Valve has announced that the 2020 edition of its massive The International Dota 2 tournament will likely be delayed until 2021. The tournament was set to take place this August in Stockholm, with last year’s Shanghai tournament boasting the richest prize pool in esports of more than $30 million.
“We have been exploring various date possibilities, but it is likely that the event will need to happen in 2021,” Valve’s Dota 2 team wrote. “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 10th International prize pool will be funded by 25% of sales of the next Battle Pass, which we are planning to release soon instead of closer to the event itself. However, with our team working from home and things taking longer to complete, the release date of the Battle Pass will be at least a couple of weeks later than usual.
The International crowns the extensive Dota 2 tournament schedule, controlled by Valve since 2017. Dota 2 recently received a massive update with new characters, upgraded courier abilities, the addition of outposts and more.
Valve will still create the prize pool from Dota 2 seasonal battle pass sales, and will now release the battle pass “soon” instead of just ahead of the now-canceled tournament. “With our team working from home and things taking longer to complete, the release date of the battle pass will be at least a couple of weeks later than usual,” Valve said.
Dota 2 is the latest esport to revamp plans due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Riot Games was forced to cancel its League of Legends mid-season invitational tournament, while the Overwatch League shifted its season to an online-only schedule. Ironically, physical sports like Formula 1 have actually switched to online esports-style formats due to the coronavirus.