Tickets for Dota 2’s biggest event, the International, went on sale on August 13. Valve released the tickets through Ticketmaster, and they were sold out on the platform within minutes. Fans from all over the world were left high and dry owing to the fact that practically all of those were sold to scalpers.
Unethical Practice of Scalpers
Scalpers have become an increasing menace across popular competitive tournaments. Not even people who joined the Ticketmaster queue hours in advance of their sale stood a chance against the bot-driven purchases made by scalpers. And sure enough, tickets began appearing on consumer platform Carousell within minutes of them selling out, inflated to over three times their original price.
Thousands of fans, who didn’t expect the completely unethical ticket loot, had already made travel arrangements to Singapore. Now they are faced with very few solutions, each of them less appealing than the next.
The first, and least preferable choice would be to give in to the scalpers, and purchase their tickets at exorbitant prices. Some reports have revealed that tickets are being resold at rates anywhere between $800-$5500 USD. However, this is only enabling behaviour which is against the tournament’s rules, and should be discouraged. Entry into the event also requires photo identification which needs to be linked to the original purchaser.
The second course of action for those who have pre-booked their flights and hotels would be to just make the trip anyway. They could meet up with others in the same unfortunate situation, and still follow the event virtually via watch parties. But nothing compares to the thrill of catching the action live, and being so close to the event only rubs salt deeper in the wound. However it would also mean that an expensive trip to Singapore, the first South Asian country to host the event live, wouldn’t go to complete waste.
Some Fans Will Miss TI 11
Finally, fans are faced with the most bitter and disappointing option of the lot – to accept that Dota 2 The International 2022 isn’t happening for them, and cancel their bookings. Some might get their refunds, but depending on airline and hotel policies, losses could range from between hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Ticketmaster has received heavy criticism for their poor management and allotment of tickets, and a CBC report suggested they may have been privately aiding the scalpers. The International is the biggest esports event in the world, and the rampant corruption has left thousands of genuine fans in the lurch while scalpers profit. Ticketmaster’s terms and conditions prohibit the sale of tickets at such high prices. Entry into the event will also be disallowed with tickets purchased from unauthorized points of sale.
Official ticket prices for The International had already shot up in 2022, and considering the unreasonable resale rates, it’s unlikely that most fans will be able to afford to go at all. Playoff tickets were priced at around USD$68 per day, and the finals bundle for both days valued at USD 361.
The Suntec Arena, which hosts the playoffs only seats 6000 people, so the price increase does make sense considering there are over 20,000 fans who’d want to attend the event. But the ticket catastrophe has left a bitter taste in the mouth for fans across the world. Several people pre-booked their flights because rates skyrocket as the event draws near, and it’s them, and the genuine, everyday fan, who’ve been dealt the worst blow.