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‘Dota 2’ The International venue: Valve still ‘committed’ to host esports tournament in Europe as talks with Swedish government crumble
Valve is suddenly left without an official venue for the much-awaited 10th “Dota 2” The International. Despite the seemingly crumbling talks with the Swedish government, where the tournament was originally planned to take place, the gaming company says it is still “committed” to hosting the event this summer.
A blog post on Tuesday was posted providing updates on the upcoming “Dota 2” The International, but it was not something fans were hoping to hear. Valve revealed that the problems emerged after esports was not accepted by the Swedish Sports Federation.
The annual “Dota 2” The International is arguably one of the biggest esports events. Its 10th iteration was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and its return this year was originally planned to be held in Stockholm. Last May, Valve announced that the prize pool this year has surpassed $40 million – the biggest ever in the tournament’s history.
After the Swedish Sports Federation rejected esports, Valve said it was left with the option to appeal to have “Dota 2” The International reclassified as an “elite sporting event.” But it was “immediately denied” by the Swedish Minister of Interior. This means hosting the tournament in the country would result in tumultuous complications, including the denial of visa to anyone entering Sweden to work on or attend the major esports event.
Valve said it still filed for an appeal earlier this month but has yet to receive a response from the Swedish government as of June 14. And on Tuesday, the company confirmed it already started looking for alternative venues within Europe. But the blog post suggests Valve is still holding out hope that the Swedish authorities would provide a favorable reply to its latest appeal.
Overall, though, Valve does not seem to be considering the cancellation of “Dota 2” The International. “We remain committed to hosting The International this year in a way that is both safe for all involved, and properly celebrates the players and fans of ‘Dota 2,’” Valve wrote.
“Dota 2” The International will take place on Aug. 5-15. The issues with its venue do not change other schedules of the tournament, including the TI qualifiers that will kick off on Wednesday, June 23.
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