Dota 2’s The International 10 will not take place in Sweden

Valve is looking for an alternative host due to issues regarding sporting visas in Sweden

The trophy for The International Dota 2 tournament

25/06/2021 The Swedish Esports Association has confirmed that TI10 will definitely no longer take place in Stockholm, Sweden

Dota 2 developer Valve is currently searching for an alternative location to host The International 10 due to a “political situation” in the tournament’s host nation of Sweden. TI10 was set to take place in Stockholm’s Avicii Arena in early August, but with just six weeks until the event is set to begin, the hunt is on for a new city to play host.

In a statement, Valve says that earlier this month it learned the Swedish Sports Confederation had ruled against adding esports to its list of recognised sports, despite assurances from bodies such as Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm that TI10 would be classified as a sporting event. However, the Confederation’s ruling means that it is not.

Valve then attempted to convince Sweden’s Minister of the Interior to reclassify the tournament, but its request was denied. All of this means that anyone involved in TI10 – including staff, players, and talent – wouldn’t be able to get the sporting visas necessary to travel to Sweden for the event.

This is a huge blow that comes just six weeks before TI10 was set to begin on August 5. This will also be of huge frustration to Valve, who had kept faith with Sweden as a host nation for the tournament – which was meant to be played in 2020 – after having to reschedule it to this year during the pandemic.

While Valve had said in its original statement that hosting the event in Stockholm wasn’t completely off the table, the Swedish Esports Association confirms in a tweet on June 25 that the developer will definitely “not complete” any plans to host TI10 in Sweden.

Valve is now searching for another European city to host The International 10, which will offer up the biggest prize pool in esports history at just over $40 million.

“We remain committed to hosting The International this year in a way that is both safe for all involved, and properly celebrates the players and fans of Dota 2,” Valve says.

Fans are already speculating about which cities could now host TI10. Several cities in Germany could be contenders. Berlin, home to the LEC and host to the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 3 Masters LAN tournament is definitely one. If Valve also wanted some nostalgia, it could explore Cologne too, which played host to the very first TI in 2011.

Reykjavik, the capital of the extremely COVID-safe Iceland, could also be a potential location after it too hosted a Valorant LAN event earlier in the year.

Copenhagen in Denmark is relatively close to Stockholm, and will also be hosting the FIFA 21 eNations Cup finals in late August. It too could be a good candidate.

It also looks like Valve will be getting a pitch from France too, with Alexis Barrassin, who works in event development and esports at Paris’ Accor Arena, stating on Twitter his venue was keen to host TI10. A number of League of Legends competitions have been hosted at the arena, including the final of Worlds 2019.

The issues in Sweden could also spell bad news for a major event in another of Valve’s big esports titles, CS:GO. In October, tournament organiser PGL is set to host the first CS:GO Major in over two years in Stockholm. The Loadout has reached out to PGL to see if the events surrounding The International will impact the Stockholm Major.