The International 10 in Stockholm canceled. Where would be the main Dota 2 Championship hosted instead?

Valve announced the cancellation of the International 10 in Stockholm, known as the Main Dota 2 Championship. AIN.UA’s editor shares the story and tells whether Kyiv has chances to host the championship instead. 

According to Valve, the TI10 was canceled because of the pandemics. Local authorities decided not to make any preferences for Dota 2 main esports event. Disregarding the fact they were claiming that the Championship would be held, now they reported otherwise. Additionally, Valve stated that the company filed appeals directly with the Swedish government, but they did not even respond. Thus, Stockholm, which was announced as a hosting city of the TI10 two years ago, ultimately would not have the championship.

Valve reported that they are considering other European cities to still host the TI`10. The Championship should run from the 5th to the 15th of August. The program begins with Group Stage from the 5th to the 8th of August. The Main Event kicks off on the 10th of August and continues through the 15th of August that should be the Grand Finals for the winning teams. Thus, there is approximately one month left for the preparations ahead. One of the options considered is Kyiv. There are several reasons for supporting it: 

  • There is no outbreak of coronavirus in Ukraine right now, and the number of COVID cases does not exceed a thousand a day.
  • Mass gatherings are allowed in Kyiv because the city is in the “green” epidemiological zone.
  • Kyiv hosted the WePlay AniMajor tournament with teams throughout the world and there were not any visa-related problems. 
  • WePlay AniMajor was organized in just one month – the tight time frame shouldn’t be a problem for local organizing teams.
  • In 2017 PGL, who are Valve’s contractors, had run The Kiev Major smoothly.

However, the main problem is the location. There are not many places in Kyiv that can host a tournament of this scale.

We asked a representative of one of the biggest Ukrainian esports organization to share thoughts on hosting the TI`10 in Kyiv:

Oleh Humeniuk, CEO WePlay Esports

Kyiv may have a chance to host The International 10. Ukraine has demonstrated its readiness to host major esports events and successfully run them: our WePlay AniMajor became the most-watched Dota 2 major in history, and The Kiev Major in 2017 caused a huge stir among the community.

If Ukraine manages to host a Dota 2 championship of this level, it will incredibly accelerate the development of esports in the country. Of course, the team of esports media holding WePlay Esports is ready to take part in the organization of The International 10. Quality, creativity, and scale are the things we are ready to offer to Valve for holding TI`10 in Kyiv.

Vitalii ‘V1lat’ Volochai, Maincast co-founder

The International is a high-level event. And apart from its high-level status, there is a legal concern. It is about running a $40 million [prize pool] championship in a country that has no transparent tax policy. We all love our country. But we have such a tax system that there is no American company that would agree to rush a month-long race of organizing such a huge tournament here. I think it is impossible and believe Valve most probably would not accept such a risk. If they did, I would be happy, but there are too few chances for that. 

So I think Valve will look for logistically convenient options. And if the Swedes don’t back down and figure out what’s going on right now, I think the two obvious options are Copenhagen and Bucharest.

According to a source of AIN.UA, Kyiv does have a lot of chances to host TI`10, especially after the success of the WePlay AniMajor in June this year.

There is also information online that Germany may host the tournament. The problem is that the country has canceled all music festivals until the end of the summer and will not host any mass events. Other European countries may have visa problems for participants or COVID restrictions.

One of the most likely opponents of Kyiv is Bucharest, a city where Valve’s contractor, the above-mentioned PGL, is headquartered. Currently, Romania is hosting some matches of EURO 2020, and the country has a simplified entry regime for athletes and fans. However, it is not quite clear whether there is a chance that the same will be done with The International, allowing players from around the world to enter the country without a 14-day quarantine and visa restrictions. Sweden refused to do that.