One of the largest esports tournaments in the world returns for 2021. Today, Valve announced dat The International, the annual Dota 2 championship, will return after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. This year’s iteration will take place in Stockholm, with the group stage starting on August 5. The International is known not only for its intense, global competition, but also for being incredibly lucrative: this year’s tournament has a $ 40 million prize pool.
While we know the tournament will take place, it is not yet clear whether fans will attend. “As we continue to plan the event around the changing landscape presented by the ongoing global pandemic, our focus remains on finding ways to conduct a high-quality tournament in the safest possible way,” Valve wrote in a statement. blog post. “This means that we are waiting to release additional details on presence options as we gather more information about developments ahead of the summer. We expect to be able to share more with the community in June. “
As part of the announcement, Valve also introduced a new one Dota 2 function called supporters clubs. Players can purchase in-game items such as badges and loading screens, with 50 percent of sales going directly to their favorite esports team. The feature will support 17 teams starting today, and more are expected to be added over time. “As more content from other teams is submitted and approved, they will be added to this list on a regular basis,” said Valve.
In 2020, the pandemic forced most esports leagues around the world to switch to online competition. This year, however, some personal events are slowly starting to return. Riot is currently holding out League of Legends and Appreciation tournaments in Iceland, while the Overwatch League plans to host multiple live games in China.