Valve announces cities can apply to host The International 2021

By Olivia Richman


Feb 28, 2020

Reading time: 3 min

Valve is looking for cities to host The International 2021. 

While many big events have been thrown up in the air in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Dota 2 is looking to make their flagship event bigger and better than ever before. The first step is finding a new home for next year’s tournament. 

The first International was held in Cologne, Germany at Gamescom in 2011. For the next six years, it stayed in Seattle, the location of Valve’s headquarters. Since then, TI has been held around the world, including Vancouver, Shanghai, and soon, Stockholm

With the introduction of the the Dota Pro Circuit, it appears that Dota 2’s competitive scene is looking to expand more than ever before. Whether pros like the idea of a league or not, this set up will bring more Dota 2 tournaments to fans around the world throughout the year, making The International 2021 probably the largest TI to date. 

But where will it be held? 

Valve looking for city to host TI 2021

Valve has likened The Interational to the NFL Super Bowl and the Eurovision Song Contest. Basically, it’s huge. The tournament peaked at almost 2 million viewers and tickets to the event sold out almost instantly

For that reason, there are some requirements cities must meet if they want to be considered as a possible host for the 2021 tournament. 

The first requirement if they wish to apply is a modern indoor arena or stadium that can fit between 15,000 and 80,000 live spectators. It must also be available for a 10-day period in August 2021. 

The venue must have additional space for “ancillary events,” like vendor villages, dedicated fan zones, and after parties. There must also be ample hotel space, since they should be planning for 30,000 individuals to visit the city at that time. 

Valve also prefers that the event be close to an international airport and have a strong local transportation system. To be considered for TI, cities must also support potential road closures and “commit to unfettered movement of event trucks on surface roads.”

They must also have fiber network connectivity from a local service provider. 

There are other requirements cities must meet as well. They must guarantee the safety of The International’s contestants, workers, and fans. They must also have continuous communication with Valve leading up to the event as well as throughout. Valve is also looking for assistance with permitting and negotiating local regulations, as well as figuring out visa issues for participants and spectators. 

An open and public invitation to host The International has never been done before. It’s similar to the Olympic’s process for host city bidding, where cities from around the world spend upwards of millions of dollars just to be considered.

While this is not yet on such a large scale, TI is still a great addition to any city if something like the LCS Summer Finals last year are anything to go by. By partnering with this host city, the LCS reportedly contributed $5.44 million to Detroit’s local economy. And with TI being an even bigger and longer event, chances are that the financial rewards will be that much greater for host locations.

Cities hoping to be considered must submit their proposals by March 31. The final selection will be made by June 15. Valve will announce next year’s host at The International 2020, which takes place August 20th through the 25th. 


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