The game is Dota 2 and the tournament is known as The International, a name that conveys the kind of respectability that Esports aspires to. This year will be the eighth International. Hosted by Dota 2 developer, Valve, The International has grown at a remarkable rate of stature since its introduction. The first International was held in a hall at Gamescom with a grand prize of $ 1
Wednesday, August 15, through Saturday, August 18: Group stage, begins at 9 am PST
This year's tournament has the format of previous International Teams changed for the main event through the Dota Pro Circuit tournaments played during the last year. The top eight teams automatically qualified for the International. Ten more teams received enough qualifying points to enter the tournament.
At the beginning of the International, all 18 teams compete against each other in the round robin game to decide on bracket seeding. The teams are divided into two groups, with each team playing twice each other team in their group. The top four teams in each group climb into the top group while the fifth to ninth teams go into the bottom group. The bottom team of each group is eliminated.
Monday, August 20, through Saturday, August 25: The main event begins at 10 am. PST
The International Tournament is a double elimination tournament (teams losing in the upper bracket are knocked down to the lower bracket, which means another loss elimination.) Almost all series will be best-of-three, with the sole exception Matching the first lower bracket (Best-of-One) and the Grand Finals (Best-of-Five)
Watching International 8 live
Eager to reach the widest possible audience, Valve offers many Opportunities to watch the tournament (most of them are free!) There are a number of streams that are available in different languages and are commented on by different broadcasters who comment on the game. New players may find it helpful to watch the Newcomer Stream, a stream designed to guide viewers through the basics of the game and what happens during the game.
Dota 2 is free-to-play and includes all the available gameplay features, including the ability to watch games and watch replays. Dota's Audience mode is also robust, probably one of the nicest of all video games. You can watch the game from the perspective of a sender or a player, or simply control the camera yourself. Spectator mode also provides real-time graphics and statistics that allow viewers to analyze the game later on.
YouTube or Twitch
You may not want to install the game to watch it – maybe just want to watch it on your Smart TV. No matter why you can not be in the game or can not see, Valve has covered you. All games are streamed for free on their official Youtube and Twitch channels.
If you miss a game and want to see how it is played, Valve will deliver both the game and game replays to the official website of the company. You can also pause and rewind in the replays.
Go to a Pompomp
Like classic sport, it's a bit more fun to sit in the hand with a beer surrounded by cheering friends. Thanks to some enterprising bar owners, you can experience this while watching TI5. The International website has a list of pubs that show the tournament and help you find places in your area.
A long shot In a series of games, Team Liquid managed to make it through to 2017, despite the gloomy starting position of the tournament. After the first main fight Team Liquid came back to the lower elimination round. He fought back with five wins in a row and struggled through the bottom row to enter the final against a long-time rival: the Chinese team Newbee. Despite a dominant run in the tournament, Newbee could not keep up with his resurgent opponents, and Team Liquid became the champion of last year's TI7. This year Team Liquid is the defending champion, who is painting a massive goal on his back – especially because Newbee is back again this year.
Newbee won the 2014 championship after some bad breaks and a tough TI5. Things were tough for a few years until Newbee adjusted his roster and came back with a vengeance in the 2017 tournament win. "Vengeance" is a defining theme for Newbee again this year. The team was a strong force in the TI7 tournament and broke through the top row until it took on Team Liquid in the final. Newbee had fought Team Liquid for a while – it has not defeated its opponent since 2016 – and Team Liquid proved too much in the international arena too. Newbee finished second in 2017, but kept his full squad from last year and wants to take revenge in TI8.
Virtus .pro fought in the early years of the Dota 2 game, leaving the game on two separate occasions but formed a new five-player team in 2016 to become something more. The Russian team was incredibly dominant in the run-up to the TI8, winning more than any other team in the Dota Pro Circuit tournaments year-round. In fact, Virtus.pro was such a force in the DCP that it more than twice garnered the qualifiers of the next best team, Team Liquid (last year's winner of The International), and gained nearly $ 1 million more in winnings, too. The team has been successful since joining RodiER, who joined TI7 for Team Empire in February, and won ESL One Kowtice in February, Bucharest Major in March and ESL One Birmingham in May. Notably, they took second place in the China Dota2 Supermajor in June – a loss for the Liquid team, creating an interesting momentum for a rematch in TI8.
Dota is a complex and sometimes confusing game, especially for new viewers. If you want to familiarize yourself with the game before you look at the tournament, there are many resources available.
The Dota 2 website has a summary of all the characters in the game, their roles and abilities. Readers can also find information about other aspects of the game such as articles, updates and top games.
Team Liquid is one of the most prolific organizations in e-sports, and much of it is its commitment to the community. The Liquipedia Network is a set of wikis that cover various eSports and their professional scenes. LiquidDota is a great resource to learn about professional teams and players as well as the game itself.
The Dota 2 subreddit has since been announced for the first time. It provides links to numerous guides, streams and informative discussions. The only downside is that you may have to wade through a damp mound of peat.