The 18 teams travelling to Shanghai for The International 2019 have been finalized. Direct invites went out to the top 12 teams from the DPC rankings and the remaining six were decided from regional qualifiers with one spot for each region – China, Europe, CIS, North America, South America and Southeast Asia.
The teams have been decided and looking at the distribution of players based on countries, there is a bit of a shakeup this year. China as usual, has the highest representation at The International 2019, as has been the case at all The International Championships till now. But this year, it is strikingly lower than last year with nine less Chinese players as compared to TI8!
China had six teams last year, but with this year’s DPC system in place, only three could make it through the direct invites, bringing down the total Chinese teams to four (one through the qualifiers). And what a time for this to happen – the first time TI is headed to China. The Chinese home crowd would have loved to see a couple of more teams, but four is all they get this year.
Second in line after China are the Philippines, just like last year. The Dota loving country has one more representative this year as compared to TI8. Three SEA teams will be travelling to Shanghai and all of them have Filipino representation. TNC is a team with all five members from the Philippines while the other two SEA teams have two Filipino players each.
Sweden used to be a country with a lot of players travelling to TI during the Alliance days. The team was made up of five Swedes and there were a few others to bolster the numbers. In the last couple of years, with Alliance not qualifying, the numbers went down. But they’re back up again (six players) with Alliance managing to qualify this year, albeit with a different roster. They have four Swedes in their team with Secret’s Zai and Forward Gaming’s pieliedie being the other two. Had The Final Tribe managed to qualify from Europe, that number would have been at 11! But yes, the country does harbor a lot of Dota 2 potential for sure.
A country that will be celebrating its return to TI is Peru, who had Infamous (five players) in 2017 but no players in 2018. First time entrants are Kyrgyzstan (Blizzy and Zayac from Na’Vi) and Bolivia (Wisper from Infamous).
The TI fever is growing as we inch closer to the ninth edition of the great competition. Less than a month separates us from the biggest Dota 2 competition of the year. The prize pool has hit $29 million and is well on the way to make it to $30 million! This is going to be one heck of a fight for the Aegis…