It’s that time of year again. Valve is in the middle of their Summer Sale. And that isn’t even the most interesting thing they have planned this year.
Valve is ramping up for the biggest DOTA 2 tournament of the year. It is shaping up to be the craziest one yet. After a cancellation in 2020 and some issues with the venue and host city, the event is still barrelling forward.
The International is an annual eSports world championship tournament for DOTA 2, one of the biggest eSports titles in the world. The event is hosted and produced by the game’s developer, Valve. The first iteration of the tournament was held at Gamescom in 2011 with a prize pool of $1,600,000. Since 2011, the event has been held annually with the exception of the postponement in 2020.
Not only has the event grown, but so has the prize money. $1,600,000 was already a huge chunk of change in 2011 but it ballooned every year to the enormous sum of $40 million for 2021. This is due to the huge sales of the Battle Pass. For every Battle Pass that is purchased, 25% of the revenue is contributed to the total prize pool for The International.
Before you get too excited, the actual event hasn’t started quite yet. After much debate and rearranging, the new event will take place in October 2021. If you are interested in seeing some smaller teams duke it out for a chance to compete in the event, you could check out the qualifiers that are being held right now.
The one to watch will certainly be the European Regional Qualifier. This is the final competition for all Western European teams who didn’t earn enough DPC Points to enter The International. This is their last chance to earn a spot at the event and a chance to win some of that prize money.
This year, the qualifiers are full of some of the biggest names in DOTA 2 eSports. You could check out two-year consecutive champions and TI9 defending winners, Team OG. Other major organisations like Team Liquid are taking part. Despite these huge teams, my recommendation for any fans of DOTA 2 eSports betting is to check out Team Nimbus. They are a new organisation, but the roster is made up of four former champions: Miracle, Mind Control, Kuroky, and GH. The team doesn’t have a proven track record, but the players sure do.
The one thing that might throw a spanner in the works of The International is the issues that they are facing with their host city and country, Stockholm, Sweden.
Like many other countries, Sweden has exemptions for elite sporting events that would allow the participants to enter the country during the pandemic. However, a decision was made not to include eSports in those exemptions.
The International and the eSports teams taking part would not be classified as a sport and would therefore not be able to take advantage of the elite sporting event exemptions. Obviously, this will put a damper on the event and if the issue is not resolved, we could see some pretty major changes to DPC predictions.
As a result of this ruling and the uncertainty for the teams and the fans regarding travel, Valve has made the decision to look for a new location for their event. They are still in communication with the Swedish government, but they believe that they will be able to hold the event somewhere in Europe. They have recently announced that the new event will take place in Bucharest, Romania.
The qualifiers for The International are still going ahead on the originally scheduled dates. If you want to take a risk-free bet on these qualifiers, you can take part in their official predictions on the winners of each region. If you are right, you will win 1000 shards.
Regardless of the issues facing Valve and the Dota 2 eSports scene, it looks like they are determined to present The International in 2021.