Valve delays ‘DOTA 2’ The International due to COVID-19

Valve confirms that it is delaying the annual DOTA 2 tournament, The International, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual The International usually takes place in August. However, with the coronavirus pandemic, it appears that Valve will be delaying its flagship tournament.

In a statement posted to the official DOTA 2 blog, Valve claims:

“We have been exploring various date possibilities, but it is likely that the event will need to happen in 2021.”

A leading eSports tournament

Valve usually holds The International tournament around August. It is a premier tournament in the eSports scene. In fact, the last year’s tournament still holds the biggest prize pool in the history of eSports with more than $30 million.

The International runs annually since 2011. This year’s edition is a special one since it is the tournament’s tenth anniversary.

What the future holds for The International and eSports

In the meantime, Valve confirms that the seasonal DOTA 2 battle pass will be released soon. However, the company also said that the development of the battle pass took longer than usual. The developer said it will release the battle pass after a two weeks delay.

Valve’s The International event is just one of the many eSports tournament that has been either delayed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. This simply shows that the effect of the virus encompasses all industries.

The Overwatch League is one of the first major eSports tournament to change. The tournament announced major plans earlier this year. Chief among them is the plan to hold home and away games around the globe.

Due to the pandemic, the Overwatch League will instead use online-only format. It will still follow its original plans, only with some major revisions on how the games will be played.

Another tournament that fell to the pandemic was the 2020 Fortnite World Cup. Epic Games confirms that it will no longer host its flagship tournament. Just like the Overwatch League, the 2020 Fortnite World Cup will shift to an online-only format.

The Chinese League of Legends Pro League is also slated for major changes as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Pro League suspends its tournament at first because of the pandemic, but has shifted to online-only format.

It is clear that the coronavirus has effect not only to DOTA 2 The International, but the entire eSports scene. Nevertheless, developers and organizers are also adapting to these changes to make tournament possible.

Image courtesy of Dota 2 The International/Wikimedia Comons

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