Sorry, China. It seems like Valve went on to reject an offer from the city government of Shanghai to personally host this year’s Dota 2 The International 10.
The International, commonly called TI, is an annual esports world championship tournament for Dota 2. The event is hosted and produced by the game’s developer, Valve.
Winners of the annual tournament receive the Aegis of Champions trophy.
In a report by Reuters, Valve Corporation apparently declined an offer to host the Dota 2 The International 10 in Shanghai this year. The information has come straight from a Chinese event organizer.
Zhou “Haitao” Lingxiang, co-founder of Imba TV, posted about the offer on Weibo— a popular Chinese social media site.
“From April to May, Perfect World CEO Hong Xiao reached out to Valve and asked if Valve is willing to move The International 2020 to Shanghai, and the Shanghai government expressed full support for the event. However, Valve refused this proposal.”
The CEO of LGD Gaming, Pan “RURU” Jie, further commented on Haitao’s report:
“That’s right. Shanghai’s government was willing to coordinate the event with the same priority as League of Legends’ Worlds, but Valve didn’t agree.”
This year’s The International 10 was planned to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, starting from Aug. 18-23. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, an early postponement was announced in April.
Valve later stated in September that the event will possibly be postponed to 2021, with Stockholm as the most probable location.
Many fans seem to understand the reason behind Valve’s decision, given that the ill-effects of the pandemic continue to linger throughout the globe.
“Hosting TI at any point in the second half of this year would’ve been a high risk situation, putting loads of players, talent, and production staff at risk.”
“I’m actually glad Valve delayed TI10 rather than doing it in a bubble with no crowd. Its literally the 10th anniversary for TI, and with no crowd, it’d just be a really sh*tty LAN. I expect TI10 will be f*cking huge when it does come along.”
Though the dates and official site for the next The International remain uncertain, TI10’s current prize pool recently went over a whopping $40 million— enough to make it the richest event in esports history.
The prize pool for The International is crowdfunded by the sale of in-game items (mostly the seasonal battle pass) in Dota 2.
Last year’s TI9, held in August 2019 at Shanghai, had the record at $34.3 million. It surpassed the mark briefly held by the 2019 Fortnite World Cup, priced at $30 million.
The TI9 grand finals took place between Team Liquid and OG, who both won the International’s 2017 and 2018 events.
However, OG ultimately defeated Team Liquid 3-1 in the best-of-five series to become the first-ever repeat champion of the Dota 2 The International.