CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF TI6:
What is The International?
The International is a yearly tournament hosted by Valve Software for their wildly popular free-to-play game DotA 2. Originally created as a showcase for the game when it was revealed back in 2011, The International has remained the most prestigious event in the world of competitive DotA 2, as well as the whole of eSports. The International also varies from other major events hosted by companies like Riot Games, Activision, or Blizzard Entertainment because the prize pool is crowdsourced. The original International featured a $1,600,000 prize pool, with $1,000,000 for the first place team. Since then, due to community help, the prize pool has skyrocketed as high as $18,429,613 in 2015, with the current prize pool at $20,184,659.
When is The International?
Despite what the main image in this thread says, The International this year runs from August 2nd until August 13th (Valve moved the Wild Card to the 2nd after I written most of this up). The Wildcard playoffs will start on August 2nd, and once all 16 teams have been decided, there will be Group Stages August 3rd through August 5th, and the Main Event begins on August 8th running until the Grand Finals on August 13th. Matches start at 9:00am PDT, and run until they are finished for the day--schedule is subject to change and almost always does a little bit.
Where is The International?
The International is being held in Seattle, close to Valve's headquarters. The original International was held in Cologne, Germany at GamesCom, and then moved to Seattle's Benaroya Hall for 2012 and 2013, and has since moved on to Seattle's Key Arena as of 2014.
What makes this International different from previous years?
While The International is always a wild ride, this is International does differ from previous years. It is the first International since Valve has implemented The Major system--as system in which there are 4 events a year (3 Major's and 1 International) hosted by Valve with major prize pools, that incentivize teams to stay together and develop rather than roster shuffle after every bad showing. This past year saw Major events in Frankfurt, Shanghai, and Manila. Due to the implementation of The Major's, we've seen last years champions (Evil Geniuses) have to fight their way through Open Qualifiers, Regional Qualifiers, and are now in the Main Event.
Why should I watch The International?
Simply put, it's an amazing event. It has unparalleled production value, and you get a chance to watch the best of the best play a highly complex game at the highest level. If you enjoy competitive gaming, The International is a must watch event. They present dozens of segments explaining the back stories of these guys, as well as the rivalries that exist, and it quickly becomes the kind of experience you find in the MLB or NFL playoffs.
How do I watch The International?
There are 2 main ways to watch The International. The first way for anyone who has DotA 2 installed, is through the in-game client. There will be an updated panel/hub within the game to keep you updated of games that are live and even the standings/placement of the event. On top of that, there will be several streams on sites such as Twitch.tv that will feature different styles of commentary. You can find multiple languages, as well as a Beginners Stream if you are new to DotA 2, which will feature commentators who are adept at explaining the game for new players (I highly reccomend it assuming Purge is on it, he's very good on the Newcomer Stream).
List of Streams -- Updated Daily:
Twitch Hub (List of all Streams)
Official YouTube Live Stream Hub
Newcomer Twitch Stream
Main Twitch Stream
English Twitch Stream 2
English Twitch Stream 3
English Twitch Stream 4
YouTube English Stream A
YouTube English Stream B
Main Russian Twitch Stream
Russian Twitch Stream 2
Russian Twitch Stream 3
Russian Twitch Stream 4
YouTube Russian Stream A
Main Chinese Twitch Stream
Main Korean Twitch Stream
Main Polish Twitch Stream
Main Indonesian Twitch Stream
Main Filipino Twitch Stream
Main Spanish Twitch Stream
Main Spanish Hitbox.TV Stream
Main German Twitch Stream
Main Swedish Twitch Stream
Key Arena Crowd Twitch Stream
Pod 1 Twitch Stream
Pod 2 Twitch Stream
August 2nd -- Wild Card Matches
Official Valve Site for Wild Card Schedule
August 3rd-5th -- Group Stages
Group A: OG , LGD Gaming , Wings Gaming , Natus Vincere , Evil Geniuses , Alliance , TNC Pro Team , Escape Gaming
Group B: Team Liquid , Newbee , MVP Phoenix , Team Secret , Fnatic , Vici Gaming Reborn , Digital Chaos , Ehome
August 8th-13th -- Main Event
Highlights / VODs:
The International 2015 Highlights
Wild Card Stage VODs
Group Stage VODs
Main Event VODs
Highlight Videos for Every Match
Ditya Ra is a hell of a player
When did EG throw last?
Zai Breaks Ankles