Valve had announced the invited teams for major Dota 2 tournament, The International 6.
The news was made not a moment too soon after ESL One Frankfurt has finished, with OG claiming the trophy after stomping Na’Vi by 3-0 in the grand finals.
But there would not be a single person not taken by surprised by the announcement; just six teams were invited, and not a single team based in the Americas made the list.
Europe has three representatives, the South-east Asian region has one but surprisingly, two Chinese Squads were invited.
This was a significant reduction of invites from Valve; in TI4, 11 teams were invited while 10 received the golden ticket in TI5.
Numbers regardless, from August 3 to 13, OG, Team Liquid, Na`Vi, Newbee, LGD, and MVP Phoenix will be set to face off against each other and 12 other teams who qualified for the event.
But with the prize pool already hitting $13 million, and seven weeks remaining for more money to be raised, a record-breaking prize pool could be raised well exceeding the $18 million that was up for grabs last year.
That just means that it is going to be all the more ruthless in the qualifiers. Running from June 21-28, only the two best teams from each region can take a firm place to compete for the ample rewards in Seattle. Third-placed teams will play for a Wildcard slot.
There were also questions regarding Valve’s decision of invitees. Top teams Evil Geniuses, who won TI5, and Team Secret were clearly absent. However, it can be reasoned that this was because of changes made in their respective lineups after the deadline for Valve’s roster lock had passed.