Dota 2 The International 11 Reportedly Delayed Until 2022
Valve’s big show and the biggest event on the Dota 2 calendar of the year was one of the biggest casualties of the coronavirus in 2020. The Dota 2 team pushed back The International 10, which would have been the event’s 10th anniversary since the game was in beta, to 2021. However, once this was done, many questioned whether Valve would be game for hosting two events at bookends of the year, essentially continuing their event schedule as though nothing happened after the delay.
Why Is The International 11 Potentially Delayed?
It seems now that this won’t be the case, which we know thanks to an email application from the Belarusian Esports Federation on the social media platform VK. According to the federation, it had submitted an interest to Valve to host the event in Minsk, Belarus, the capital of the country.
The reply, transcribed below, indicates that Valve is looking to postpone Dota 2’s The International 11 until 2022.
Thank you for your response to host The International 2021. As we are all well aware the COVID-19 Pandemic has forced several adjustments for events worldwide and TI is no different. Valve has postponed The International 2020 in Stockholm. We will be following up with communication in the coming months with your team directly as to what the target dates of the event will be for 2022.
Thanks for your participation,
The Valve team.”
What Would the Impact of This Change Be?
If this delay does come to pass, The International 11 would be the first event that’s moved to 2022 as a result of COVID-19, albeit indirectly and as an effect of delaying the competition this year. The assumption before was that Valve would host The International 10 early in the year, but this move frees up the slot later in the year. It’s also possible that Valve could combine the two compendium sales from both years into one mega competition. But that would be unprecedented, and surely something Valve would not want to do lest they completely upset the balance of the already precarious Dota 2 ecosystem.
Dota 2 began selling items for this year’s compendium on May 25. Battle pass owners gained access to the Aghanim’s Labyrinth game mode and a Cavern Crawl to unlock equipment sets. This year players will also be able to earn two new Personas: The Toy Butcher for Pudge and The Disciples Path for Anti-Mage. Additionally, players can earn three new Arcana exclusive to this year’s Battle Pass: The One True King Bundle for Wraith King, Eminence of Ristful for Queen of Pain, and Compass of the Rising Gate for Windranger.
TI2020 Battle Pass Sales Continue to Surge
As 25% of the proceeds from the battle pass go towards the prize pool for each International, the prize pool currently stands at over $29 million. This pace shattered the expectation for the TI prize pool, which was only barely beating last year’s until Day 30 when it jumped up nearly double what it was. The prize pool only has $5 million remaining before it shatters its record for the largest prize pool in esports history, with about half the amount of time remaining before sales of the battle pass close.
With the event delayed, there’s theoretically nothing stopping Valve from keeping the battle pass open. Still, it’s unlikely that the company will be doing so to not have the record for The International shatter itself by too much. If they do, the company could look at it as a negative as the amount of press they get every year for being the largest esports event in history is nothing to scoff at.
Presently, the Dota 2 circuit is at something of a standstill thanks to the coronavirus. Valve has stated that they would have to look at how the qualification would work for teams as the season has had such a wrench thrown into it. Here’s what they had to say about the new DPC season in the fall.
“We have been exploring various date possibilities, but it is likely that the event will need to happen in 2021,” 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. 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.”
This means that any progress teams had made towards qualifying for TI2020 earlier this year and at the end of 2019 is essentially null and void. In the meantime, online events have been happening to keep Dota fans entertained and pros occupied. There have not been any Tier 1 events, according to Liquipedia, but there have been a few Tier 2 events with both Virtus Pro and Team Secret taking home recent victories. This could put both of these teams in a good position for momentum heading into the fall season, and potentially the restart of the Dota Pro Circut.