The Dota 2 Pro Circuit season wrapped up with the end of the EPICENTER Major. What’s the next step for players? The Open Qualifiers for The International 2019.
For the twelve teams who will have secured their direct invitations to The International 2019, there’s a bit of a rest period between the end of the Major and the next potential event to attend. However, for everyone else? There are TI9 qualifiers. For the lucky (read: stable and/or successful rosters/players) few, there were a few invited spots for the Regional Qualifiers. Remember, there are six regions: China, CIS, Europe, North America, South America and Southeast Asia. And each of those six regions has only one spot at TI9 via the respective Regional Qualifier.
The open qualifiers are a gauntlet that must be run days before the regional qualifiers begin. Valve’s told us how many spots are available via open qualifiers for each region; as many as six spots are open as in the case of Southeast Asia and as few as three for the CIS region.
Open qualifiers are open to any stack of five players. While there are plenty of pro teams, some sponsored by organizations, others last minute stacks, competing, everyone is permitted to sign-up. At least, that is, until the 1024 maximum team limit is filled. Currently, with little more than 8 hours to go before the first SEA qualifier begins, the CIS region has the most sign-ups with 282, and the North American region has the fewest with 28.
The Opens begin with best-of-ones in a single elimination bracket. Games are played back-to-back, as quickly as the bracket can progress. This continues until the end of the Round of 16. The next day, teams return to play the Quarterfinals as a best-of-three. Where applicable, series that are only for seeding the teams that will advance into the Regional Qualifier are played as another best-of-one. There will be two sets of Open Qualifiers for each region, so every team will get two chances to make it through to the Regionals.
Full information on the Open Qualifiers can be found the FACEIT website. You can follow the brackets for each region there.
Be sure to watch the Qualifiers Oracle Twitter account to find casters streaming your favorite Open Qualifiers teams. Come back to Hotspawn at the end of the first set of Open Qualifiers on July 4 and the second set on July 6 to see which teams have made it through the first step in the gauntlet!