The International 2023 Opening Ceremony – Performers, Dates & History

Dota 2’s The International opening ceremony is arguably the most exciting part of the event (bar the actual games of course).
Ti primer
Each year has its own unique take, depending on where it is hosted, and how it’s executed. What remains iconic every year is the celebration of past champions, the participating teams, and the appearance of Gabe Newell himself.

Here’s everything we expect from the TI12 opening ceremony, but a word of warning. It’s going to be slightly disappointing.

Ti12 Opening Ceremony Performers

Traditionally, the International Opening Ceremony has always had live artist performances. This year is special, the TI 2023 Opening Ceremony unfolded in Seattle, USA, Valve’s headquartering country. While Gaben himself didn’t grace us with his presence, there was special video message from him.

What we did get, however, was an epic cinematic opening with a full live orchestra. TI12 pulled out all the stops and showed why The International is still the biggest esports tournament in the world.

Gaben TI

Credit: Valve

The International 2023 Opening Ceremony Date and Schedule

The Opening Ceremony took place on the first day of the main event, October 20th 2023.

On this fateful day, TI12 Opening Ceremony Performers sparked the arena with excitement as thousands of live fans cheered. Next came the celebration of past TI Champions, which is often dramatic especially if former Champions do not make it. For instance, when Wings Gaming did not appear at the International 2017 as the defending champions of TI6.

Team OG returning the Aegis of Champions at the International 2019 Opening Ceremony

Each team was introduced individually in the Cathedral of Dota 2. Fans were also given the chance to high five their favorite players.

Lastly, the most iconic moment of the International Opening Ceremony must be Gabe Newell’s appearance. The Valve co-founder made it a tradition to kick off the International Championship. And of course, his iconic quote, “Welcome to the International 2023” shall roar throughout the stadium. Disappointingly, despite TI12 taking place in Seattle, Gaben did not make an appearance IRL.

TI12 Battle Pass Release Date

In regards to Ti12 Battle Pass release date, there is none.

For the uninitiated, Valve announced a change in the direction of how they intend on shipping out features for the player base earlier in June 2023. They cited that most Dota 2 players never buy a Battle Pass and wouldn’t enjoy the features or rewards bundled within it. Additionally, the priorities put on Battle Pass development made it such that the dev team don’t have room to ship features throughout the year.

TI-Themed Events

Fret not, however, because Valve still made this time of the year a special season for Dota 2 players. For instance, Valve’s recent “10-Year Anniversary Celebration” event featured a play-to-redeem treasure, which drops exclusive skins. It’s not ‘exclusive’ in terms of how much an average player has to spend to obtain one, but instead, it’s a limited-edition skin enjoyable by everyone.

Many fans were disappointed with The International 12 Compendium. But Valve certainly did their best to prepare fans for the disappointment. This year’s event had no arcanas, no personas and, indeed, no skins at all. It was very focused around voice lines. It has been confirmed that new arcanas are on the way, but there are no dates available.

TI Opening Ceremony History and Archives

Every iteration of the International Opening Ceremony has its moments, but the first TI opening ceremony set the precedent for something big. In fact, there were no fancy performers nor team introductions up till the International 2014, but at least Gabe Newell showed up to mark its opening.

Then, at the International 2015 when the live audience was able to enjoy the spectacular performance of an orchestra, the official Dota 2 Reborn theme was played. The Northwest Sinfonia performed and recorded it at the Bastyr University Chapel, Kirkland Washington.

The International 2016 took a different twist during that year, which invited Lindsey Stirling to perform. The American violinist performed the same theme alongside other themes with her own unique take while cosplaying as Windranger.

The International 2017 was when we receive a comedy skit from the TI7 hosts, Jake “SirActionSlacks” Kannerand Kaci “Kaci” Aitchison. Gabe Newell also played as a backstage grunt cameo as the two hosts played the scene of getting teleported into the Dota 2 map as Crystal Maiden and Omniknight respectively. Furthermore, there’s also a ceremony performance by the band, Live Voices.

SirActionSlacks and Kaci cosplaying as CM and Omniknight at the International 2017

The International 2018 followed suit the same traditions of past the International Opening Ceremony, featuring the diverse Canadian band, Kune’s World. Alongside the band’s performance was a rope ballerina performing fascinating dances.

The International 2019 gives The International Opening Ceremony an Asian take, with traditional Chinese performances. These include mesmerizing fan dance, a drum play by the Gugu Drum troupe,  and an orchestra by Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. TI9 in Shanghai, China held the record for having the most performers for its take on the International Opening Ceremony.

TI10’s Virtual Performance

The International 2021 had a duet between returning violinist, Lindsey Stirling and JJ Lin. To celebrate the decade-old anniversary of the TI Championships, Valve also invited Finnish DJ, Darude, well-known for his song, Sandstorm.

And unfortunately, The International 2022 is the black sheep of them all, having no live performance at all, but some team and player feature instead. Ti11 was the first Ti that a third-party tournament organizer, namely PGL had the permission to host, and it was disappointing, to say the least.

As the TI12 opening ceremony marks the twelfth iteration of the International Opening Ceremonies, fans have high expectations. Let’s hope Valve prepared a treat for the Ti 2023 Opening Ceremony, especially considering the hefty ticket prices and how PGL did Ti11 dirty.