The International will once again land outside of Seattle, but it’s going to be a lot further away than Vancouver next year.
During Friday’s broadcast of TI8, Valve announced that The International 2019 will take place in Shanghai, China. No date was announced for the event, and though the promotional video was shot in front of the Mercedes-Benz Arena, it remains unconfirmed what venue will host the tournament.
While the first edition of The International took place in Cologne, Germany, the biggest annual Dota 2 event found a regular home in Seattle, hosting each event there from 2012 to 2017. Unfortunately its regular host KeyArena began renovations to expand its seating capacity for a potential NHL expansion team in early 2018. That resulted in TI8 being moved just north to Vancouver, Canada.
Specific reasons for sending The International across the ocean remain a mystery. In 2017, the League of Legends World Championship took place across four Chinese cities, concluding at the Beijing National Stadium. It is possible that Valve is seeking to produce something similar in size and scope.
The build to TI9 starts soon, as the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season kicks off in September with the qualifiers to the season’s first minor.