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Published: October 21, 2022

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • The opening ceremony was omitted for the first time in TI’s history
  • Fans criticized Valve for this other production qualities
  • The event’s prize pool is less than half that of last year’s TI

Dota 2 fans are not happy that Valve decided to skip the over-decade-long tradition and not have an opening ceremony for this year’s The International.

Valve Omits TI11 Opening Ceremony

Dota 2’s The International is the biggest tournament not just in the franchise, but in esports as a whole. And with over a decade since its first iteration, the tournament has created and sustained several traditions that fans adore and expect to see every year. However, this year’s The International 11 seems to be missing something very important, and fans are not happy about it.

From the very first TI tournament in Cologne, Germany, in 2011, Valve has always opened the event with a grandiose ceremony. This hyped fans for the upcoming battles and was considered as important of a part of the event as the grand finals. Eveamidof the Covid-19 pandemic, Valve still created a spectacular opening ceremony

So it should come as no one’s surprise when fans were disgruntled when this year’s TI event did not include any kind of opening celebration. Fans were eager to see what Valve had prepared, followed by an opening speech by non-other than the company’s president Gabe Newell before the start of the first match. But they were unpleasantly surprised when Valve missed to do this for the first time in its history.

Fans Are Not Happy

It’s not known why Valve decided to skip the traditional opening ceremony this year but fans are already complaining about it on social forums. “Imagine going to SG, paying a lot of money to be able to sit in an uncomfortable chair to watch games that you can watch better online. RIP TI,” wrote one fan under a Reddit post discussing the matter. 

“Where is a separate Draft Panel? Where is Game Analysis by Purge? Mann what is this shit. And I only noticed ONE SCREEN in the entire arena, I feel bad for the people attending the event,” wrote another fan regarding the bad placement of the giant screen that was used to play videos of old TI events. 

“I fucking stayed up for this shit man. All I wanted to see was my best friend Gabriel Newell welcome me (personally) to The International. Seriously though, not even a tiny opening ceremony?” wrote another fan. 

Although this year has seen entertaining matches, Valve has still been criticized for the way it’s running things. One clear example of this is the low TI11 prize pool compared to previous years. Since the prize pool is directly funded by the Dota 2 battle pass, this year’s TI11 prize pool is lower than the previous year for the first time in its history. This is because many fans were dissatisfied with what the battle pass offered and simply chose to not buy it. For comparison, in 2021, the prize pool was just over $40 million, while this year it’s estimated at around $17 million.

There is still hope there will be something like an opening ceremony ahead of the Finals Week, but the reputation damage has already been done. 

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