TI10 risks losing its location in Sweden – What are the alternatives?
We have waited two years for The International 10 to be hosted in Sweden. Yet, with just over a month until the scheduled date, Valve had to break the dire news about TI10 possibly rejected from Swedish grounds. While Valve has reassured that they will ensure that TI10 will go on, many parties have voiced their thoughts and even alternatives.
Let’s look at what potential venues can host TI10 on short notice.
Important Update on TI10
On June 22, the official DOTA 2 page shared the shocking update on TI10. Nobody in the community anticipated that TI10 might not even make it to Sweden. The Swedish officials have decided not to classify esports as an elite sporting event, thus not allowing foreign players to obtain permits and visas to enter the country.
Despite the past reassurances from the Swedish party that TI10 qualifies as an elite sporting event, it was ultimately confirmed two weeks ago that it wasn’t the case anymore. As their last resort, Valve scurried to request Sweden’s Minister of Interior to reclassify The International as an elite sporting event, but to no avail. The timing is also extremely bad as Sweden is entering a political crisis of its own, and any actual help to move things along is unlikely.
With things looking grim for TI10 to set foot in Sweden, Valve set their plans for other alternatives in Europe.
Reactions from the Dota 2 community
Of course, the Dota 2 community has a lot to say about the unexpected circumstance. After all, we have waited two years for TI10 to finally happen. Some fear that TI10 might be postponed again, while others are optimistic about the vast alternatives we have not just in Europe but around the globe.
What did i just wake up to
— Henrik Ahnberg (@AdmiralBulldog) June 22, 2021
For instance, the Swedish Dota 2 streamer Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg jokingly tweeted about missing The Internationals for the third year in a row. The lather was anticipating to visit TI10 after failing to do so in previous years, primarily due to visa issues. He was assured to visit it this year since Sweden is his home ground.
On the flipside, Sweden’s decision to not accept Esports as an elite sports received massive backlash. Considering Sweden is home to prominent Esports figures and streamers, and had a decade-long history of revenues contributed by the Esports industry, the actual people involved started voicing their concern.
This is embarassing for Sweden
— AnnieFuchsia (@anniefuchsia) June 22, 2021
TI10 Location Alternatives
Meanwhile, suggestions fill up the Dota 2 Reddit, but there are more likely options that Valve can consider on short notice. Most notably, the WePlay Esports Arena at Kyiv.
WePlay Esports is trying their best to hint about their exclusive arena at Kyiv, where they hosted the incredible WePlay AniMajor just last week. With flawless Augmented Reality (AR) implementation and noteworthy production quality, even the Dota 2 fans are in favor of WePlay’s helping hands.
Furthermore, Kyiv qualifies as a European capital, which Valve mentioned as their criteria while searching for alternatives. After all, ease of processing player visas will be crucial to ensure all participants can secure it.
Fans are also suggesting various other countries as well. Having it at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, is also a solid choice. That arena specifically has hosted some of the most notable esports events of the past decade. Furthermore, Finland was hinted as an option, where some of Dota 2 best carry players originated.
The AccorHotels Arena in Paris is another solid choice. The venue hosted the 2019 LoL Worlds finals and should be a solid choice for Ti10 overall. Paris recently hosted the Six Invitational with no larger hiccups in players obtaining visas.
Of course, many fans brought up the Philippines into the mix, but compulsory drug tests on the players became a deterrent for event organizers years ago.
Since we are in a race against time to have TI10 be on schedule, on top of the necessary preparations before hosting TI10. Chances are WePlay Esports, who recently concluded their tournament, would be Valve’s best shot. Regions with inadequate pandemic regulations will also be a big no-go since participants’ health is of utmost priority too.