Three months ago, Valve announced that the 10th iteration of The National, its Dota 2 World Championship event, would be taking place in Bucharest, Romania, running from October 7-17. Just a month ago, it announced plans to start selling tickets for fans to attend the event in-person, and those went on sale just two weeks ago, on September 22.
It took only 10 days from that initial sales date, though, for Valve to rethink its plans. The company announced on Saturday that it has been "carefully evaluating the continued rise of Covid rates in Romania, as well as the resulting introduction of new local restrictions in Bucharest" and as such has decided to cancel plans for fans to attend, while refunding all ticket sales.
To ensure the safety of all players, talent, and production staff participating in the event, we have decided to refund all ticket sales for the live audience at The International 2021 — https://t.co/JOZQzxZ8Sf pic.twitter.com/77xnfvC5kv
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) October 3, 2021
One has to wonder what transpired with the COVID situation in that country over just 10 days to make Valve change its mind. No offense to our fans from Romania, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that, between the location, short time frame, and general-but-not-breaking COVID concerns, sales didn't measure up to whatever criteria Valve was hoping for, and thus it was easy for the company to put the singular blame on the pandemic.
To compensate for the lack of attendance -- or for those who weren't planning to attend in the first place -- Valve has a number of programs taking place within the Dota 2 client, as outlined in a post from Friday. These include the Compendium Reward Line, a kind of battle pass that you can earn progress in by making various predictions, and autographs of the talent at the show, which you can purchase and then "level up" by (surprise!) purchasing multiple times. You can also vote for the winner of the Dota 2 Short Film Contest from within the game client.
To keep up with all the action, Valve has launched a new website, which can be found here. It's available in standard and spoiler-free mode, so you can catch up on the action after it's happened without worrying about seeing past results.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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