Valve Announces Format Changes For Dota 2 The International

05 Aug 2023
Tit Krajnik 05 Aug 2023
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  • Valve has announced significant format changes for The International 2023, aiming at a better viewer experience
  • The tournament has been divided into three stages, all occurring over weekends
  • The new format has been previously tested successfully at The International 11
The International Dota 2
The International Dota 2 (Getty Images)
On Friday, August 4, 2023, Valve announced major format changes for this year's Dota 2 The International. The implemented adjustment, including a slight change of format and dates, is intended to improve the viewing experience for a broader range of fans and comes as a result of successfully testing the new schedule version at TI11 last year.

On Friday, Valve announced format changes for Dota 2's season-culminating event, The International, which include breaking the tournament into three stages held over weekends. Previously, The International group stage and a portion of the playoffs happened throughout the week, leading to the big finals at the end of the second week.

The previous format introduced two weeks of non-stop action, but Valve realised that this approach isn't optimal. Instead, Valve opted to mimic the League of Legends World Championship tournament format, which has its matches occurring only over the weekend, which the organiser believes will make TI more accessible to a broader audience.

This new format was already tested at The International 11 in Singapore, where the final four games of the tournament happened on October 29-30, a week after the previous playoff fixtures.

"The International is watched by millions, from casual players to seasoned veterans and retired pros. Every year we look for new opportunities to make The International even more exciting, entertaining and accessible than ever before. This year, we've focused on improving the viewing experience for a broader range of fans. While no format can be perfect, we're always trying to strike a balance between things that have worked in the past and things that could work even better in the future."

In the blog post announcing the changes, Valve also unveiled the schedule for The International 2023, scheduling nearly every game for Friday-Sunday. The changed format also means that TI 2023 will take place over three weekends.

  • Group Stage – October 12-15
  • Playoffs – October 20-22
  • The Finals – October 27-29

Besides the new schedule, Valve renamed the first two weekends to "The Road to The International", with just eight teams advancing to the final weekend or "The International", set to take place on October 27-29.

The International 2023 will also come with a changed group stage format. Previously, the TI group stage saw 20 teams divided into two round-robin groups of 10, which led to a situation where a lot of matches on the final day of the group stage were meaningless as they didn't affect the final standings.

To improve the situation, Valve decided to restructure the group stage format to heighten the stakes of each game. To accomplish that, The International group stage will now see four groups of five teams, with just the bottom teams from each group getting eliminated from the event.

The second half of the group stage will now be composed of head-to-head matches between the 16 remaining teams (four from each group), which will decide which teams will proceed to the Playoffs as an upper-bracket seeds.

The eight teams who'll qualify through the penultimate stage of the tournament will then head to Climate Pledge Arena and battle it out for the Aegis of Champions. The final stage and the playoffs, which are set to take place at the Seattle Convention Center, will be open to the public, whereas both rounds of the group stage won't.

The International 2023 is set to kick off on October 12 and conclude with the grand finals on October 29, 2023.