The International’s group stage is more important than ever — and it’s kicking off with a bang.

The TI12 group stage has finally been announced in a post from Wykrhm Reddy, with the competition’s 20 teams split into four different groups.

Valve is making significant changes to The International format with TI12

It’s a radically different group stage from the one we’ve been used to for so long — and before long, four teams will be eliminated.

TI12 group stage: Looking even at the start

Group A

  • 9Pandas
  • Entity
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Team SMG
  • Team Spirit

Group B

  • Azure Ray
  • BetBoom Team
  • Shopify Rebellion
  • Team Liquid
  • Thunder Awaken

Group C

  • beastcoast
  • Gaimin Gladiators
  • LGD Gaming
  • nouns
  • Virtus Pro

Group D

  • Quest Esports
  • Talon Esports
  • TSM
  • Tundra Esports
  • Vivo Keyd Stars

At first glance, each group seems fairly even. The three (arguably) top teams in the world now — Gaimin Gladiators, Team Liquid, and Team Spirit — find themselves in three different groups, and defending champions Tundra Esports is also in its own group, making all their advancements incredibly likely.

TI12 power rankings: The big 3 lead the pack in Seattle

The revamped group stage will see five teams in each group compete in a best-of-two, single round-robin, with the bottom team eliminated — and that’s just the first phase.

The second phase sees the top two teams from each group playing the third and fourth-placed teams in the opposite group. This will be a best-of-three, and will determine the main event bracket placement.

TI12 group stage format
Credit: Valve

20 teams will battle it over four days, from October 12 to 15 — before finally leaving 16 teams to dust themselves off and prepare for the playoffs.

READ MORE: Breaking the Habits: Which The International records might be broken at TI12?