The International Tournament – The very best Dota 2 tournaments

Overview of Dota 2 The International 2021

After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most prestigious Dota 2 tournament in the world returns for its 10th iteration this October. In less than a decade, The International has become one of the most popular esports tournaments in the world, with the richest prize pool in all of esports.

The last two times the tournament was held, OG took home the title with thrilling wins in Vancouver, Canada, in 2018 and Shanghai, China, in 2019. In 2019, the prize pool was more than $34 million,which has grown to more than $40 million in 2021. The 2021 tournament will take place in Romania this year, the first time the tournament has been played in Europe since the original event in 2011.


The International is the pinnacle of the Dota Pro Circuit with the top-12 teams in the yearlong season automatically qualifying for Dota 2 Tl 10. The final six teams had to advance through regional qualifiers to earn their spots in the event, which is how OG was forced to qualify for a third straight title. The group stage event for TI 10 2021 will take place from Oct. 7-10, with the grand final scheduled for Oct. 17 in Bucharest.

Our guide to The International tournaments will hopefully give you a good idea of what to expect if you decided to watch one of these competitions for Dota 2. The International always includes the very best Dota 2 teams so we will give you a quick overview from some of the highlights from this esports tournament. As The International hasn’t come to Britain yet, we’ll also showcase some of the best Dota 2 tournaments so that you can get up close with some top-class action for this iconic battle arena game.

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For the best in Dota 2, The International is the tournament to beat

In less than a decade, The International has managed to become one of the most popular esports tournaments in the world. In 2018 The International was won by OG despite tough competition from the likes of PSG.LGD, Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid. The final was held in Vancouver, Canada, and it was seen by over 15 million people online, as well as 20,000 attendees packed into the Rogers Arena.

What makes The International tournaments all the more impressive is the fact that teams compete for perhaps the biggest prize pool in all esports competitions. In 2018 this meant that esports organisations were in with a chance to get a slice of £25 million in prize winnings.

But ultimately, it’s all about the gaming, and The International is the pinnacle of the Dota Pro Circuit. This is a year-long series of matches where teams pick up qualifying points in a bid to try and make it through the group stages to play at the main event. So if you’re a fan of Dota 2, The International gives you the perfect place to see the best gamers in action.

A quick history of The International tournaments

The International has been going strong ever since the first event kicked off in Cologne, Germany in 2011. All of the competitions are hosted by Valve Corporation who are the developers of Dota 2. Between 2012 and 2017, the International contests were held in Seattle. But 2018 saw the event move to Vancouver, whilst in 2019 The International made its first appearance in Asia by taking place in Shanghai, China.

Much of the attention of The International is focused on its formidable prize pool winnings. Since 2013, the prize pool winnings have been boosted thanks to the crowd-funded nature of the project where Dota 2 fans add the prize pool by purchasing an exclusive digital compendium that allowed them to follow the action.

Over the years we have seen teams like Natus Vincere, Invictus Gaming, Alliance, Newbee, Evil Geniuses, Wings Gaming, Team Liquid and OG reigning supreme at The International. And with ESPN jumping onboard to cover the tournament, we can expect to see its influence grow across the world.

Betting on The International

The International is arguably the most important esports tournament for betting operators because of its large prize pool and prestige in the Dota 2 community. Not only will every esports betting operator have Dota 2 TI 10 betting odds, they will also have ways to live stream the event so you can watch all the action yourself. This should provide bettors with extensive opportunities to bet whether it’s before, during or after the match.

Every wager imaginable is open for betting from these operators, whether you want to bet on individual match winners, individual match prop bets or on the futures market with the winner of the entire tournament. It won’t be hard to find the best odds for your bet, and with the correct betting guide, you might even win yourself some money on the matches.

Betting Tips for The International 2021

When it comes to betting on The International this year, recent history — both in The International and the Dota Pro Circuit — might need to be thrown out the window. Some of the stronger teams this season haven’t had the best results in previous appearances at The International, but that doesn’t mean they should be discounted. Also, many of these teams were impacted by COVID-19, so the results from the leagues this year might not show the true potential of each of the typical powerhouses of Dota 2.

Another consideration when betting on this tournament is the long layoff time between the end of the season and the start of this event. Typically, The International is held in August, a few weeks after the second major of the season. However, travel restrictions to Sweden forced a relocation and date change, giving teams more time to practice before The International.

The longer layoff will help a team like OG, which struggled during the season and had to squeak out a win in the Western European qualifier. Some practice time with a new roster will give it a much better chance of competing with the elite teams this season and a better shot at capturing a third straight TI title.

It might also help a team like Invictus Gaming or, both of whom had strong performances in the first major of the season but didn’t earn any points in the second. They will have plenty of time to refine tactics and skills for this event, and the larger prize pool available to the successful teams.

Top Teams for The International 10

There are two teams that standout as favorites at The International this year. Evil Geniuses was the top team in the entire circuit after finishing second in both majors this year and winning the first half of the North American league. The 2015 champions of The International finished third in 2018, but struggled to a fifth-place finish in 2019.

However, PSG.LGD is also a strong contender as the champions of the WePlay AniMajor and a third-place finish in One Esports Singapore Major. Although the franchise has never won this event, it did push the 2018 grand finals to five matches and finished third in 2019. In fact, since French soccer club PSG started the partnership with LGD in China, the team has never finished worse than fourth in The International.

Of course, it is hard to count out the two-time defending champions, OG, despite its poor performances in the Dota Pro Circuit. The team looked strong in winning a difficult Western European qualifier that included 2019 runner-up Team Liquid, especially with a bounceback win over Tundra in the Grand Finals to secure their spot. It’s a very different roster than what won OG the titles in 2018 and 2019, but you can’t ignore the confidence of a defending champion.

The dark horse of the field might be Invictus Gaming, which won the Singapore major as the Chinese title for the first half of the season. Invictus won this tournament in 2012, but hasn’t finished above fifth since, including failing to qualify for the 2017 and 2019 events. However, it finished fifth in the Dota Pro Circuit this year and has the talent to make a deep run in this tournament.

Will The International tournaments ever come to the UK?

There’s plenty of hunger for Dota 2 in the UK, and it’s clear that there will be lots of gamers who would love to see The International come to this country. Sadly, it looks like The International currently has no plans to come to the UK. But as some of the other large esports events like ESL One tournaments have found great success by coming to the UK, it’s hoped that our nation could give The International a suitable home.

So if The International tournaments in the UK aren’t happening anytime soon, what other Dota 2 tournaments should you be betting on? In 2018, ESL gave us Britain’s first-ever Dota 2 major tournament that proved to be a massive success thanks to a $1 million prize pool and some awesome battle arena action in Birmingham.

Apart from big-hitters like ESL, there are plenty more top Dota 2 events in the UK. From the likes of the National Student Esports Dota 2 championships to the Red Bull Guardians contest, it seems like the UK is taking this legendary battle arena game to its heart. And with the likes of the UK Dota 2 Challenge going strong, you should never be too far from some top-class battle arena action.