The International is the most prestigious event in the Dota 2 competitive calendar. While the event has seen its fair share of new talent over the years, Dota 2 fans got used to seeing familiar faces every year, as skills also need to be backed up by experience to perform at the top. TI11 is a little bit different, however. 36 players out of the tournament’s 100 are attending their first TI this year, making it one of the most rookie-dominant iterations of the event.
The amount of new blood in the Dota 2 scene has been rising ever since the DPC season came to life. Despite its shortcomings, the DPC granted tier-two players a constant stage where they could show their talents while improving in a competitive format.
Entity, for example, started 2022 in the second division of the Western European DPC region. Despite making it to the first division, Entity was still not considered a formidable contender as it finished sixth in its first division one season, only one step above the relegation zone. The team suddenly picked up steam in the following season, in which they placed fourth and earned a spot in the Arlington Major.
An impressive run at the Arlington Major granted Entity 515 DPC Points, and the team suddenly found itself at the top of the Western European Dota 2 scene with a high seed in the International 2022 regional qualifiers. Entity aced the regionals with its newly gained momentum and transformed into a TI attendee from a division two squad in a matter of months.
In addition to new teams forming in the trenches and grinding to the spotlight, notable organizations also started taking more chances on young players. OG, a two-time TI-winning organization, decided to go with a roster filled with youngsters for this year. In a recent interview, Johan “n0tail” Sundstein expressed that the decision just felt natural, and OG could feel that the prospects showed signs of what was required to become top players.
Considering Team Spirit, TI10 champions, also pulled off an amazing Cinderella story in the International 2021, youngsters worldwide have gotten a decent glimpse of what is possible in the world of Dota 2. Being able to play against TI-caliber players in your ranked matches always strikes a different cord, and it can be enough of a motivation for a rookie to finally set sail for their competitive dreams.