Dota 2 The International 2021 Won’t Have Live Audience

Not doing a good job so far.
Not doing a good job so far. Valve

With The International just days away, Valve is facing issues that questioned how good it really is in organizing a large event. For starters, it announced yesterday that it was canceling ticket sales for the Dota 2 tournament. So, there won’t be any live audience.

For those who were keeping count, that’s just a little over two weeks since tickets were made available. So what happened? In a post, Valve revealed that due to the continued increase of COVID rates in Romania, they could no longer have fans in the event to ensure the health and well-being of everyone. It didn’t help that there was also a rally against coronavirus restrictions in Bucharest.

As a result, Valve said they were refunding all ticket sales for The International 2021.

Not Enough

For some in the Dota 2 community, however, handing out refunds isn’t enough. There’s also the issue of fans who have already traveled to Romania, which means they already spent on plane tickets and hotel accommodations. That’s pretty much the sentiment of some toward Dota 2's tweet, which also announced the cancellation.

One user said that not only did he spend almost $5,000 for the entire trip but even had to request vacation days. To be fair though, there were also others who said that those who went to Romania knew the risks involved.

Regardless of which side you are on in this particular argument, one thing is clear. Valve could have done a lot more. When the tournament venue had to be moved to a new location, measures should have been in place and it could have helped if fans were included in the picture.


During the Singapore Major, some teams were unable to participate due to restrictions or when members tested positive for COVID-19. While that tournament was organized by a third party, Valve should have taken lessons to form that.

That same problem now happened with players testing positive for the coronavirus. It was reported that some team members and staff of Team Aster tested positive for COVID-19. As if that’s not enough, it was revealed that one player of Invictus Gaming also tested positive.

According to another report, Tiffani “Oling” Lim, IESF Players Committee Chairperson and Translator, Aster's coach Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng had raised the concern of what appeared to be the lack of COVID precautions including no prior testing.

What about you? What do you think so far of Valve’s handling of the upcoming TI?

Dota 2 is available on PC.

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