Valve’s plans to hold Dota 2’s 'The International' tournament in Stockholm were scuppered last month after the Swedish Sports Federation refused to classify e-sports competitors as ‘elite athletes’. The classification was required to get around the visa restrictions in place during the Covid-19 pandemic. Valve have now moved on and announced that the finals of their competition will now be held in Bucharest, Romania.
The change of location has resulted in a change in schedule. The original plan was to hold the group stages August 5-8th and the finals on August 10th. But Dota 2’s blog now states:
“Group Stage will run October 7-10th, with Main Stage play kicking off on October 12th. Then on October 17th, the two finest Dota 2 teams in the world will face off for the Aegis and their shares of the $40,018,195 prize pool that awaits. Additional information on ticket sales will come shortly.”
I’m sort of impressed that they managed to pull it all together. Even with all their experience of hosting the events, the world is a very different place these days, and it can't have been easy. That said, you couldn’t get me on a plane nowadays for any share of $40,018,195. I just can’t see why it’s necessary to hold the event publicly. But there it is.
Dota 2 has managed to tick along, otherwise. The summer event, Nemestice, launched and dropped a bunch of meteorite fragments onto the map, boosting the speed and damage of those that gather them. And the community is annoyed at the cost of the event's battle pass, which has a top-end cost of $41.99 for a level 100 bundle. Digital doo-dads probably shouldn't cost that much.