a) Team Selection
16 teams get directly invited to the main event and will be contacted about it by an admin. The last 4 slots get filled by teams from the qualifier
b) Qualifier Format
16 teams get invited to participate in The Defense 4 Qualifier. All teams get into a double elimination grid. The last two teams left in the upper bracket (after three rounds) are qualified for the main event. Out of the remaining teams, the last two teams left in the lower bracket (after four rounds) are qualified for the main event.
c) Group Stage
The 20 teams get divided into four groups of five. Every team plays two games against each of the four opponents in its group. When all 20 games are finished, the three teams with the most wins within each group advance to the playoffs. (Note: Each game is equally important. Beating one team 2:0 and losing 0:2 to another one is the same result as finishing 1:1 against both)
If two or more teams have the same amount of wins at the end of the group stage, and the affected teams are not all outside of the top three, they play bo1 deciding matches against each other until the ranking is settled. If the tiebreaking matches result in another tie (in case of three teams), or if more than three teams are involved, the administration might announce an alternative tiebreaking format.
d) Playoff Stage
The playoffs are divided into two different brackets, the upper bracket (UB) and the lower bracket (LB). Only the winner of each group goes into the UB, the second and third placed teams start in the LB. Losing in the UB means moving down to the LB (round 3 or 5). The last remaining team in the UB is qualified for the grand final. Eight teams start in the lower bracket, three more enter it during its progress . It consists of five rounds Every team who loses a match in the lower bracket is immediately eliminated from The Defense. The last remaining team in the LB is qualified for the grand final. All playoff matches except the grand final are best of three (bo3). That means: The two opposing teams play against each other until one team has two wins. The grand final is a best of five (bo5). That means: The two opposing teams play against each other until one team has three wins.
The winner of The Defense will get a prize money of 12000$, the team finishing second place will get 7000$, the team finishing third place will get 4000$, and the team finishing fourth place will get 2000$.
All General Rules for PRO Tournaments of joinDOTA apply for The Defense 4.