Ladies and Gentlemen the official announcement for one of the biggest competitions in gaming has finally come!
It has been a very busy week, not only featuring the deployment of the Spring Cleaning Patch as well as the conclusion of some major tournaments, now this huge news bomb has been dropped by Valve.
All the competitors have been announced, and they will play in the KeyArena at Seattle Center, WA, USA, a venue large enough for the 17.000 lucky fans that bought their tickets before they sold out on the first day!
This year, the main event will begin earlier than usual, starting in the 18th and ending on the 24th of July. As with the previous editions, it will feature 16 teams battling for a prizepool that will be over 2 million dollars!
Without further ado, the 11 invited teams by Valve based on performance and achievements are:
Alliance (2013 Champions) – s4, Loda, AdmiralBulldog, Akke and EGM
Titan eSports – Xtinct, Yamateh, kYxY, Ohaiyo and Net
Evil Geniuses – Arteezy, Fear, ppd, zai and Universe
Fnatic – Fly, n0tail, Era, h4nn1 and Trixi
NewBee – Banana, Mu, xiao8, SanSheng and Hao
ViCi Gaming – Super!, Sylar, rOtk, fy and Fenrir
Invictus Gaming (2012 Champions) – Ferrari_430, Luo, YYF, Chuan and Faith
Team DK – Burning, Mushi, LaNm, MMY and iceiceice
Team Empire – Alwayswannafly, Silent, Vanskor, Mag and Resolut1on
Cloud9 – EternaLEnVy-sama, pieliedie, bOne7, Aui_2000 and SingSing
Natus Vincere (2011 Champions) – Puppey, XBOCT, Funn1k, Kuroky and Dendi
To fill the remaining 5 slots, there will be qualifiers to decide which teams will be worthy enough to join the above ones in Seattle! This time around, instead of having East and West, there will be 4 different regional qualifiers!
The teams participating as well as their respective qualifier dates are:
American Qualifier (May 12-15 12:00 PM EST): Union Gaming, Sneaky Nyx Assassins, No Earthspirit, eHug, Osiris Gaming, CNB eSports, Team Liquid, Revenge eSports, North American Rejects and TOP5
South East Asian Qualifier (May 16-19 12:00 PM SGT): Mineski, MiTh.Trust, MVP.Phoenix, Scythe Gaming, First Departure, Arrow Gaming, Rex Regum Qeon, Zephyr, Execration and Orange eSports
China Qualifier (May 20-23 12:00 PM CCT): TongFu, LGD Gaming, CNB,cn, Orenda, DT.NGC, CIS, SpeedGaming.cn, New Element, LGD.CDEC and HyperGloryTeam
Europe Qualifier (May 24-27 12:00 PM CEST): Next.kz, MYM, Virtus.Pro, Team Dog, RoX.Kis, Aware Gaming, Relax, Power Rangers, Monomaniac and Hehe United
The format of the qualifiers will be a one game round robin between all teams, with the top 4 teams advancing to the second phase while the other 6 are eliminated.
The second phase will be a best of 3 double elimination bracket with the top 2 teams in the upper bracket and the other 2 in the lower bracket.
The Grand Final of each qualifier will be a best of 5 match. The winner of each qualifier will directly join the invited teams while the runner-up of each qualifier will still go to Seattle to fight the other region’s runner-ups for that last 16th slot.
The official blog post can be found here. Madness will surely ensue in these next weeks so be sure to not miss any of the frenetic action!