The International 10, Valve’s Dota 2 event, is more than just the final tournament of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021. It’s also the tenth iteration of the annual tournament organized by Valve and one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious esports events. However, TI10 has faced significant criticism from players, fans, and pundits alike.
The Challenges Leading Up To TI10
Right from the start of the tournament, TI10 has seen its fair share of challenges. Unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic, the tournament had already been pushed back by a year. After that delay, the Swedish government failed to recognize TI10 as an elite esports tournament, forcing them to find a new host country.
Days before the group stages started, the new host country, Romania, saw a mass uptick in COVID cases causing Valve to cancel the in-person event. So while TI10 was still going on, it was all online without a live audience. It was a necessary decision for the safety of players and fans alike. Fans received refunds for their tickets but were still angry as many had made travel accommodations and could not get refunds.
While all the changes were happening for the tournament, the players themselves had their issues. The living conditions given to the players were less than acceptable. Valve had stuck them into smaller living spaces and the food near the same level. Many of the players, including Team Spirit manager Dmitry ‘Korb3n’ Belov, went to social media to share their disdain.
All the challenges Valve faced leading up to it, TI10 betting was still going on. So some would not be surprised if this was the last TI that Valve hosts.
Challenges of Running An Esports Tournament In The Pandemic
Like many other industries that host live events, esports has seen difficulties caused by the pandemic firsthand. As a result, the esports industry, which has continued to develop rapidly since 2011, saw plenty of changes to maintain its growth. Unfortunately, many of the adjustments are still in effect.
In-person tournaments and live events are crucial for any traditional sport, with esports being no exception. Some of the most significant esports tournaments exceed many major sporting events in their grandiosity and production value.
Due to safety restrictions, most esports tournament organizers had to take the committed step to transfer their competitions online. While COVID canceled most sporting events entirely, esports were not affected as much. Tournament organizers have found ways to keep esports competitions going, and viewership numbers on Twitch were rising.
Why Is This The Perfect Year To End TI?
Valve has been hosting The International Dota 2 tournament for ten years now. Unfortunately, this year could be the year for Valve to end TI. With COVID cases still on the rise and things seem uncertain, it would be the perfect time to do it. End on a high note.
While Valve has faced plenty of challenges due to the pandemic, TI10 has the largest grand prize in any esports final in the history of esports—$40 million for the final winner. With the prize money being so significant and having hit a ten-year milestone, it would make sense for Valve to move on to a new tournament format. Keep it fresh for the fans and the players as well.
Why Should TI Continue?
Like it said above, the $40 million grand prize was all because of the fans. The prize money came from fans buying DLC and the battle pass purchases. Even to this day, Dota 2 battle pass numbers continue to rise. These continued purchases could mean a larger payout for future tournaments.
Fans would be disappointed to see the time of The International come to an end like this. Maybe give another memorable year or two before thinking about switching things up. Make it all about the fans. Dota 2 betting would also benefit if TI continues.