The 10th iteration of The International Dota 2 tournament was supposed to be held last year. Valve has postponed it to this year, on account of the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company made the decision so that it could continue its tradition of having a live audience for the event. Unfortunately, that’s not happening after all, as the company has announced that TI10 will be an online event after all.
The tourney has not had the best year, to say the least. Already being delayed by a year thanks to the pandemic, and following an indefinite delay, it was then scheduled to happen in Sweden. That plan fell through because the country would not recognise the tourney as an “elite sporting event”, which complicated travel matters for competitors.
To ensure the safety of all players, talent, and production staff participating in the event, we have decided to refund all ticket sales for the live audience at The International 2021 — https://t.co/JOZQzxZ8Sf pic.twitter.com/77xnfvC5kv
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) October 3, 2021
Romania was willing to host the event in Bucharest, and tickets even went on sale two weeks ago. But even that fell apart, and tickets got refunded, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country started climbing again. Ultimately, Valve has settled with an online tourney for TI10, the first one in its decade-long tradition. It will start on 7 October, as initially scheduled.
In hindsight, having delayed The International 10 for a whole year and ultimately having to delegate the tourney to an online event feels like a year of waiting for nothing. That being said, online tournaments are always going to be less than ideal, as latency is bound to be a constant disruption to any competitive game.