While there is no doubt that The International‘s main attraction is the showdown between the best teams in the world, it has also evolved over the years as the penultimate culmination of all things Dota 2. Cosplays, All-Star Matches, 1v1 Tournaments, and TI-Archives are just a tiny part of the massive amalgamation that is TI.
It would be a futile thing to try and name every exciting prospect for this year’s International; it’s an endless list. But for all the excitement and expectation, what are the main elements we all love and are expecting to be part of the imminent and eagerly anticipated drama that will be the International 8?
The International cosplay contest will return for the third time with a $7500 prizepool at the Rogers Arena for TI8. While cosplay has always been a part of The International’s history, (who can forget the iconic Enigma cosplay at TI3), cosplayers have really stepped it up in the recent years, presenting some amazing works of art at one of the biggest esports stages of them all.
One of gaming’s most influential and iconic personalities, Gabe Newell rarely makes public appearances. But he has regularly made appearances at TI’s booming the words “Welcome to the International” to kick start the main event.
Unfortunately, he didn’t make a live appearance in The International 7. But, he did make an appearance in SirActionSlack’s and Kaci’s opening segment.
Hopefully, he’ll make a return to the main stage this year, or perhaps take a much more prominent role in the opening skit. Whether you love it or hate, whether you think TI needs it or doesn’t, there is certainly an element of expectation surrounding GabeNs involvement in TIs.
The landscape of Dota 2 was undoubtedly changed when OpenAI announced and showed the world that it could compete in a 5v5 against Human players and actually beat them with superior strategizing and mechanics. It showed us how much better AI actually is and gave us an insight into the future of Dota 2. Perhaps, in time, OpenAI could replace all Human aspects of Dota 2 and perhaps we can have a Bot-TI soon? (Oh...wait)
OpenAI also announced that they will take on a team of Pros at The International 8. Obviously, the Pros at TI8 represent the best of the best of Humans and that matchup between Humanity and OpenAI is something that would be much awaited and would easily one of the most hyped segments in TI8.
See Also: OpenAI versus Humans
Selecting the All-Star team has slowly become one of the most quintessential parts of the TI Compendium, and is quite awaited by many fans of the game, and the players attending the International. Hopefully, TI8’s All-star match lives up to the expectations of the fans and provides us with even more memorable moments.
It takes an incredible amount of sacrifice and dedication to be skilled enough to compete at The International. These series of interviews offers a glimpse at what it takes to be among the best of the best, providing an in-depth look at the lives of players from around the world.
Each one of these players has a history behind them, leading up to the International. Displaying them for fans of Dota 2 and building a connection between the players and fans makes the games that much more interesting and increases the hype value of each match that particular player/team plays.
We can’t wait to see on whom Valve has picked out and focused their player profiles on this TI.
SirActionSlacks has somewhat been on Embargo for the last 4 months, working on a special ‘Project’ for Valve. While Kaci Aitchison hasn’t made a single public appearance for months now. So The International 8 will be their big return to the scene.
They’re part of what makes TI appealing for casual fans. They connect with the fans on a deep level and help attain attention from the niche casual esports audience. They have really good synergy with each other where’s Slacks’ innate copiousness is balanced by Kaci’s toned down approach in these casual segments.