Valve delays The International indefinitely amidst pandemic
The International is the latest to succumb to the highly volatile landscape created by the emergence of the novel coronavirus. Sporting events and leagues across the world have stopped operations or have been called off for the season.
Joining that list, developer Valve announced that the 2020 edition of the global DOTA 2 tournament, dubbed 'The International', which was set to take place at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm between August 18-23 will not be held this summer, the very first time it returned to Europe since 2011.
This is definitely disappointing news for fans across the world. The announcement said that it may be pushed back till 2021. Given the massive worldwide disruption that has been caused by the Corona virus, Valve is unclear, and they are in no position to announce fixed dates.
In the official post, Valve said, "Given the highly volatile landscape for local gathering restrictions, virus trajectory, and global travel policies, we don't expect to have enough confidence to communicate firm dates in the near future."
The International, which has been an annual competition since 2011 is not only one of the biggest and most lucrative competitions in the world of eSports. Last year's edition, which was held in Shanghai had an enviable prize pool of more than $30 million. The prize-pool for the tournament is partially crowdfunded by the active gaming community of DOTA 2.
The driving force behind this is the DOTA 2 Battle Pass. Valve announced that the release of the Battle Pass is simply delayed. This is a silver lining for many DOTA fans despite the event's delay.
The International is just the latest in the list of eSports events which have been forced to modify their operations. The highly ambitious Overwatch league, which kicked off earlier this year and had plans to host both home and away games across the world has moved to an online only format. Joining them is the Call of Duty and League of Legends. Earlier this month, Epic Games also announced that it wouldn't host the 2020 Fortnite World Cup as it has shifted all of it competitive circuit to an online-only format.
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