The International 2021 is fast approaching and Dota 2 fans now know whose voices they’ll hear making the calls at TI10.
Valve has confirmed the English language lineup for TI10, and while it’s a largely similar crew to what fans would expect, it’s quite a bit different from the talent team last seen at TI9. A variety of scandals has seen several notable broadcast talents effectively scrubbed from Dota 2 history, and competitors bouncing in and out of the scene have resulted in a few notable additions. The full lineup was revealed on Twitter.
It’s unclear what role each of these individuals will take, especially as personalities like Ted “PyrionFlax” Forsyth and Kyle “Kyle” Freedman can be used in a number of different ways.
Though the lineup announcement is largely about who will be at the event, some of the biggest news about the list centers around the casters who won’t be there.
At the top of the list is Kaci Aitchison. Despite not being a Dota 2 player or personality, Kaci has been a constant of The International since TI3, the dedicated on-screen partner of Jake “SirActionSlacks” Kanner, and is currently a Valve employee. While Slacks will be returning at TI10, he’ll be doing so without Kaci.
The other big omission is Alan “Nahaz” Bester. Nahaz has been a part of the broadcast team for a long list of Dota 2 majors and other large tournaments. Despite that, he will evidently not be making the trip to Bucharest. Neither Kaci nor Nahaz have publicly discussed why they’re not going to be at TI10.
Alongside Kaci, two other notable omissions are Alex “Machine” Richardson and Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham. Machine was a desk host and interviewer at multiple Valve run tournaments from 2016 to 2018, but passed on hosting TI9 due to the event overlapping with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s StarLadder Berlin Major. He hasn’t been a part of a Dota 2 event since then and has instead been working as a host in large League of Legends events.
djWHEAT was meant to be at TI9 to run after-show segments with PyrionFlax but bowed out due to mental health struggles and evidently won’t be back for TI10.
Toby “TobiWan” Dawson, Grant “GranDGranT” Harris, and Paul “Redeye” Chaloner will not be taking part in the event. The former two were both accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in the months following TI9, while Redeye was accused of mistreating other broadcast talents shortly thereafter.
The departures of many of these personalities has opened the door for a number of longtime Dota 2 broadcast talents to finally get their moment in The International’s spotlight. Several enduring casters are set to make their TI debut at TI10.
Foremost among that crew of casters is Michelle “Moxxi” Song. Moxxi has been a staple of Dota 2 events in the Americas since 2018 and has been a part of several majors. She was notably snubbed for a spot in TI9, but Valve is remedying that at TI10.
Andrew “Jenkins” Jenkins is in a similar boat. Though Jenkins still juggles both commentating and competition in pro Dota 2 with Arkosh Gaming, he has been passed over by Valve several times. This will be his first time appearing at The International in either capacity.
Shannon “SUNSfan” Scotten will also be making the trip to The International in 2021. The DotaCinema owner has been a constant in Dota 2 but has made a big pivot back towards casting over the last two years after spending time running an esports organization, appearing in the North American DPC League and WePlay AniMajor in 2021. This will be his first time casting at The International since TI4.
Frankie Ward is an esports broadcast personality who has worked in a wide variety of titles. She is best known as an interviewer and desk host in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but has worked in a long list of other titles including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Overwatch, and more. She will be working her first Dota 2 event at The International 2021, but she has been streaming Dota 2 periodically throughout 2021.
The International has had a long tradition of bringing in prominent personalities from other games. djWHEAT, Machine, Richard “Rich” Campbell, and Sean “Day” Plott have all been brought in to The International after having long careers as talents primarily utilized in other titles. Some have only popped up occasionally and others have used TI appearances to start longer stays in Dota 2. It’s unclear which camp Frankie will fit into.