Valve, the developer of the hugely popular videogame Dota 2, has finally announced the direct invites for The International 2017.
Held for the seventh year running, this year's tournament will see eight top international teams — OG, Virtus.Pro, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming and Newbee bypass the qualifiers with the direct tickets to the biggest event in the Dota 2 calendar year.
The International (TI) direct invite list shows an interesting mix of proven winners with OG having won four Valve Major tournaments (Frankfurt, Manila, Boston and Kiev) and TI5 champion Evil Geniuses. Newbee and Invictus Gaming, both from China were the TI4 and TI2 champions respectively.
A total of 18 teams will be taking part in the tournament, which will be held at KeyArena, Seattle, United States from Aug 7 to 12.
The remaining twelve teams will battle it out in the regional qualifiers which are split into six regions namely China, Southeast Asia, North America, South America, Europe West and lastly CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), which comprises of Russia, Ukraine, and the countries under the former Soviet Union.
Local Dota 2 hero “Mushi” Chai Yee Fung will be leading team Mineski in the SEA regional qualifiers this time around, with a team comprising of a mixed lineup of various nationalities after his move from Fnatic earlier this year.
The regional qualifiers will be taking place from June 26 to 29.
In the meantime, the crowdfunding for The International 2017, which is contributed from 25% of the proceeds of in-game items and Battle Pass purchases, has hit US$15,814,123 (RM67,4mil) at the time of writing.
Last year, the tournament managed to raise a total prize pool of US$20,770,460.(RM88.6mil)
With 49 days to go before the tournament kicks off, fans can expect the crowdfunding campaign to get even more exciting as previous years’ total money raised has been surpassed with each successive tournaments since TI2 in 2012.