The history of major Dota 2 tournaments begins in 2011, when the first The International was held in the city of Cologne at the Gamescom Arena. It is necessary to note that the game itself was introduced to the players for the first time at that tournament. 16 teams without a qualifying stage were invited to the competition. The prize fund broke all records of that time and amounted to USD 1.6 million. It was a huge amount of money. To compare, in 2019, at the last The International, the prize fund reached $32 million.
The 2011 tournament was won by Natus Vincere, the legendary Ukrainian team, with a score of 3-1. They defeated the EHOME team in the final.
Besides, The International 2011 broke the record for views. More than one and a half million viewers watched the matches.