The International 2021 has a new date and location.
After weeks of uncertainty following Valve’s inability to get the event running in Stockholm six weeks away from the start date, the company has figured out a time and a place for the largest Dota 2 tournament of the last two years.
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) July 7, 2021
“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,” Valve said in a statement.
TI10 was originally meant to take place in Stockholm, Sweden and run from August 5 to 15.
A number of teams have been left in a holding pattern in Europe since the end of the WePlay AniMajor in June. Many of them will need to make major changes in their plans for the event, with TI10 being pushed back more than two months.
The reason behind the change in date and location is logistical difficulties surrounding immigration. Valve was unaware that TI10 did not qualify as an “elite sport competition,” which would have allowed for competitors to easily enter the country. Keeping the August date would have created extensive visa issues, possibly resulting in many teams being turned away at the border.
Arena Nationala, the arena of #TI10!🇷🇴😮
— Alliance 🏖️🌞 (@theAllianceGG) July 7, 2021
This put Valve in the difficult position of needing to find a new place for the event in very short order. Luckily, Bucharest was willing to accommodate the Dota 2 pro scene and will host the event in October.
It is unclear whether The International 2021 will feature a live audience and this likely won’t be confirmed until closer to the event due to health precautions.
However, there is definitive word on what venue will host the event.
TI10 will take place in Arena Nationala in Bucharest, a 55,000-seat soccer stadium. This will be the largest venue to host a Dota 2 tournament ever by a considerable margin, far exceeding the capacity of other arenas that have hosted TI10, such as Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena and Seattle’s KeyArena, which seated approximately 18,000.
The open-air nature of the venue does increase the chances of The International admitting fans, as soccer and football stadiums allow for the ventilation and social distancing that can keep fans safe. Still, fans shouldn’t book their flights until getting confirmation.