What just happened? The long-standing saga of the DOTA 2 international tournament has taken a sad turn. Valve has canceled plans to have a live audience at the show and said it will refund all tickets just days before the ten-day event begins.
In June, Valve said it had been working with Sweden since 2019 to ensure the tenth international DOTA 2 tournament could take place in the country in 2020. The pandemic has put a damper on those plans, but the company has received assurances from Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm to know that this year’s championships would enjoy the same exemptions as other elite sporting events.
Ultimately, however, the Swedish Sports Federation refused to classify The International as an “elite sporting event,” meaning that anyone attempting to obtain a visa to travel to Sweden, including players, talent and staff would likely be denied due to Covid-19 restrictions. Valve appealed and made a few last-minute attempts to come to an agreement, but were unsuccessful, which led to a new country and a new location: the Romanian Arena Nationala with a capacity of 55,634 in the capital. Bucharest.
Valve began selling tickets for the tournament on September 12, noting that all participants must be fully immunized and masked. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 has intervened again. Growing cases in Romania, which led to further restrictions in Bucharest, saw Valve cancel plans for a live audience. The event will continue as planned, just without a crowd.
“We wanted nothing more than to welcome fans live to the event, but we can no longer do so in a way that allows us to put the health and well-being of members of the public first. and participants, ”writes Valve. “Those who purchased tickets will receive a full refund automatically. “
Last week, top DOTA 2 Team Aster revealed that several members had tested positive for Covid-19, including three of its five players.
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