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Published: October 4, 2021

Written by: David


  • Valve has decided to change its mind and have The International 10 without a live audience
  • The decision was made because of several COVID-related issues
  • People who have purchased a ticket will be immediately refunded

COVID-19 continues to damage live esports events as The International 10 will prohibit live audiences after all.

Valve Changes Its Mind

There is unfortunate news about The International 10, the most exciting annual Dota 2 event. According to a recent release, Valve has considered the possible dangers to the players, staff, and talents and has decided to forgo accommodating a live audience.

With this decision, only the players, the talents and the supporting staff will be allowed at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest where the event is going to take place.  Valve promised that everyone who has purchased a ticket for The International 10 will be immediately refunded.

Valve laments having to resort to this decision. In the release, the company said that it wanted to welcome fans live to the event more than everything. However, this is proving to be impossible, considering the global COVID-19 pandemic.

It is likely that the Team Aster situation influenced the decision. A mere day ago, Team Aster had not one, not two, but all of its players test positive for COVID-19. They were not the only ones as Invictus Gaming also reported having people who have gotten the virus.

Additionally, there were more local restrictions in Romania that might have caused trouble anyway.

The Pandemic Continues to be an Obstacle

At first, Valve had decided to only allow vaccinated people at the venue. In the end, it seems even this might prove to be dangerous.

This isn’t the first COVID-19 issue TI has had this year. Valve was really keen on hosting the esports tournament in Stockholm, Sweden. Sadly, the local pandemic measures made this impossible. The Swedish government refused to give the esports athletes the same guaranteed entry to the country that it gives to traditional sports professionals, sending Valve back to the drafting board.

The game company quickly arranged a plan B and decided to have The International 10 hosted in Romania. Fans were quite excited as there seemed to be a genuine possibility for the event to take place with live audiences in attendance. Unfortunately, those dreams are now shattered.

Other than Valve backing down on the idea of accommodating an audience, the rest remains unchanged. The International 10 begins in three days on October 7. The event will meet the best Dota 2 players in the world in an exciting competition for the champion’s title and a share of the humungous $40 million prize pool.

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