The series, titled “ELEAGUE | Road To The International Dota 2 Championships” will premiere Aug. 4 at 10 p.m. ET on TBS. The series will follow professional players and teams vying to win TI7 and the record-breaking prize pool of more than $21 million. New one-hour episodes will take place Aug. 11 (0 p.m. ET), Aug. 18 (11 p.m. ET) and Aug. 25 (10 p.m.).
According to a news release, the initial episodes will focus on team life and drama as the best players in the world train for one TI7. Later episodes will explore teams’ experiences, triumphs and failures during the tournament itself. The International offers the largest prize pool in all of esports, and this year’s prize pool has already surpassed last year’s of $20,772,460, which was a record.
ELEAGUE will also air special presentation of Valve’s “Free To Play” documentary at July 28 at 10 p.m. ET. The show follows three professional gamers from around the world as they compete in the inaugural International. Commentary from Dota 2 caster Toby “TobiWan” Dawson – who is featured in the film – and ELEAGUE host Richard Lewis will be presented alongside the documentary.
This will mark the first foray into Dota 2 for ELEAGUE, the Turner Sports-backed organization that launched last year with two seasons of Counter-Strike. ELEAGUE has also hosted a Counter-Strike Major (and a $250,000 show match), an Overwatch tournament and a Street Fighter V tournament. Most recently, ELEAGUE announced a world championship for Injustice 2, and expanding further into Dota 2 continues to diversify ELEAGUE’s esports portfolio.
This series will also mark ELEAGUE’s first esports venture that doesn’t include live event broadcasts. Producing this type of documentary or series has always been of interest to ELEAGUE — Lewis told Slingshot about those ideas a few months ago — and dipping its toe into an event as large as TI7 will be a good starting place for ELEAGUE.