Dota 2's fourth The International tournament announced for July, moves to new location

Some people are really good at manipulating wizards. As the makers of a game that features wizards (also: bears, succubi, venomous man-reptiles), every year Valve invite some of these people to a multi-million dollar wizard-off. That tournament is Dota 2's The International, and is one of the year's largest e-sports events. Valve have confirmed that this year's tournament will run from July 18 - 21, with tickets going on sale later this week. In addition, the event takes place in a new venue: Seattle's KeyArena.

"This year there will be 11 teams invited directly as well as four Regional Qualifiers taking place May 12th through the 25th," write Valve , explaining the tournament structure. "The winner of each Qualifier will receive an invitation, with the four runner-ups competing in Seattle for the final spot."

Tickets for attendance go on sale this Friday, and range from a general pass for $99, to a VIP package—including "Meet & Greets" and after party access—at $499. You can head to the Dota 2 blog for a full list of available packages and ticket opening times. Alternatively, for the rest of us, the tournament will be broadcast for free through Twitch and the in-game client.

The KeyArena is a larger venue than that of the tournament's previous home, Benaroya Hall. It's also being held a few weeks earlier in the year—a fact that's already impacted upon the e-sports calendar. A few weeks ago, MLG announced that they'd be dropping Dota 2 from Anaheim this summer. One of the reasons they stated was the proximity of competing events.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.