The DOTA 2 event-drought between The International 8 (TI8) qualifiers in June and the main event itself in late August is over! OpTic Gaming’s DOTA 2 team will compete July 25-29 at the DOTA Summit 9, hosted by Beyond the Summit in Los Angeles, California.

While the Summit 9 fills the lull in competition, with the DOTA 2 Pro Circuit on hiatus leading up to TI8, it shouldn’t be viewed as anything less than a very competitive tournament. Don’t let the summer camp theme fool you; the Summit 9 may celebrate the summer, but it’ll be more inter-cabin rivalries than singing “Kumbaya” around the campfire.

What’s new this year at Camp BTS?

Picture by Beyond the Summit

The tournament features six teams. Let’s Do It, formerly known as Team Kinguin, qualified for the event through the Summer’s Cup Qualifier in early July. The other five teams, OpTic Gaming, Evil Geniuses, VGJ.Storm, Fnatic, and paiN Gaming, were directly invited and will also attend TI8.

The Summit presents a valuable opportunity for OpTic to get competitive practice against these teams. Most recently, OpTic beat Evil Geniuses, but lost to VGJ.Storm in their matches during the group stage of the North American Qualifier for TI8. The last two times OpTic has played against Fnatic were both best-of-three series that they won 2-1: first at StarLadder ImbaTV Invitational Season 5 in April, and then again at ESL One Birmingham in May. Due to the Summit 9’s format, OpTic is guaranteed rematches versus all three teams, and a first shot at paiN Gaming, a squad they’ve never faced before at a tournament.

The Summit 9 will begin with a round robin phase in which each team will play two-game series against each of the other teams. All six teams will then be seeded into a double elimination bracket based on their group stage results.

OpTic Gaming made its DOTA 2 Pro Circuit LAN debut at the DOTA Summit 8 in December 2017. The team qualified for that event by winning the King’s Cup: Americas in dominant fashion, placing 5-6th at the main event. While the results at Summit 9 shouldn’t be viewed as predictors for results at TI8, a win at this tournament would be a strong statement.

Past Summits set high expectations

Picture by Beyond the Summit

While this will be the team’s second Summit, it is Neta “33” Shapira’s first as he joined the roster in late December. Fans will want to tune into the event because it presents a unique chance to get to know the players a little better. The Summit series are notable for their intimacy and casual atmosphere. Beyond the Summit hosts these tournaments from within a house, and the studio makes the most of the location.

Rather than formal casting panels, the games are commentated by talent and players from a pair of couches in the living room. Teams play from various bedrooms in the house, and other rooms are used for amenities and non-DOTA 2 activities. Previous years included secondary streams in other rooms, featuring multiplayer games such as Overcooked, Gang Beasts, and Stick Fight: The Game. And typically, once the day’s scheduled games have been completed, there are other non-DOTA 2 activities such as Mafia and board games on the primary stream.

With this year’s summer camp theme, there’s bound to be some amusing antics for fans to watch, especially as Beyond the Summit has a reputation for producing high quality video content. DOTA Summit 8 had a holiday theme and released a memorable Summit rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” among other skits. The studio hasn’t spilled any details about what we can expect for Summit 9, but the logo and graphics that have been released are certainly evocative. With whatever Beyond the Summit has planned, this tournament should be an excellent opportunity to see the OpTic players outside of the normal competitive environment.

It’s time to pack your bags and head for camp. Our cabin’s easy to spot: it’s the one with the Green Wall!

Catch all the Summit 9 action on starting July 25th!