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Dota 2's worldwide championship The International will return this summer. Today Valve announced the teams that will be competing for a shot at a huge cash prize.

Dota 2 International 2014 is a 16-team tournament. The following 11 teams have been given automatic bids to the competition:
  • Alliance
  • Titan eSports
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Fnatic
  • NewBee
  • Vici Gaming
  • Natus Vincere
  • Team DK
  • Invictus Gaming
  • Cloud9
  • Team Empire
The remaining five slots are up for grabs in the coming months. Forty teams will compete in regional qualifiers over the next two months to advance to the Intrernational. Here's when the regional qualifiers will take place:
  • AMERICAS: May 12-15, 12:00PM EST
  • SOUTHEAST ASIA: May 16-19, 12:00PM SGT
  • CHINA: May 20-23, 12:00PM CCT
  • EUROPE: May 24-27, 12:00PM CEST
During the qualifier, every team in a region plays each other once. The top four from each region then compete in a double-elimination, best-of-three tournament. The final two teams will face off in a best-of-five match.

The top team from each of the four regions will earn a spot in the global championship. The second-place teams still have a shot at the International, though. These four squads will face off in the Play-In Series in Seattle, with the top team receiving the 16th and final spot in the world championship.

The Dota 2 International 2014 will be held at the KeyArena in Seattle from July 18th to July 21st. Tickets went on sale last month and were sold out in under an hour. However, the event will be streamed online for free worldwide as well.

Valve didn't announce the size of the grand prize yet because it's going to be determined by players. The studio plans to sell another Interactive Compendium, a virtual guide to the International that grants the buyer several perks. For example, last year's Compendium allowed players to build a fantasy team from pro Dota 2 players and earn prizes based on their performance in the International. Valve puts 25% of the revenue from this virtual book into the prize pool for the International.

The 2013 Interactive Compendium was hugely popular. Sales of the guide boosted the price package from the starting amount of $1.6 million to a whopping $2.8 million. We'll see if the Dota 2 community can exceed that total this year.

Valve hasn't revealed the base prize yet or what perks the 2014 Compendium will include. However, they began selling the Compendium in early May last year so we may get details on this year's guide very soon.

Dota 2 International 2014 is the fourth world championship for the free-to-play MOBA. The first was held in 2011 in Cologne, Germany with a grand prize of $1 million. Valve brought the event closer to home in 2012 and 2013 by holding it in Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

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