There will be no longer be any wildcard spots, and teams will be eliminated in the group stage
— The International 7 (@Dota2Major) June 19, 2017
A few years ago, the Wild card position was added to allow teams a last minute entry where either their performance had recently shown to be worthy or had huge fan support. This gave TI 7 a sense of mystery, and was a great addition to The International’ format. However, Valve has decided to remove this position, instead allocation it to other qualifying tournament prize.
This signals that TI 7 organisers wish to have more constant teams. I find this a fairly poor move, as suprised are always great, and just a usual addition does not provide much for competitively as the best existing teams would have previously qualified. Now the format is much more forward, three teams from the EU, CN, SEA and NA along with 6 directly invited teams.
To make the tournaments more interesting and cut down less games which not many watch anyway, teams will be eliminated in the group stage. This structure has been implemented in various tournaments outside of TI 7, so it’s wonderful their finally catching on.