Dota 2 Tournament Schedule
|Tournament||Prize money||Teams||Players||Teams /
|11.12.2023||$ 1000000||-||-||- -|
|TI 2023||-||100||365||100 365|
Asian Games 2022
|Asian Games 2022||-||19||-||19 -|
|27.09.2023||$ 10400||6||-||6 -|
|25.09.2023||$ 50000||12||-||12 -|
|18.09.2023||$ 1000000||12||62||12 62|
|13.09.2023||$ 1000||-||8||- 8|
|12.09.2023||$ 1000||6||33||6 33|
|11.09.2023||$ 20000||11||42||11 42|
|10.09.2023||$ 250000||18||86||18 86|
|08.09.2023||$ 10000||12||53||12 53|
|06.09.2023||$ 50000||20||93||20 93|
|01.09.2023||$ 10000||10||67||10 67|
|26.08.2023||$ 100000||33||142||33 142|
|25.08.2023||$ 5315||8||40||8 40|
|12.08.2023||$ 4500||8||-||8 -|
|05.08.2023||$ 20000||11||63||11 63|
|01.08.2023||$ 10000||11||67||11 67|
|31.07.2023||$ 30000||8||40||8 40|
|28.07.2023||$ 10000||11||59||11 59|
|24.07.2023||$ 44241||8||40||8 40|
|19.07.2023||$ 15000000||31||126||31 126|
|11.07.2023||$ 20000||8||48||8 48|
|10.07.2023||$ 20000||10||53||10 53|
Professional Dota 2 Tournaments: History and Popular Championships
Dota 2 has been a serious esports discipline since its beginning. This goes back to the original Dota, which, being a mod for Warcraft, had high popularity comparable to the game itself. Then a project from Valve came out, and Dota 2 tournaments began to be actively held, attracting a huge number of viewers.
Dota championships are an extremely exciting sight. Even people who don’t know the game can enjoy them. Professional matches are held with very high-quality lighting in the studio, and broadcasts of the games are comparable to television. The tournaments themselves are often held at sports stadiums and arenas, where thousands of fans gather. The atmosphere of the event can be felt even through the monitor screen.
At the same time, Dota 2 is not standing still, constantly evolving as an esports discipline. There are more and more big tournaments, the prize money grows and the number of fans also tends upwards.
First Dota 2 Championship — A History of the Beginning of Dota Esports
The story of a standalone Dota 2 game began in 2011. And immediately it burst into eSports. The first tournament was, in fact, the presentation of the game to the public. Then at the end of August 2011, The International took place as part of the GamesCom exhibition. Valve promoted the tournament in a big way, providing 1.6 million dollars in the prize pool. For the then world of eSports, and for today, this is a lot of money. Basically, the Dota 2 tournament offers esports players several hundred thousand dollars, but such events are held very often.
Teams that took part got access to the game a month before the start of the competition. At that time, Dota 2 was under development and testing, so it was a very serious step for the company. However, in the end, TI was held without any serious excesses and went down in the history of global eSports.
The Ukrainians from Natus Vincere and the Chinese team EHOME reached the final of The International 2011. The final victory with a score of 3:1 was won by Navi, earning 1 million dollars.
Later on, The International became the main tournament in the Dota 2 world. In the eSports industry, this competition is the leader in prize money — today it draws more than 40 million dollars. In addition to money, players receive a valuable trophy — Aegis.
How are Dota 2 Tournaments Going?
In general, Dota tournaments can be divided by the amount of prize money. Championships, where more than $300,000 is raffled off, are considered the highest class, or tier-1 level. Tier-2 are events with prize money of $50,000 to $300,000. Between $3,000 and $50,000 is tier-3. Anything less than that is a tier-4 class — such contests can be considered amateur.
Most tournaments follow the same principle. First, teams are invited to the championship. Some places are left for those who will participate in open and closed qualifiers. Then teams participate in the group stage. There are also Dota 2 tournaments where there may be additional stages: play-in, wild card. However, they are all in addition to the group stage. After that comes the playoff round. The most common form is a double grid. Then the winners of the bottom and top line meet in the grand final. It is usually played in a best-of-5 format, that is, it consists of 5 maps.
Dota 2 Tournament Formats
According to the format of the esports competitions can be grouped into two types:
- Offline or LAN. In this case, all teams that participate in the tournament come to a special place. It can be a hotel, an exhibition center, a game hall or a stadium. The latter is not uncommon for eSports. Very often Dota 2 major tournaments in the pre-pandemic times were held in serious arenas. Fans can’t wait for the restrictions to be lifted and to be able to watch games in stadiums again;
- Online. Dota 2 is a network game. Not only ordinary matches can be played over the Internet, but also entire tournaments can be held. This was especially convenient during the period of lockdown and restrictions on transportation between countries. Players could sit at home in peace and easily participate in the events. Before the pandemic, Dota 2 online tournaments were mostly qualifiers or not of the most prestigious level. Now, most of the competitions are held online. Not all fans like it, but there’s no way out of this situation yet.
How are Teams Selected for Esports Tournaments?
There are various ways to get into eSports tournaments in Dota 2. Top teams are usually invited directly by the organizers if such an option is provided. Also, the team can perform successfully throughout the game season, which will allow them to get slots to the most prestigious tournaments, including The International.
But don’t think that everything in the world of professional gaming is divided among the famous teams, who don’t let anyone into their club. Even amateurs can try their luck by trying to get into a tournament. Almost always before the event, there are open and then closed qualifiers. In the first can participate any team that wants to. After successfully passing this stage, the team enters the closed qualifiers, where they have to win or place high — so you can snatch the coveted ticket.
Major Tournament Qualifications
The major Dota 2 tournaments where the stakes are highest and the battles are hardest are not the kind of events you can freely participate in. It is similar to, say, a football league: you have to earn your right to be there. A serious tournament starts with open qualifiers where the registered participants battle in, usually, single/double-elimination. Then there is the turn for closed qualifiers where the winners from the previous stage get to fight again. Only after the closed qualifiers determine which teams are worthy to fight for the prize pool, the main event begins. And sometimes, due to various reasons, the teams can be invited to the event bypassing the qualifying rounds.
For example, let us look at the outline of the Dota 2 tournament schedule in the professional season of 2023. The season lasts about a year. It starts in autumn and usually ends next summer. There are three tours in the season each including a Regional League and a Major tournament. Regional League matches occur in a robin-round format with the winners moving to Majors where they play knockouts to win prizes and qualifying points to enter The International.
What Dota 2 Tournaments do We Recommend to Pay Attention to?
So, what Dota tournaments are the golden goal of every team and the best annual event for every loyal fan? The first to come to mind is, of course, Valve-sponsored competitions including DPC events with the grand finale at The International. Most money, fame, and prestige of the Dota 2 eSports world are concentrated there.
The International was established by Valve and, since its foundation in 2011, was held annually with the only exception of 2020 due to Covid-19. It shook the foundations of competitive eSports, set a new standard for the prize pool size, and since then is the major event in Dota 2 tournament schedule with the non-stopping expansion in the number of participants, prize fund, media coverage and the scale of organization. For comparison, the first Dota 2 World Championship prize pool was $1,600,000 while the record set in 2021 was $40,018,195. Every player dreams of participating in this tournament, and millions of fans follow the grand battles of the world’s stars.
Let’s take a look at how the prize pool has changed, the venue, and get to know all the TI winners:
- 2022: Venue – Singapore; Prize – $18,930,775; Winner – Tundra Esports.
- 2021: Venue – Bucharest; Prize – $40,018,195; Winner – TSpirit.
- 2019: Venue – Shanghai; Prize – $34,330,068; Winner – OG.
- 2018: Venue – Vancouver; Prize – $25,532,177; Winner – OG.
- 2017: Venue – Seattle; Prize – $24,787,916; Winner – Team Liquid.
- 2016: Venue – Seattle; Prize – $20,770,460; Winner – Wings.
- 2015: Venue – Seattle; Prize – $18,429,613; Winner – EG.
- 2014: Venue – Seattle; Prize – $10,923,977; Winner – Newbee.
- 2013: Venue – Seattle; Prize – $2,874,380; Winner – [A].
- 2012: Venue – Seattle; Prize – $1,600,000; Winner – iG.
- 2011: Venue – Cologne; Prize – $1,600,000; Winner – NAVI.
DPC stands for Dota Pro Circuit, the seasonal cycle of competitions that reward players with points for placement in TI. It was introduced in 2017 replacing direct invites and consisted of Majors and Minors which are now changed into Regional Leagues and tour Majors. Twelve teams that scored the most qualifying points are guaranteed a TI entry.
ESL One is a series of tournaments held by the Electronic Sports League. Besides Dota 2, it features CS: GO and Battlefield 4. The first ESL One was conducted in Frankfurt, in 2014, and ever since the events took place at the world’s biggest sports stadiums bringing together both teams and fans to celebrate their favorite gaming discipline.
Ukraine is also an e-sports country. Kyiv has traditionally been hosting computer game tournaments for over 10 years. In the field of Dota 2, the Major regularly takes place, which is organized at the highest level in the Ukrainian capital. It was even carried out in a pandemic — WePlay made a very bright and memorable anime-style event.
The Best Sponsors and Streams for Each Event
Due to the number of people interested in the course of any significant Dota 2 tournament, every one of them gets huge media coverage. The matches are broadcasted live on Twitch and YouTube, and there is a large pool of broadcast talents including observers, commentators, analysts, content creators, hosts, translators, and statistics experts who made sure that the show is accessible to every fan who wants to follow it.
The increasing popularity of eSports naturally draws sponsorships. The sponsorship of the event can increase significantly the brand’s awareness in the market, and investing in the team can get love and support from the fans projected onto the investor. For professional Dota 2 tournaments, sponsorship means a bigger prize pool which, in the end, benefits all the partners in the deal.
The list of well-known brands involved in Dota 2 sponsorship includes DHL, Intel, Monster Energy, Red Bull, Spotify, Master Card, LG, and GG.Bet.
Similar tournaments are held, but they are entertaining in nature. For example, it can be show matches as part of a major event.
The International takes place in August.
All esports streams are available on Twitch and our website.
Beginning esports players need to constantly develop, train every day, participate in amateur Dota 2 tournaments, apply for qualifications for major competitions.