Valve has announced that The International 11 is going to have a new format and a different qualifier system compared to past years.
Following the enormous backlash surrounding the cancelation of the 2022 Winter Major, Valve has detailed its plans for the remainder of the season. There were two notable revelations therein, including regional competitions to replace the major as well as a new qualification system for The International 11.
Replacing the canceled major will be Regional Finals tournaments. In February, each region will host a four-team tournament featuring the top placements from the first tour. These tournaments will feature a $100,000 prize pool with DPC qualifying points towards TI11 being on the line. The distribution will be as follows:
Each tournament will take place across two days. Europe, Southeast Asia, and South America will see their Regional Finals events take place from February 11 to 13. North America, CIS, and China will have their tournaments from February 18 20.
Out of caution that the Regional Finals may potentially artificially inflate the legitimacy of some weaker regions, Valve is making changes to The International 11. This will see a wildcard tournament and slightly altered group stage format.
TI11 will have a wildcard tournament that will admit two extra teams into the event. The wildcard tournament will happen ahead of the event and will take place in a LAN setting. It will include the second and third-place finishers from each regional qualifier for The International 11, with the top two teams advancing to the group stage.
The group stage of TI11 will then include 20 teams instead of the usual 18. The event will play out normally, with the pool of 20 teams being divided into two groups that then play in a round robin made up of best-of-two series.
Instead of the bottom team from each group being eliminated, the two worst teams in each group will be eliminated. Seeding for the playoffs and the playoff format will play out normally from there.
No date for The International 11 has yet been confirmed. Expect it to come in the fall of 2022.