So it begins… Last week the biggest esports competition in the world locked down the final list of participants that consists of eighteen teams from across the globe. The last spot in the tournament was claimed by North America team, Forward Gaming, who managed to score a well-deserved victory in its regional qualifiers.

The list of participants is no joke. Out of eighteen teams in the main tournament five already own at least one The International title – Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, OG, Alliance, Natus Vincere. There are also plenty of strong newcomers hoping to upset the favorites and snatch Aegis of Immortal. Of course, let’s not forget the mind-blowing prize pool that has just surpassed the 29 million dollar mark.

It’s also worth mentioning that prior to the start of the tournament, Valve released a new balance patch for Dota 2, which might pose a difficult puzzle for teams to solve. Patch 7.22e tackles highly used heroes, so the teams might need to come up with a new draft and in-game tactics. While The International 2019 teams might not be in favor of these changes, for viewers, this ensures an exciting tournament full of surprises and pocket picks.

Eighteen teams have a full month to prepare for the most important Dota 2 tournament in their lives. The International 2019 begins on August 15th, with the finals taking place on August 25th.