Valve’s problems didn’t end after the pandemic delayed The International 10 last year. Now, Sweden has denied esports an exemption to hold physical events, preventing Valve from hosting The International 10 in Stockholm this year.
Valve announced in a blog post that it had been denied a special exemption status, which is necessary for holding The International 10 in Stockholm. As a result, it is forced to look at alternative venues within Europe.
“We will have a solution that allows us to hold TI10 in Europe this year, and that we will be able to announce an updated plan in the very near future,” Valve said in the update on its website.
But that setback hasn’t stalled Valve’s progress.
The TI 10 Regional Open Qualifiers will take place on schedule, starting June 23, 2021, and a new summer event for Dota will arrive later this week. Named “Nemestice,” this summer event is likely to come with the long-overdue Spectre Arcana and the new gameplay patch, while doubling as a filler for the lack of the Battle Pass this year.
“In the meantime, TI qualifiers will still be happening on the originally scheduled dates starting June 23. And later this week, the all-new summer event Nemestice will arrive,” Valve said.
In the announcement, Valve recounts its communications with Sweden back in 2019 to set everything in order for TI10, which was to be held in August 2020 before the pandemic hit. Valve doubled down on its communication with the country’s official bodies to make sure that TI10 will take place in 2021. The company was reassured time and again that it will be able to host the tournament in 2021.
“Over the course of the past year, Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm continued to reassure us in our regular and constant communications with them that The International – Dota 2 Championships qualified for the same exemptions other elite sporting events there received,” Valve said.
However, two weeks ago, Valve was informed that the Swedish Sports Federation had “voted not to accept esports into the sports federation.” This means that Dota 2 will not get the necessary exemptions to hold TI10 on Swedish soil.
As a last-ditch effort, Valve tried to get the Swedish Minister of the Interior to “reclassify The International – Dota 2 Championships as an elite sporting event,” but its request was promptly denied.
“With the Minister of the Interior failing to recognize The International – Dota 2 Championships as an elite sporting event,” Valve said. “Anyone attempting to procure a visa for travel into Sweden for TI10 (including players, talent, and staff) would be denied.”
The lack of official recognition for the event also means that there is no guaranteed entry for any person from outside the EU who is typically not required to get a visa to enter Sweden.
Valve also appealed to the Swedish government on June 9, and again on June 14, but to no avail.
“As a result, and in light of the current political situation in Sweden, we have started looking for possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe to host the event this year, in case the Swedish government is unable to accommodate The International – Dota 2 Championships as planned,” Valve said.
Regardless, Valve has assured fans and players that whatever the outcome, TI10 will be held in Europe this year. It is committed to hosting The International this year in a way that is both safe for all parties involved and celebrates the game and its fans.
As for the details and further updates, Valve has said it will communicate with us as soon as it is able to.
Read the blog post on the official Dota 2 website.