Valve announced that The International 2020 is likely to be delayed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual Dota 2 tournament was set to take place in Stockholm this August and offer the biggest esports prize pool of the year. The team behind the tournament posted the announcement on Dota 2’s official website. Addressing the unfortunate global situation today and how it’s affecting the esports community, the team wrote:
“We have been exploring various date possibilities, but it is likely that the event will need to happen in 2021… 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. In the meantime, we are working on restructuring the DPC season for the fall, and will be providing more information as soon as we have it.”
The delay was understandable. Aside from the global travel and event restrictions brought about by the pandemic, Valve wouldn’t be able to reach the highest prize pool mark for TI this year if everyone’s at home. The 10th TI prize pool will come from the sales of the next Battle Pass. Valve needs 25% of the total sales to push through with the event, but since everyone, especially players and fans are affected by the pandemic, the sales might be lower than expected. To compensate, Valve plans to release the next Battle Pass closer to the main event itself.
The release date might be a couple of weeks later than the original date as Dota 2’s dev team members are all working from home. Valve aims to surpass last year’s prize pool which was $34 million. The two-time champion, OG Esports, took home the $15,609,384 grand prize in Shanghai. The International 2020 has no definite date yet. Health experts are discouraging sports and esports organizations to hold massive gatherings in the meantime. If some of the Dota 2 major tournaments return in 2020, they will most likely be held online or in a private arena without an audience.