The International 2017 kicks off in August, but regional qualifiers going on right now are already gathering a lot of hype. Here is a quick recap of what we know (and what we don’t know) about the TI 2017 at the moment.
Last week Valve announced the list of teams invited to the event directly, and most of them were not a big surprise to anyone. The only odd thing, if you haven’t been following Dota 2 very closely, is that for the first time the winner of previous TI will not join the next event. The players of Wings Gaming ran into problems with their management, which eventually resulted in disbandment.
TI 2017 will feature 18 teams from all over the world, and most of them will have to earn their seed in qualifiers. Valve invited teams from the EU, NA, SA, CIS, China and SEA regions will each compete in separate main qualifier tournaments. Also, any team could try their strength in an open bracket to get a slot in the main qualifier. So far, we don’t know who qualified for TI 2017, but some interesting things have already happened.
Natus Vincere, one of the most popular and iconic teams in Dota 2 history, failed to qualify for TI 2017. The team is getting scrutiny from their fans due to lack of diversity in hero pool and not following current meta. Another used-to-be-so-great team Alliance also did not get the results expected from them and lost 6 out of 9 matches in the qualification round robin bracket.
Like in previous years, winners of The International 2017 will instantly become milliners. Valve initially set the prize pool to $1 600 000 + 25% of all TI7 Battle Pass sales, and by now it has reached a little bit under $20 million. At the current pace, the prize pool of TI 2017 might reach $25 mil. and about 45% of that sum will go to the winners.
The infamous drama with James “2GD” Harding made the Dota 2 community very sensitive the matter of event panel hosts. For those of you who are new to the issue: 2GD was (is?) an extremely popular esports persona, who hosted TIs from 2012 to 2014. 2GD’s behaviour on camera was very amusing, but also rubbed many people the wrong way. 2GD would shamelessly discuss drugs and masturbation on stream, or pull stunts like showing his middle finger to online audiences. In 2016, 2GD was invited to host The Shanghai Major, but Valve fired him during the event. That day Gabe Newell made an official statement, saying bluntly: “James is an ass”.
(2GD on the left, Redeye on the right)
The last 2 TIs have been hosted by Paul “Redeye” Chaloner, another prominent esports persona. It’s hard to find two people as different as Redeye and 2GD. Redeye always channels a sense of mature confidence and looks very much on his place at the panel. This year Redeye won’t be hosting the TI. He wrote on TweetLonger that he got letter from Valve about it:
“Valve have been very kind in letting me know early enough to book other events and shows during the period I’d usually reserve in case I was asked to do The International and I’d like to thank them for that and all of the previous opportunities they have given me.”
So, who is going to host? The most obvious choice for Valve seems to be Alex “Machine” Richardson, who had debut as a Dota 2 event host during The Boston Major at 2016. He quickly gained popularity and after that was invited to host Epicenter at 2017.
There is also speculation that Kevin “Purge” Godec will step onto the stage, but that’s quite a stretch since he most likely will be sitting at the casters’ desk.
Sean Day Plott is another person who could take on the role, but that is also an unlikely occurrence. There is a chance however that Day will host the noobie stream: his experience in creating StarCraft educational content would be very helpful.
Valve could also pool a wild card and invite someone new to Dota 2 community, maybe even from traditional sports. Who do you think should get the job? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or share them with us at the Fast2Play Facebook and Twitter pages!