While Dota 2‘s The International 2015’s main event doesn’t kick off until 3 August, the Wild Card and Group Stage games begin this weekend.
The Wild Card brackets will see Vega Squadron, CDEC Gaming, Team Archon, and MVP.Phoenix compete for the last four slots in the main event via a double-elimination, best-of-three tournament. It’ll kick off with CDEC taking on Vega, and Phoenix taking on Archon. From there, the winners will face off, as will the losers, and things continue from there; anyone who loses two match-ups is out. As I said: double-elimination.
Then there are the Group Stages, which see all invited teams (including the Wild Card winners) battle it out for tournament seeding. The teams have been divided into two groups of eight; the top four teams in each group head to the upper bracket of the main event, while the bottom four in each group are off to the lower bracket.
Group A contains compLexity Gaming, Invictus Gaming, LGD Gaming, Natus Vincere, Fnatic, Cloud9, Team Secret, and the second Wild Card. Group B contains EHOME, Evil Geniuses, Team Empire, Vici Gaming, Newbee, Virtus Pro, MVP Hot6, and the first Wild Card.
The Wild Card games begin on 26 July – this Sunday – at 9am PDT. The Group Stage kicks off on 27 July – Monday – at 9am PDT, and will last through the 30th. Three games will be played simultaneously, with each having its own stream.
So while TI5 doesn’t kick off properly until 3 August, there’s still plenty of professional Dota 2 to keep you occupied until then. You can read Valve’s blog post (and see the brackets and scheduling for yourself) over here.