With the event just eight days away, the broadcasting talent for The International 2019 has finally been announced.
Dota 2 community manager Wykhrm Reddy unveiled the full lineup in a post on Twitter. While there are no particularly surprising additions to the team, there are a few noteworthy individuals who won’t be coming back.
Alex “Machine” Richardson will not be appearing at The International 2019 after appearing at both The International 2017 and 2018. The prominent Counter-Strike: Global Offensive caster popped up in the Dota 2 scene in 2016 at the Boston Major and has appeared in a number of prominent tournaments in the years since. Though he has not commented on his exclusion, it likely stems from The International 2019 schedule overlapping with CSGO’s StarLadder Berlin Major, which he will likely appear at.
Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg will once again be missing The International, with this year’s reason stemming from the fact that he wasn’t even invited. The former Alliance offlaner was turned away at the United States border after being invited to contribute to The International 2017. His luck was no better at The International 2018 when he failed to secure a Canadian visa.
One of the most surprising omissions is Michelle “Moxxi” Song. Moxxi has worked at a number of events during the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season including the DreamLeague Major and OGA Dota PIT Minor. Despite performing well as a commentator, caster, and analyst during the year, Valve still couldn’t find a place for her.
Since Machine’s appearance at the Boston Major, Valve has tried to bring in prominent esports personalities from outside Dota 2 for its largest tournaments. StarCraft personalities Sean “Day” Plott and Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham worked at The International 2017 and 2018, respectively, but this year adds Rich Campbell. Best known for his work in Call of Duty, Campbell has been dabbling with Dota 2 throughout 2019 and will be working as one of the primary hosts for TI9.
Regular Dota 2 caster Dominik “Lacoste” Stipić will finally work at The International. Lacoste has worked as an analyst at a number of majors over the last three years but hasn’t appeared at the big event since 2012 when he played for Counter Logic Gaming. He makes the long-awaited jump in 2019 alongside fellow caster Neal “tsunami” Khandheria.
Joining the crew to offer their insights as pro players are Kim “Febby” Yong-min and Nico “Gunnar” Lopez. The unlikely pair came together after rough seasons under the Team Jinesbrus banner for TI9’s Southeast Asia qualifiers. The team came just one game shy of earning a spot in the event, but Febby and Gunnar get a consolation prize in the form of desk work.
Finally, Dakota “KotLGuy” Cox will make his long-awaited return to The International. While he worked a number of Valve-sponsored tournaments from 2014 to 2017, he did not appear at The International 2017 and was also left out of The International 2018. He will be returning to a major stage for the first time since the Kuala Lumpur Major in 2018.