Ooh - the direct invitees for The International 2016 (that's the massive annual Dota 2 [official site] tournament with the eye-watering prize pool) have been announced. There's also a bunch of information on how the qualifiers work so YOU, dear reader, could theoretically be in the running to scoop part of that $12.4m. Well. $12.4m so far....
Two-time Major winners OG are obviously going straight to Seattle, while star squad Secret and last year's winners Evil Geniuses will need to work their way through the open qualifiers. That's thanks to some roster swap action which means both violated Valve's roster lock conditions.
Read on for the full list of direct invitees as well as who's going to be duking it out in the regionals so far:
OG Team Liquid Newbee LGD Gaming MVP Phoenix Natus Vincere
Digital Chaos Friendship, Dedication, Love Complexity Gaming Not Today Vultur Gaming Drinking Boys [open qualifier winner] [open qualifier winner]
Vici Gaming.Reborn TongFu CDEC Wings Gaming IG CDEC.Youth EHOME IG.Vitality [open qualifier winner] [open qualifier winner]
Alliance Power Rangers Team Empire Ad Finem Vega Squadron Flipsid3 Tactics Virtus.Pro No Diggity [open qualifier winner] [open qualifier winner]
Regionals (Southeast Asia)
Fnatic Rave Mineski Signature Trust Warriors Gaming.Unity Execration Orange.Taring The Mongolz [open qualifier winner] [open qualifier winner]
The open qualifiers are being organised by Perfect World in China and FaceIt for the remaining regions. Information is here for China hopefuls and here for Europe, SEA and Americas. Thanks to the roster lock violations you might actually find yourself facing off against Secret or Evil Geniuses. I wonder if that will actually swell the interest in the open qualifiers - this idea that you might bump into a Dota celebrity or five just thanks to scheduling?
Now we enter a period of intense speculation about the invite process and the weighting of particular LANs in scoring the direct invites and generally much Reddit pondering of the relative merits of someone versus someone else.
The International will take place 3-13 August. That includes the wild-card rounds so the main event will be 8-13 August at Seattle's KeyArena.