The International 2016 was the sixth iteration of Dota 2's flagship annual championship. Hosted by Valve Corporation, it took place at the KeyArena Center in Seattle, Washington. The tournament began on 21 June 2016 with the Open Qualifiers and closed on 13 August 2016 with the Grand Final, where Wings Gaming became the third Chinese team to be crowned champions after defeating Digital Chaos. The 2016 edition of The International featured sixteen Dota 2 professional teams from all over the world.
With a prize pool of over US$20 million, The International 2016 is the largest tournament to ever take place in eSports, breaking the record held by its previous iteration, The International 2015, which accumulated over U$18 million. The majority of this sum is collected through several in-game items released by Valve, including The International Compendium 2016, a digital book tied to the event that came with many activities and cosmetic items. 2016 marks the third consecutive year that The International's prize pool outgrows its previous-year record.
The International 2016 became the second not to feature all previous champions, as Invictus Gaming was unable to qualify for the event. 2011 and 2014 winners Natus Vincere and Newbee were the only ones directly invited; 2013 winners Alliance secured their spot through the European qualifiers, whereas the defending champions Evil Geniuses were forced to play through the open qualifiers due to a last-minute roster change. Valve's roster stability rules also affected other teams, which resulted in only 6 direct invites being issued, the lowest ever for the tournament.
In the All-Star match of 2016, two teams, Team Kaci and Team Slacks, faced each other in a best of one, playing a 10 vs 10 match (All Pick). Kaci and SirActionSlacks picked 5 random people from the audience in turn. After that, each of the 10 randomly picked persons then picked random pro players to join their teams.
Just like in the previous years, there was no secrecy between the teams, mainly making fun picks. This is also the match in which Underlord got revealed in Dota 2. The match was not played in the booths, but was instead on the center of the main starge, on 2 rows of tables facing each other, meaning both teams could hear each other, the casters and the crowd.