Russia’s biggest Dota 2 event is making a return to Moscow this summer, with $500,000 on the line.
Slated to take place from June 4 to 11, Epicenter aims to once again make an impact in the world of Dota 2 tournaments. The first edition of the event, which saw Team Liquid defeat overwhelming favorites Newbee, was considered one of 2016’s best Dota 2 events overall thanks to its format and an incredible LAN venue.
Prior to the announcement of the Kiev Major, Epicenter was considered the biggest Dota 2 event to take place in the Russian-speaking scene. Both its Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive events offered a total of $500,000 in prize money. The sum hasn’t changed in the tournament’s second iteration—but it’s still one of the biggest events of the year, only falling short to Dota 2 developer Valve’s own $3 million Majors, and the annual International, which last year paid out a total of $20.4 million.
Epicenter has not yet specified how many teams will be attending the tournament’s second season. There will, however, be multiple spots up for grabs through various online qualifiers. The qualifiers are set to start at an, as of yet, unspecified date in May. All major Dota 2 regions will be represented, although the press release only mentions Europe, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), North America, and China. It would, however, be extremely odd if Southeast Asia wasn’t among the regions represented in the qualifiers—especially considering the 2016 edition of the tournament featured a qualifier for the region.
Epicenter’s first Dota 2 event also featured a wild card competition similar to the one used by Valve at its International events. Featuring the top teams from each regional qualifier, the teams fought their way through a single-elimination bracket where the two top teams qualified for the main event.
Taking place just two months ahead of the International 7, the winner of Epicenter will more than likely be considered favorites heading into the Dota 2 world championship in August.