Dota 2 The International Tournaments | Where to Place Bets

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The International Dota 2 tournaments, often referred to as TI, are the biggest events in every Dota 2 competitive season. It all started back in 2011 when Valve decided to unveil Dota 2 to international audiences with a $1,600,000 tournament. More on this down below, as we don't want to spoil all the fun right away.

Right now, what we'd like to do is take you through our comprehensive article in which we discuss everything related to these marvelous tournaments. However, since we are a gambling site, after all, the first thing we'll talk about is where to bet on The International Dota 2 tournaments! That's obvious logic, isn't it?

Where to Bet on The International Dota 2 Tournaments

For those of you who came here just for the betting info, here are the best bookies for betting on The International Dota 2 matches.

RankUS Betting SiteSign Up BonusGet Started
#1BovadaBovada50% up to $500Visit Site
#2BetOnlineBetOnline50% up to $2,500Visit Site
#3SportsBetting.agSportsBetting.ag50% up to $1,000Visit Site

Each and every single one of these bookies will make sure your stay on their website is as pleasant as it can be. Each of them offers plenty of esports markets year-round but puts in extra effort during TI tournaments. That extra effort comes in the form of more betting options, higher odds, and a greater variety of specials. So, if you're thinking of betting on some of the most anticipated Dota 2 matches out there, why not pick a bookie from the ones listed above?

Key Information

Main Organizer

  • Valve

Competing Teams

  • 18

Tournament Type

  • Offline

Duration

  • Roughly 10 Days

Most Recent Prize Pool

  • Over $25,000,000

Schedule

  • 12 open qualifiers
  • 6 regional qualifiers
  • Group Stage
  • Main Event

A Brief History of TI Tournaments

The first iteration of The International tournaments was back in 2011 when Valve tried to captivate the crowds in Cologne, Germany, during the well-known trade fair, Gamescom.

The tournament gathered massive crowds because it featured a whopping $1,600,000 in prize pool money, $1,000,000 of which went straight to the winner. Natus Vincere emerged victorious in the end, following a great match against EHOME. They amazed the crowd and went down in history books as the winners of the first-ever TI.

Dota 2 gameplay

Since then, plenty of things have changed, some of which marked this tournament as one of the biggest events for esports betting around. And that's not even an overstatement! When discussing The International events, we are talking about huge tournaments that are racking up impressive numbers with each passing year. Whether we're talking about prize pool, sponsors, teams, viewership, or attendance - The International tournaments are at the top of the food chain in most of these categories.

Like we said above, several changes turned TI into the tournament we all know and love. The most notable change dates back to 2013 when Valve introduced an interactive compendium that contributed a portion of fan revenue to the prize pool and transformed The International tournaments into the richest esports events out there. And this fact still hasn't changed up to this date. Quite frankly, we don't believe it will happen anytime soon.

A more recent change (dating back to 2017) brought significant alterations to the Dota Pro Circuit. Valve announced a livelier Dota 2 competitive season by handing all Majors and Minors to third-party organizers. Additionally, they sponsor each Major with $500,000 ($150,000 for Minors) but with several requirements for third-party organizers. First, they have to match Valve's prize pool funding. Second, they have to organize at least one qualifiers event from each of the six Dota 2 regions. The second requirement isn't necessary for the organizers of Minors.

The 2018/2019 season also brought several incremental changes. Minors and Majors are now scheduled in pairs, and the hard roster lock is not in effect anymore. Teams can now trade players even during the season with the only obstacle being a 20% penalty on earned points.

Previous Winners

Here's a quick look at all previous winners of Dota 2 International tournaments.

Dota 2 winners

Keep in mind that the last two winners (TI7 and TI8) were not representing a single country, so we couldn't include them in this chart.

Last but not least, all eight The International tournaments were won by different teams. The team closest to reaching the second win was Natus Vincere. This team had three consecutive grand finals matches (2011, 2012, and 2013) but failed to capitalize in the most crucial of matches. They won the first but lost the remaining two against Invictus Gaming and Alliance.

Tournament Format

Even though there have been some adjustments over the course of all eight The International tournaments, the basis has remained the same - the main tournament with 16 teams competing for astonishing grand prizes. However, the story of some competing teams goes all the way to the very first qualifiers stages. With that said, to better understand the glamour of TI tournaments, we must take a closer look at all events that are a part of The International journey.

Open Qualifiers

Open qualifiers stages are, as their name suggests, open (technically) to all Dota 2 teams. We said technically because the official rulebook states that the max number of competing teams is capped at 1024. Twelve regional qualifiers are held, and their purpose is to grant the winners exclusive tickets to the Main Qualifiers.

Main Qualifiers

Six Main Qualifiers are held following the end of all 12 Open Qualifiers tournaments. Once again, the winners of each Main Qualifier go through to the Group Stage of TI. Runners-up of China, North America, and Southeast Asia Main Qualifiers also advance to The International. Last but not least, the third-placed North America Main Qualifier team is qualified to TI as well.

Group Stage

The total number of participating teams at this point in the tournament is narrowed down to just 18. However, only two of them won't see the Main Event. Here's how: the TI Group Stage features two groups consisting of nine teams. The four top-placed teams in each group go straight to the upper bracket of Main Event. Teams placed 5th through 8th go through to the lower bracket of the Main Event. That leaves the two remaining teams at the bottom of the Group Stage table out of the competition.

Main Event

With just 16 teams remaining in the competition, the Main Event truly is the pinnacle of the Dota 2 competitive season. At this point in the tournament, instead of groups, we have two double-elimination brackets, each featuring eight teams. The Grand Finals match is scheduled for a best of five series, while all remaining matches will have to suffice with Bo3 series (excluding the first lower bracket round, which is Bo1).

Prize Pools

Once you see the numbers down below, you will agree with us when we state that The International Dota 2 tournaments are the world's biggest esports events as far as prize pool money is concerned. But this is not all thanks to Valve's initial funding. Nope - ever since TI3 (2013), in addition to Valve's initial prize pool funding ($1,600,000), the final prize pool number includes 25% of the total revenue generated by the interactive compendium sales. Basically, TI3 had a total of $2,874,380 in prize pool money.

While that may seem like an insanely high number for a second. Check out the total prize pool amount of the TI8 tournament (2018). It will shock you, we promise!

TI8 Prize Pool Money - $25,532,177

This year, in addition to that $1,600,000 funded directly by Valve, Battle Pass sales ended up adding an extra $23,932,177 to the final prize pool. This broke last year's record, making TI8 the most lucrative esports event thus far.

Professional Dota 2 Players | Richest of the Bunch

If you go to www.esportsearnings.com and check the players section, what you'll see there will help you understand just how huge The International prize pools really are. Well, not just TI prize pools, but general Dota 2 prize pools, too.

For those of you who don't want to check the link above, here's the deal - at the time of this writing, the 52 highest-earning esports players are earning their bread by playing Dota 2. About half of the remaining 48 spots on the list of the 100 highest-paid esports earners are also taken up by Dota 2 players.

With all that in mind, it's safe to say Dota 2 players are the richest of the bunch. It's not surprising, though, considering the sheer amount of money available from TI and Majors combined.

Dota 2 The International Tournaments | FAQ

In this section, we aim to answer the most common questions related to these tournaments. Since we already told you where to bet on The International Dota 2 tournaments, we won't be repeating the same answer here. Instead, we will use this section to focus on the most burning questions, such as the types of bets usually available and where to watch live TI action. So, without any hesitation, let's jump straight to the questions!

What Kind of Bets Can You Expect from The International Dota 2 Tournaments?

We can already conclude that TI tournaments are among the (if not the) biggest esports events. As such, esports bookies cannot afford to have poor coverage. Betting odds, options, and variety are all insanely good as far as The International matches are concerned. If you're wondering about the types of bets you'll be able to place during the next TI, here's a short list to fill you in.

A Plethora of Specials

If you consider yourself a fan of special bets, then the TI might seem like the best thing ever. You will see everything from global objective and time-based bets to the usual map over/under, kills over/under, and similar. Furthermore, there will also be player-specific bets, usually focusing on the overall tournament MVP award.

In-Play Bets

With the rapid growth of online betting, in-play bets have become a standard for the industry. The same standard found its way into the esports betting industry as well. However, not all tournaments are covered with in-play bets. The International, however, is one of the chosen few that gets special in-play treatment from most major esports bookies.

All Sorts of Outrights

Outright winners, to reach the finals, region of the winner, group winner, and many similar bets were available during the most recent TI tournament - TI8. This means that the coverage for the next TI tournament will be even bigger.

Where to Watch The International Dota 2 Matches?

Considering the fact that Dota 2 is a video game, and we're living in the 21st century, there are tons of ways you can watch the live matches of its biggest tournament - The International!

Via Twitch or YouTube Livestreams

If you'd like to watch TI matches on your smart TV or virtually any other smart device, the best options are surely Twitch and YouTube. If you're not that familiar with the game (or the current meta), we warmly recommend watching Newcomer TI livestreams that focus on explaining the basics of the game as the match unfolds.

In-Game Spectating

Considering that Dota 2 is a free-to-play game, it won't cost you a penny to download it, install it, and use the in-game Spectator feature to watch TI8 matches. You can cycle between all players to see the action from their point of view. You can spectate broadcasters, too. If you like having everything under your control, you can always take the camera and control it on your own.

How Frequent Are These Tournaments?

The International Dota 2 tournaments are held on an annual basis. Usually, they kick off in either August or July. The most recent tournament, TI8, started on the 15th of August and lasted all the way until the 25th of August. The longest-lasting TI tournament was in 2014. It lasted for two weeks. The average length of The International tournaments hovers around the 10-day mark.

What Is the Highest Prize Pool in Dota 2 History?
The highest prize pool in the history of Dota 2 was set back in 2018 during the eighth installment of the Dota 2 The International tournament. Alongside the initial $1,600,000 funded by Valve, close to $24,000,000 was added through the Battle Pass sales. This means that the highest prize pool in Dota 2 history amounts to $25,532,177. This is not only the highest prize pool in Dota 2 history but in all of esports as well.
Is It Risky to Bet on TI Matches?

Betting on The International matches is no riskier than betting on any other esport, provided you use a safe bookmaker. With that said, betting success is never guaranteed, but doing plenty of research into the different teams and players before you make your TI wagers can help you place the best bets possible.

All teams bring their A-game to The International tournaments, so the level of competitiveness is out of this world. Needless to say, this boosts the pressure, which then translates to neck-and-neck matchups across the entire tournament. Bookies are then forced to further adjust their odds, allowing people to catch high-risk/high-profit betting options for the most anticipated matches.

Where Does The International Take Place?

The location of TI tournaments has changed several times over the course of its existence. So far, TI tournaments have taken place in Cologne (first installment), Seattle (six following installments), and Vancouver (TI8).

If you plan on experiencing the next The International tournament live, make sure you plan ahead because tickets tend to sell out rather quickly - especially if you want to attend the Grand Finals. In fact, fans claim that the first batch of TI8 Grand Finals tickets was sold out in less than two minutes. If the Grand Finals match is what you're aiming for, arm yourself with several devices and hit that F5 key until it stops working!

Is Dota 2 the Biggest Esports Title?

Even though the tournament pool of Dota 2's competitive scene is not as big as that of CS:GO, the quality definitely goes in favor of Valve's most popular MOBA game. The perfect example of this is the TI tournament itself.

With prize pools topping over $25 million, The International is definitely the most lucrative event on the entire esports calendar. In fact, TI tournaments alone have prize pools that are equal to all notable CS:GO tournaments in a single season.

Wrapping Things Up

There you have it, guys - the broadest array of information regarding TI Dota 2 tournaments all in one place. As you probably figured out yourselves, Dota 2 The Internationals are the world's biggest esports events, and as such, they should have a special place in the minds of all esports fans - not just Dota 2 fans, but fans of all other esports, too. With those thoughts, we would like to conclude this article. We sincerely hope you all had a great time reading this and that it helped you better understand the esports phenomenon called The International!

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