History of the International (Dota 2) Tournament

by GemBet
dota 2 tournament

Valve’s Dota 2 is one of the gaming industry’s most popular multiplayer video games. It comes as no surprise that prestigious esports tournaments have emerged for this game. The International has been part of the esports calendar for over a decade. The first tournament was held back in 2011, yet this initial tournament wasn’t organized to turn it into an annual blockbuster.

As it happens, the initial event was held to raise awareness about the release of Dota 2. And for this initial edition, Valve funded the $1 million prize purse. Essentially, this was part of their marketing budget to host the event and stimulate user interest. 

But as history shows us, this was the spark that lit the match for what would turn into year after year of phenomenal video gaming. Below, we have shared some interesting facts about the history of this event to give you a more rounded understanding. Read on and enjoy.


Previous Winners of This Event

Since the first tournament in 2011, some teams have managed to carve out a formidable reputation for Dota 2 gaming. This first event was held in Cologne, Germany. The final saw a team from Ukraine (Natus Vincere) taking on a team from China (EHOME). The Ukraine-based team won the first edition of The International, cashing in $1,000,000 in the process.

A few months after this event, Valve confirmed that The International would become an annual tournament. Thanks to crowdfunding, the tournament has gone from strength to strength. However, we haven’t seen another Ukrainian winner since Natus Vincere more than ten years ago. Since then, teams from China and the rest of Europe have dominated. Chinese-based teams captured the title in 2012, 2014, and 2016. The winning teams were Invictus Gaming, Newbee, and Wings Gaming, respectively.

As mentioned, Europe has also been formidable in the Dota 2 event. Team Liquid won the event for Europe’s first victory in 2017, followed by a double from team ‘OG’ in 2018 and 2019. Other winners have involved the European team from Sweden called Alliance in 2013, Evil Geniuses (USA) in 2015, and Team Spirit (Russia) in 2021.


Host Locations With Key Statistics

Over the years, The International has chopped and changed locations. What started as a mere promotional event in Cologne back in 2011 has now become a global sensation. Seattle took the reins to host the tournament in 2012 and 2013, hosting the event at Benaroya Hall. The total price purse increased by almost $1 million between 2012 and 2013, reaching $2.87 million in 2013. 

The International then switched venues for the 2014 event, moving to another one in Seattle. The KeyArena hosted the tournament for the next four years from 2014-2017, with the prize money pushing $25 million for the 2017 event. However, the six-year streak of Seattle hosting the event ended that year, and The International would start its next phase.

Since then, the tournament bounced between Vancouver, Shanghai, Stockholm, Bucharest, and Singapore from 2018-2022. Prize money surged to more than $40 million in 2021 – around 25x higher than in 2011.

With this said, The International wasn’t held in 2020 due to the global pandemic. Unfortunately, Stockholm never got to show the tournament, but this might change in the years that follow.



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