The International is heading to Romania. After issues with the Swedish government and Covid-19 exemptions forced them to leave Stockholm, they have found a new home.
The new hosts
After some deliberation, it loos like Valve have landed on Bucharest, Romania as the new home for the biggest DOTA 2 tournament of the year. The event will be held in the country’s largest stadium — Arena Nationala. The Group Stage will run from October 7th to the 10th and the Main Stage play will kick off on October 12th.
The finals of the event will be held on October 17th with the two best teams in the world duking it out for their share of the over $40 million prize pool. In their announcement, Valve spoke about the new location:
“We are grateful for the partnership we have formed with Romania and the city of Bucharest, and very much look forward to gathering with the global Dota 2 community, both in-person and virtually, to celebrate the elite players and amazing fandom at The International. Prepare yourselves. At long last, the battle begins.”
The former location
The event was going to be held in Stockholm, Sweden. Like many other countries, Sweden has exemptions for elite sporting events that would allow the participants to enter the country during the pandemic. However, a decision was made not to include esports in those exemptions.
The International and the esports teams taking part would not be classified as a sport and would therefore not be able to take advantage of the elite sporting event exemptions. This forced Valve to look elsewhere for a host city.
Events to look out for
The one to watch will certainly be the European Regional Qualifier. This is the final competition for all Western European teams who didn’t earn enough DPC Points to enter The International. This is their last chance to earn a spot at the event and a chance to win some of that prize money.
This year, the qualifiers are full of some of the biggest names in DOTA 2 esports. You could check out two-year consecutive champions and TI9 defending winners, Team OG. Other major organisations like Team Liquid are taking part. Despite these huge teams, my recommendation for any fans of DOTA 2 esports betting is to check out Team Nimbus. They are a new organisation, but the roster is made up of four former champions: Miracle, Mind Control, Kuroky, and GH. The team doesn’t have a proven track record, but the players sure do.
The qualifiers for The International are still going ahead on the originally scheduled dates. If you want to take a risk-free bet on these qualifiers you can take part in their official predictions on the winners of each region. If you are right, you will win 1000 shards.
Regardless of the issues facing Valve and the Dota 2 esports scene, it looks like they are determined to present The International in 2021.