The International 2019 was the ninth iteration of Dota 2's flagship annual championship. Hosted by Valve Corporation, it took place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, being the first to be celebrated in Asia. The tournament began on 3 July 2019 with the Open Qualifiers and closed on 25 August 2019 with the Grand Finals, where OG successfully defended their title by defeating 2017 champions Team Liquid 3-1, becoming the first team to win two championships.
With a prize pool of over US$34.3 million, The International 2019 was at the time the largest tournament to ever take place in eSports, breaking the record briefly held by the Fortnite World Cup 2019, which awarded $30 million. It was eventually surpassed by The International 10. The majority of the money awarded during the event is collected through several in-game items released by Valve, including the The International 2019 Battle Pass, a digital tournament pass and features bundle tied to the event that included many activities and cosmetic items. 2019 marks the fifth consecutive year that The International's prize pool outgrows its previous-year record. However, it is the first year the record is held by a non-Dota 2 tournament, albeit briefly.
The International 2019 became the third consecutive event won by a European team. The event also saw several new records being set, and some old records being broken. OG's back-to-back victory is the first-ever in the event's history. Their win also made Europe the region with the most tournament wins, with 4 titles. The team also became the first one to return to the Grand Finals, and win a second time, with the original champion roster. Natus Vincere, Newbee and Team Liquid had experienced roster changes before they reached the Grand Finals again. OG also became the first champion since Natus Vincere to make it to the Grand Finals the following year.
Team Liquid became the first team to run through the entire Lower Bracket, with the most number of series won during the Main Stage. Their victory against PSG.LGD in the Lower Bracket final meant that two previous champions would meet in the Grand Finals, killing the chances of a new team winning the championship. The International 2019 saw an increase in the number of previous champions attending the event. Natus Vincere and Alliance came back after two years without qualifying. Only two champions did not make it: 2012 winners Invictus Gaming, who fell during the regional qualifiers, and 2016 winners Wings Gaming, who disbanded shortly after winning the championship.
In the Group Stage, teams are divided into two groups of nine and compete in a best-of-two round robin tournament. The top four teams (in green) advance to the upper bracket of the main event, the lower four teams (in yellow) advance to the lower brackets, and the team in last place (in red) is eliminated.
The Main Event is a double-elimination tournament with the top four teams from each group starting in the upper bracket, whilst the bottom four teams start in the lower bracket. Matches in the first round of the lower bracket are best-of-one, while the grand finals are best-of-five. All other matches are best-of-three. Click here to update.