China not the most represented at TI for the first time in history
For the first time in TI history, China does not have the most players at TI11 as Peru and Russia surpass the country by an inch.
Throughout the decade, the Chinese region has populated the Dota 2 pro scene with most of their players attending The International. But this year sees a shift in pattern and for the first time in history, China is surpassed by other countries in terms of representation.
The TI11 Last Chance Qualifier just ended (October 12th) with both Western Europe (WEU) teams, Team Secret and Team Liquid securing their slots. Meanwhile, Chinese teams, Vici Gaming and Xtreme Gaming fell short and will sit out of the big event. This means only 3 teams from China - PSG.LGD, Team Aster, and Royal Never Give Up (RNG) will be at TI11 and a total of 12 players represent the country.
Surprisingly, China is no longer the country with the highest representation. Peru and Russia both have 13 players attending TI11, dropping China to third place. This is followed by the Philippines with 8 players in fourth place, and Germany, Sweden, and Ukraine with 4 players in fifth place.
A comparison to previous TIs
China no longer having the most players at TI for this year is a colossal fact. To put it into perspective, let's compare the country representations from previous TIs.
For 10 years straight since TI1, China has dominated the pro scene in terms of numbers. At TI1, there were 19/80 players from the Chinese region. They peaked at TI5 and TI8 with 27/80 and 27/90 players. This year at TI11, they only have 12 players, standing behind Peru and Russia.
Take a look at the table below where we compare the top two country representation for every TI.
Why is there a decrease in Chinese representation at TI?
There are a lot of theories we can craft from the change in the number of top Chinese players. Some say that Dota 2 in the Chinese region is slowing down and is not churning out new prodigies like other regions which makes it harder for them to compete. Some say that other regions are finally climbing and catching up to the race which is apparent in Peru's impressive representation at TI11.
Another reason could be that other Chinese teams missed out on the opportunity to secure more DPC points as they missed the ESL One Stockholm Major due to COVID travel restrictions. Despite a decrease in the number of players, the Chinese region still poses a huge threat at the upcoming TI11.
Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more TI11 coverage!