Update: Valve has revoked the invitation of LGD Gaming, likely due to roster changes, and has replaced their spot with TongFu. LGD will now compete in the East Qualifier in TongFu's place.
Just in the past 24 hours LGD.cn announced that Xiang 'LongDD' Huang would be leaving the team, taking a break from professional gaming while taking up livestreaming and the creation of video features. Replacing him will be Xie 'dd' Bin.
Only 10 hours later Valve's judgement was laid down, making it clear that their invitations shouldn't be taken so lightly. That said, TongFu also was the subject of a roster change as recent as April -- though they've since proven they're still among the best teams in the world.
Valve has just announced The International 3, the third annual world championship tournament for Dota 2. Last year's tournament saw the crowning of Chinese team Invictus Gaming as champions, so it's only fitting that they receive the first invitation to this year's event. Over the next weeks twelve more teams will be invited, followed by three qualifying events for the final three spots. 16 teams, one championship, August 7-11.
Each of the previous International tournaments were outstanding events, raising the bar for eSports each time. Whatever Valve has planned for The International 3, it's going to be good, it's going to be big, and it's going to be exciting to watch -- whether you're a fan of Dota 2 or not.
After the initial 13 teams have been invited based off of Valve's secret ranking system, two of the three spots remaining will be decided with West and East qualifiers (hosted by GDStudio and BeyondTheSummit respectively). The final spot will be decided in a tournament in the final days before The International 3, an event made up of the teams who almost qualified in the East and West tournaments. For that team, exhaustion may be their greatest enemy at The International 3.
While many more details are forthcoming in the next few weeks, we can probably expect a number of things: free multi-national commentary, including a spectator mode through Valve's own Dota 2 client; a prize pool of over $1,000,000; Asian supremecy, as many of the best teams in the world are from China and other parts of Asia. We'll keep everyone updated as the other invitees are announced. Stay tuned.
The International - Dota 2 Championships - Teams Invited
- Invictus Gaming - The International 2012 Champions
- LGD Gaming
- Orange E-Sports
- Team Liquid
- Natus Vincere - The International 2011 Champions
- Team Zenith
- Team Dignitas
- LGD Gaming.Int
- Invasion MUFC
- -- West Qualifier Winner --
- -- East Qualifier Winner --
- -- Wild Card Event Winner --