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Dota 2’s International Championships. How, Why, When To Watch

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The International 2016, otherwise known as TI6, has just begun and despite the annual affair draws in millions of viewers from around the world, Dota 2’s most prestigious tournament is still a mystery to many people.

Thankfully, this beginner’s guide to “The International 2016” will help you discover what Dota 2 is, and why the annual tournament has been such a massive success over the years.

What is Dota 2?

Dota 2 is a “multiplayer online battle arena” or MOBA that combines elements of real-time strategy games, such as Starcraft and Warcraft, with tower-defense games such as that of Plants vs. Zombies. The game pits two teams with five players each against each other, with the goal of destroying the opposite team’s base core called “the ancient”, which is defended by wave upon wave of small enemies known as creeps and fixed shooting structures known as towers.

Each player takes control of a single unit, called a hero, each with its own specific abilities that can either help allies, harm enemies and/or destroy structures. Killing enemies rewards heroes with experience points and gold. The former is used to upgrade the hero’s skills, while the latter is used to purchase items, both of which help make heroes stronger as the game goes on.

The game features a dynamic and varied gameplay that makes for a very exciting and engrossing viewing experience, which is also what makes Dota 2 so successful and a must-see eSports game.

What Makes “The International” Different?

The International boasts the biggest prize pool offered among major tournaments held in other eSports titles. The International 2015 alone had $18 million up for grabs, giving away $6.6 million to the Evil Geniuses, the winning team.

TNC competing in the T16 Group Stage
TNC competing in the T16 Group Stage

The International 2016 is set to break last year’s record, with a prize pool well over $19 million.

The International is also one of the best-produced broadcasts in eSports. It boasts on-air statistics, instant replays, and its own on-screen team of experts made up of sideline reports, play-by-play commentators and desk analysts.

How Can I Watch?

The festivities begin on August 2, starting with the wild-card teams. It’s then followed by the group stages, from August 3 to 5, to help determine the seeding for the main event.

  • The event takes place on August 8 up until August 13.
  • The event is broadcast live – and for free – on Twitch.TV and YouTube.
T16 Group Stage Teams
T16 Group Stage Teams

How Are The Playing Teams Chosen?

The International 6 features 16 teams, with 6 teams directly invited due to strong player in major tournaments, and 8 teams earning their place by taking first or second place in their respective regional qualifications. 4 wild-card teams then vie for the remaining two empty spots.

Ehome is among the teams to win the T16 Wildcards and join the other Group Stage Teams
Ehome is among the teams to win the T16 Wildcards and join the other Group Stage Teams

A full list with all the players and teams can be found on the TI6 website.

A Glossary of Must-Know Dota 2 Terms

Here are some of the most common terms that should pop up during the tournament’s broadcast that should help beginners better understand what’s happening on-screen.

Heroes – A single unique unit controlled by each player. Heroes are then separated into various roles depending into their specialization. Click HERE for a more in-depth explanation of the different heroes and their roles.

Lane – The routes where creeps run.

Creeps – Small, AI-controlled units that spawn regularly and are programmed to try and kill enemy units and towers. Killing one rewards you with a small amount of gold and experience.

Jungle – The area in between lanes that’s full of trees and neutral enemies.

Neutrals – Passive monsters found in fixed locations in the jungle. They are stronger than enemy creeps. They can be killed for more gold and experience and respawn at fixed intervals.

Farm – The amount of gold acquired by a single player or an entire team.

Farming – The process of acquiring gold to buy various in-game items by killing enemy heroes and creeps, as well as neutrals.

Gank – A scenario where one or more heroes from one team roam around the map to try and kill an enemy hero.

Push – A collective effort to attack and destroy a tower.

Micro – To try and control more than one unit at once.

One Spot – A numbered tier based on how much more farm and experience a player and hero needs compared to his teammates. Carries are typically No. 2, while supports are No. 5.

Stay tuned for more up-to-date T16 and Dota2 coverage.


Written by Ray Ian Ampoloquio

  • 42O Gam3R G0d

    Hahaha @Ehomecn straight rekt they are my heroes today ???

  • Rose Jewel

    Which player is that from Ehome? Just curious ?

    • Ray Ian

      I believe that’s Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang. Funny enough, he’s not chinese, but Singaporean.