The eighteen competing teams in Shanghai have been evenly split into Group A and Group B.
Within Group A are Alliance, Chaos Esports Club, Keen Gaming, Mineski, Newbee, PSG.LGD, Team Liquid, Team Secret and TNC Predator.
TL were TI17 champions, while PSG.LGD came second in 2018 to OG.
Group B contains the remaining teams Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, Infamous, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG, Royal Never Give Up, Vici Gaming and Virtus.pro. OG are the reigning TI champions, having won the event last year. CIS fan eyes will be following this group as Na'Vi and VP keep the dream alive for the region.
Each Group will play nine Series' of Bo2, with the top four teams going into the Main Event through the Upper Bracket and the last team in the Group being eliminated at this stage, reducing the playing field to sixteen teams. The two teams in last place are currently set to earn $82,304 each, totally 0.5% of the entire prize pool.
The team that finishes top of their group picks their first opponent, either the 3rd or 4th team from the opposing group, to face in the Main Event while those below top four go into the Lower Bracket gauntlet, requiring victory in twice the number of games to make the Grand Finals over the Upper Bracket route.
Teams that make it this far will earn just under $500,000 each with the current prize pool total, while a top six finish guarantees over $1,000,000 per team. Victory at this year's TI will grant the winning team at least $14,979,282, the often coveted lion's share of the prize pool, likely to go above $15,000,000 before the event concludes.
The Group Stage gets underway in a few hours with the opening Series' of each Group starting from 9am China Standard Time (2am BST / 6pm PDT).