Dota 2's championship event, The International 2014, is still almost three months away from its July 18 start. That means it's time for teams to begin preparing for most difficult tournament of the year, but first we must know which teams have qualified. Valve revealed today the first eleven teams of The International 2014, each invited based off recent event performances. Highlighting the list are all three previous International champions: 2011's Natus Vincere, 2012's Invictus Gaming and 2013's Alliance.
Yes, three teams that have borne the Aegis of Champions and eight challengers to the throne. Eleven teams that have proven their worth and still five remaining slots in the tournament left to be earned through grueling regional qualifiers. Here are the best Dota 2 teams in the world:
- Alliance (2013 Champions)
- Titan eSports
- Evil Geniuses
- Vici Gaming
- Natus Vincere (2011 Champions)
- Team DK
- Invictus Gaming (2012 Champions)
- Cloud 9
- Team Empire
Those in the Dota 2 community may already know about which teams were invited, due to their banners perhaps being leaked in the game's databases. Still, now that these teams' invitations are written in stone the true speculation can begin. Keep in mind, however, that the line-up could certainly change. Teams have been removed due to last-minute roster changes in the past and there's always the possibility that visas are not approved and teams are stuck at home. International tournaments are complicated.
Five slots remain for The International 2014, four of which will be chosen by the victors of four regional tournaments.The runners up in each of those four regionals will be flown to Seattle the week prior to The International to have a playoff for the remaining spot. Here's the schedule and list of invited teams for the regional events leading up to The International:
- Americas Regional Qualifier (May 12-14, 12:00PM EST): Union Gaming, Sneaky Nyx Assassins, No Earthspirit, Osiris Gaming, eHug,CNB eSports, Team Liquid, Revent eSports, North American Rejects, TOP5
- Southeast Asia Regional Qualifier (May 16-19, 12:00PM SGT): Mineski, MiTH.Trust, MVP Phoenix, Scythe Gaming, First Departure, Arrow Gaming, Rex Regum Qeon, Zephy, Execration, Orange Esports
- China Regional Qualifier (May 20-23, 12:00PM CCT): TongFu, LGD Gaming, CNB.cn, Orenda, Dream Time.NGC, CIS-Game, Speed Gaming.cn, New Element, LGD.CDEC, HyperGloryTeam
- Europe Regional Qualifer (May 24-27, 12:00PM CEST): Next.kz, MYM, Virtus.Pro, Team Dog, RoX.KIS, Aware Gaming, Relax, Power Rangers, Monomaniacs, hehe united
That's forty teams total in the regional qualifiers in addition to the eleven teams already invited to The International for a grand total of 51 teams competing for the Aegis of Champions in 2014. Expect surprises, expect greatness.
The International 2014 begins July 18, but there's a lot of Dota 2 to be played before then and now. Eleven teams have their positions guaranteed, but I'd expect these are the teams who will be most active in preparing. Good luck and god speed, you 51 best Dota 2 teams in the world.