Valve updates schedule and format for 2023 edition of Dota 2’s The International

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Dota 2 developer, Valve, has announced some huge changes to the format of “The International (TI)” a few days ahead of the 2023 edition in order to make it more accessible and entertaining to both online and offline viewers.

In an official blog post for Dota 2, Valve revealed that almost all matches are now scheduled for ‘Friday-through-Sunday weekend break’ that allows viewers to enjoy the matches in their free time. Twelve teams have already secured a spot for the tournament, while eight others will soon join them from Regional Qualifiers round.

As such, the games will be played across three tournaments. October 12-15 will have the Group Stage matches, October 20-22 will have the Play-offs. The tournament will conclude with the Grand Finale between October 27 and 29.

Dota 2 is one of the biggest esports title in the world and is always attracting new players on a constant basis, but since the matches can be overwhelming, the whole tournament is split into two parts. The Road To The International that includes Group Stage and Play-offs with all 20 teams and The International, where top eight teams will face each other to claim the Aegis of Champions.

Group Stage

Previously, the Group Stage featured two groups of ten teams each. The problem here was that the teams were playing several matches that were meaningless, as the standings were already locked before the final day.

With the new format, four groups of five teams each will face each over the course of four matches, compared to nine. The fifth ranking team from each group will be eliminated and the remaining 16 moving to the Play-offs.


The Play-offs will have the winning 16 teams split into upper and lower brackets, with the top two teams from each groups from Group Stage matches in the upper brackets and the bottom two teams from each group in the lower bracket.

All the matches will be played as BO3, with four teams out of eight from the upper bracket moving into the finals of The International. The same format will be applied for the eight teams in the lower bracket.

The International

The eight surviving teams from the Play-offs will then head to The International. Following a similar format, four teams will be in the upper bracket and the other four in the lower bracket. The catch here is, the teams losing in the upper bracket will get another chance to make their way into the finals through matches in the lower bracket.

Friday and Saturday will see four matches of BO3 between all teams, with the top team from the upper bracket and lower bracket going into the Grand finals on Sunday in a BO5 match to claim the Aegis of Champions trophy.