With Alliance’s victory over Gambit yesterday at the EPICENTER Major, the twelve qualifier slots for The International have all been handed out. So what’s next for the DOTA community as we await the showpiece event? Well, the show must go on: the grueling schedule continues with the regional qualifiers, with many teams getting right back in the action immediately after they’ve left Moscow.
The DPC circuit will conclude tomorrow with the last games of the EPICENTER Major, where the remaining teams are still battling for prestige and glory but all three of them are already safe in the knowledge of having secured a TI spot. For everyone else – including Gambit, EHOME, J.Storm, Forward Gaming, Chaos, Mineski, paIN, Royal Never Give Up and many others –, it’s time for one final grindfest through the qualifiers for that one spot on offer for each of the six regions, the final act of the prelude before the grand finale kicks into high gear. (Infamous, of course, won’t be participating after the team’s complete explosion before they could take this last opportunity.)
The open qualifiers for The International 2019 are organized by FACEIT for six regions (SEA, CIS, Europe, North America and South America – China, as usual, is the exception) and they are open to anyone from the given region. The first set of open qualifiers take place on the 3rd and the 4th with a second batch on the 5th and the 6th hot on their heels. Each one has a whopping 1024-team bracket to chew through, with every game until the round of 16 played as a best-of-one. Solo signups are permitted but stand-ins are not per Valve rules. Last year, three teams qualified from each region to the closed qualifier.
The day after the open qualifiers are over, the next stage of competition immediately begins. The specifics of the closed Regional Qualifiers will be announced an hour after the EPICENTER Major’s conclusion, meaning we don’t yet know their format.
Read more: The Storylines of the EPICENTER Major
However, last year’s version of the main qualifiers can serve as a starting point: as is tradition, every region’s teams were placed into a round robin bracket for playoff seeds, with a double-elimination bracket determining the eventual winner of the qualifiers.
The showpiece event’s group stage will last four days between the 15th and the 18th and the main event begins on the 20th of August after a one-day break to determine the next team deserving of the Aegis of Champions.