player Card Packs

All 18 teams are set, and The International is mere weeks away. For those that have earned a chance to compete in Seattle, all thoughts turn to the Aegis of Champions and the opponents that stand in the way of victory. And for a select few, another challenge awaits: The International 2017 All-Star Match.

This year, Battle Pass owners can choose the world’s top players to fill out two All-Star rosters that will clash in a 5v5 Captains Mode match at The International, where the winning All-Star team will walk away with $100,000 in prize money and the prestige that comes with defeating the best of the best. Head to the All-Stars section of the Battle Pass Compendium to create your two strongest All-Star teams. You can select one player per position for each lineup. With 90 players to draft from and just ten roster spots to fill, who will your dream matchups be?

Today’s update also brings Player Card Packs for this year’s Seattle-bound pros. Head to the Battle Pass Compendium to unwrap your card packs and start planning your initial Fantasy Rosters. Slot your favorite pros into Core, Offlane, or Support roles, and earn fantasy points based on their performances in the Group Stage and Main Event of The International.

Complete an entire set of Player Cards for any pro team to be able to set them as your Favorite Team, granting you special TP effects, a profile card, team emoticon, and effigy banner. Collect a full set of either Silver or Gold cards for a team to unlock upgraded versions of each reward.


The 2017 – 2018 Competitive Season

In just six weeks, a new world champion will emerge from Seattle, and for the Aegis bearers and fallen challengers alike, resurgent dreams of success in the upcoming year will already begin to take hold. But the road to The International 2018 will chart a different course through the coming competitive season.

In the past year, we’ve had two Valve Majors shape the competitive landscape leading to The International. However, for the next year we will be taking a more organic approach to growing the competitive ecosystem, working more closely with third-party tournaments. Instead of the previous Major system, we will be selecting many third-party tournaments to directly sponsor. Additionally, players competing in these tournaments will earn Qualifying Points which will be the sole factor in determining invites to The International 2018.

There will be two tiers of tournaments that we sponsor: Majors and Minors. Majors must have a minimum prize pool of $500k, and will receive an additional $500k towards the prize pool from us. Minors must have a minimum prize pool of $150k, and will receive an additional $150k towards their prize pool. In order to ensure a baseline level of competitiveness, and to support teams from different regions around the world, both Majors and Minors will be required to have at least one qualifier from each of the six primary regions (NA, SA, SEA, CN, EU, and CIS). In addition, Majors and Minors must have a LAN finals component to their tournament in order to accommodate teams from the different regions. We will directly manage the schedule of Majors and Minors to help avoid collisions during the year.

Qualifying Points will be awarded based on the total prize pool of a tournament, and whether the tournament is a Major or a Minor, with Majors giving more points per prize pool dollar. The total points per tournament will also partially scale based on the time of year, with tournaments closer to The International awarding additional points. Qualifying Points will be granted based on placing high in Majors and Minors and will accumulate on individual players. Roster lock seasons will still exist, and players switching teams during the approved periods will retain their Qualifying Points. In order to allow for teams recruiting new entrants to the competitive landscape and to facilitate sometimes necessary roster changes between lock periods, only the top 3 point earners on a team will contribute towards a team’s effective total Qualifying Points.

To help teams and fans keep track of standings throughout the year, a leaderboard of individual player Qualifying Points and team Qualifying Point Rankings will be available for everyone to follow along with as teams fight their way towards next year’s International. Best of luck to the teams competing in August, and we look forward to the upcoming season once a champion is crowned.