While the ninth edition of The International heads to Shanghai, China for its debut on Eastern shores, the English talent going to the event will be of the highest caliber. This year’s talent list includes some of the most famed Dota 2 hosts, casters, and analysts, along with a few surprises.
Rich Campbell, a former Call of Duty host who debuted as a Dota 2 desk host at this season’s Chongqing Major, is headed to his first TI this year. Campbell’s performance at the Major was widely lauded, leading to calls for Valve to invite him to the biggest Dota 2 event of the year.
The TI panels will consist of the usual names, like Alan “Nahaz” Bester, David “GoDz” Parker, and Grant “GranDGranT” Harris. In keeping with Valve’s tradition of inviting popular professional players to the event, Kim “Febby” Yong-min and Nico “Gunnar” Lopez will be at The International as broadcast talent. Both players played for Team Jinesbrus and were one game off of qualifying for the event.
Fans will immediately notice the other usual names on the talent list, including TI8 grand finals caster duo Owen “ODPixel” Davies and Ioannis “Fogged” Loucas, regular desk hosts Paul “RedEye” Chaloner and Jorien “Sheever” van der Heijden, and notable meme lord Jake “SirActionSlacks” Kanner.
Kaci Aitchison once again brings her interviewing skills to The International backstage, making this her sixth TI while keeping her honorable distinction as “lovable outsider” alive.
Despite Toby “TobiWan” Dawson’s cryptic tweet about the event, fans will be relieved to know that the legendary caster will be attending TI9. He’s been the choice caster for every International grand final to date up until OG’s fairy-tale win last year. And now, the veteran will be making his ninth-straight TI appearance in Shanghai.
Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, legendary Starcraft 2 commentator and Twitch’s director of creative development, will be at TI9 after making his debut last year. He co-hosted an after-event show called “The Late Game” with Ted “PyrionFlax” Forsyth, which served as a recap of the day’s matches with added entertainment, like interviews and games.
Other regular casters have returned, with the ever-suave duo of Austin “Capitalist” Walsh and William “Blitz” Lee, TobiWan’s regular partners-in-crime “Kyle” Freedman and Troels Lyngholt “syndereN” Nielsen, and Gabriel “Lyrical” Cruz and Trent “TrentPax” Mackenzie, who made their first appearances as a duo last year.
The International begins on Aug. 15.