Valve announced the Dota 2 International 2016 direct invites

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Hot after the Manila Major and ESL One, Valve have announced the six teams who will receive direct invites to the Dota 2 International 2016. An interesting list, to say the least, the invitees do not include winners and runner-ups from 2015. This is largely due to the recent roster changes between Evil Geniuses and Team Secret, but among the invited teams are two which sparked a number of debates, but were quickly rectified by the better minds of Dota 2.

The six invited teams are OG, Team Liquid, Newbee, LGD, MVP.Phoenix, and Natus Vincere. All six teams have performed admirably as of late with Natus Vincere being the most notable team to receive re-entry into the invited list. In the past two years Navi have struggled at The International, however with LAN tournaments being a lot more frequent in 2016, coupled with Navi’s performance over the past few months, they received a well deserved direct invite.

OG

OG, winners of the Manila Major, become the first ever consecutive winners of a Valve Dota 2 title.

The biggest question of course was why Evil Geniuses did not receive a direct invite to the International? As I touched on above, Evil Geniuses recently underwent a roster change during the trading window where they brought back Universe who originally left to Team Secret, along with Arteezy, after the Shanghai Major. These constant team changes voided their direct invite, and will be the first time that a previous year’s winner will have to battle it out in the open-qualifiers. The same applies, unfortunately, to Team Secret who will also have to battle it out in the open EU Qualifiers.

Other teams may need a further understanding of the invite process, so to summarize, here are the reasons why you see some teams you may not consider to be top contenders for the title. You have to remember that Valve have been running Majors over the past year which aid the direct invite process inviting the top four teams from the previous major. The top four from the Manila Major were OG, Team Liquid, Newbee and LGD.

The other two teams (MVP.Phoenix and Natus Vincere) received their direct invites due to stable rosters and admirable LAN performance over the past few months. In the past few months Natus Vincere (with their new lineup) have placed in the top 4 of four LAN tournaments. Their first top four finish was at the Shanghai major and since then they’ve finished in the top four of Dota Pit, Starleague, Dreamleague, and this past weekend’s ESL One Frankfurt.

The same applies to MVP.Phoenix who have more LAN wins under their belt compared to teams like Fnatic who were the direct comparison to MVP.Phoenix when the invites were announced. While Fnatic may be the stronger team, MVP.Phoenix have won more LANs since the Shanghai Major, thus earning them the invite over Fnatic.

Qualifiers

Valve will also run four regional qualifiers for Europe, The Americas, Southeast Asia and China.

USA China

USA China

Valve will also be hosting Open Regional Qualifiers for teams who did not receive an invite to the above regionals. This is where teams like Team Secret and Evil Geniuses will have to battle it out.

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Last Updated: June 20, 2016

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit's esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere - but my work here is independent of that.

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