Unfortunately, it seems like it's not yet certain if TI10 will take place in Sweden.
Is The International 10 Still Going to Be Held in Sweden?
The International 10 is the tenth annual edition of the annual Dota 2 tournament, The International. It will serve as the conclusion of the 2020-2021 Dota Pro Circuit. The world's most lucrative esports tournament was originally scheduled to be held from August 18 to August 23. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Valve postponed the event from August 5 to August 15 with the Avicii Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, as its venue.
Now, Valve has just released a statement basically saying that TI10 might be moved elsewhere.
The official statement reads:
We started working with Sweden back in 2019 to get everything in place to hold TI10 there in 2020. When the global pandemic necessitated a postponement, we doubled our efforts to work in tandem with officials there to make sure we provided them with everything they needed to make this a safe and successful event for everyone.
Over the course of the past year, Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm continued to reassure us in our regular and constant communications with them that The International - Dota 2 Championships qualified for the same exemptions other elite sporting events there received.
However, despite previous reassurances, we were informed two weeks ago that the Swedish Sports Federation had just voted not to accept esports into the sports federation.
According to Valve, the developers have since reached out to the Swedish Minister of the Interior. The developers reportedly requested for the government to classify TI10 as an elite sporting event. However, the request was denied. Thus, Valve has been forced to consider other venues for TI10.
Valve doesn't explicitly state that it is closing its doors from pushing through with the original plans. Instead, Valve simply added that it has already "started looking for possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe to host the event this year."
Will The International 10 Be Cancelled?
After already canceling The International 10 in 2020, Valve will not want to cancel the tournament for the second year in a row.
However, this does cast a certain bad light on Valve and the Dota 2 community. In terms of esports events, it seems like Valve lacks the foresight that the other developers have. For example, Riot Games has had its planned dates and locations set in advance for the League of Legends World Championships for years. Worlds is 2022 already scheduled to be held in North America in 2022.
For an event that's supposed to be as lucrative as The International 10 - the tournament will have the highest prize pool in esports history with $40 million up for grabs - Valve should have taken care of this already months ago.
While Sweden deserves part of the blame, it is still up to Valve to make sure that everything is settled.
Now, we're only weeks away from the start of The International 10. Valve will need to triple if not quadruple its efforts to make sure that TI10 is not canceled. Otherwise, they risk losing the trust of a player base that's already dwindled in recent years.