For many years now, The International has been one of the most glitzy, prestigious, and well-received esports tournaments in the world. However, TI10, taking place at the moment in Bucharest, Romania, may well go down as being the worst tournament in living memory.
Thousands of DOTA2 fans are complaining about many different aspects of Valve’s flagship event, and the richest esports tournament in history, and not only is it fans that aren’t happy, some teams competing in the event have also been critical of certain aspects of the tournament too.
In contrast, the League of Legends World Championships in Iceland, which are running concurrently, have had none of these issues, which just makes the baffling decisions taken by organisers all the more confusing.
It is the latest setback for the tournament which got off to a somewhat inauspicious start when four days before the tournament was due to start, Valve had to refund ticket money to fans, who could no longer attend after the increasingly concerning Covid-19 situation in Bucharest saw many public venues closed.
Fake Crowd Noise
If you have been tuning in to watch the TI10 live streams then you will likely have encountered one of the biggest issues for viewers, fake crowd noise.
With no fans in attendance, Valve has attempted to create some kind of background buzz for their games by following the lead of some sports broadcasters who used fake crowd noise to give games and events at least some realistic atmosphere.
However, the decision has been something of a disaster with many fans unhappy at the way it has been implemented.
Fans can click on their team badge to send a ‘virtual cheer’ for their team, with the more fans that click the button, the louder the cheering should get.
However, in practise, fans have just spammed the cheer button meaning that cheering seems to bear no link to what is happening in the game and it has driven many Dota 2 fans to distraction.
Here’s a selection of comments from a Reddit thread on the issue:
“I hate it so much, like nothing happening and the ‘crowd’ keeps cheering for 10 seconds. It’s so fake.”
“They need to get rid of this immediately, it’s absolutely hideous.”
“Making the Twitch streams unwatchable. Worse than the vuvuzelas of WC 2010.”
A Cheap Local Tournament – Not The Richest In Esports History
However, you are not finding top quality when it comes to the surroundings of the tournament, either for the casters or the teams.
A number of Dota fans have taken to Twitter to lambaste the quality of presentation of the tournament, with the desks that the Casters of the tournament are working from looking shabby and outdated.
One Twitter user, Div Dota commented:
“I understand saving costs. However, the community gave 170 million dollars for this TI10. What are those desks???? I bet they are older than the TI itself. Seriously, I can go right now at Ike and buy 4 desks. WHY WHY WHY”
Others have likened the presentation of TI10 to looking like a cheap local tournament, not a record-breaking $40m esports World Championship event.
Team Complaints Too
Perhaps most worryingly for Valve, it is not just the fans that are up in arms about the tournament, but there have been some very public complaints from teams too.
Team Spirit’s Dota roster posted a damning video on YouTube which showed the cramped practice facilities the team was allocated, and which they had to use to compete in the tournament, which not only blocked off their kitchen but meant that players could not even lean back in their chairs.
Furthermore, a lack of decent quality food and a lack of basic facilities, such as toilet paper in the lavatory, have also compounded matters.
While the lack of fans at the event was unfortunate and not something that Valve could have foreseen, this cobbled together attempt at TI10 hasn’t done the tournament any justice and fans, casters and teams at the event, as well as the whole Dota community, deserved so much better on the return of their flagship tournament.