For professional Dota 2 players, today kicks off the biggest tournament of the year: the Main Event of The International 2019.
Of course, it’s not just the biggest event for Dota 2 teams. This particular iteration of The International is actually the richest eSports final in history – for any game – with a prize pool of over $33.5 million (1.75 billion PHP).
And despite the exclusive nature of The International, two of the 16 teams that made the cut are from the Philippines.
The better of the two teams, TNC Predator (aka TNC Pro Team), was most recently featured on futures boards with +1500 odds to win the tournament, putting them in the second tier of expected competition.
TNC Predator is the 8th-ranked Dota 2 team in the world, which aligns with their general placement at most online Philippine gambling sites.
Mineski, the lesser of the two Philippine teams, is ranked 10th in the Dota 2 standings, but bookmakers put them at the bottom of the pile with +20000 odds to win.
As of press time, both teams are still alive in The International.
However, both are also now in the lower bracket and facing elimination.
TNC Predator started in the upper bracket but lost its initial best-of-three match 2-1 against Vici Gaming (+325), dropping into the lower bracket. There, TNC Predator will compete against Team Liquid (+6600) in Round 2. That match is scheduled for August 21 at 7:00 am EST.
Mineski, as one of the lowest-rated teams to qualify for The International, actually started out with their backs against the wall. Mineski faced Natus Vincere (+15000) in a “best-of-one” eliminator, winning the match and advancing to the second round.
Mineski will play the winner of the upper bracket match between tournament favorite Team Secret (+250) and the Evil Geniuses (+750). That contest is slated for August 22 at 1:00 am EST.
Should both Mineski and TNC Predator advance throughout the lower bracket, they will play one another in Round 5, with the winner earning a spot in the tournament semifinal.
With four teams eliminated from play, both Philippine clubs are now guaranteed to finish no worse than 12th place, taking home at least $670,000 (35.05 million PHP) in prize money.