Dota 2’s The International tournament, one of the biggest esports competitions in the world, may no longer take place in Sweden as originally planned.
“Over the course of the past year, Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm continued to reassure us in our regular and constant communications with them that The International - Dota 2 Championships qualified for the same exemptions other elite sporting events there received,” Valve said in a blog post. “However, despite previous reassurances, we were informed two weeks ago that the Swedish Sports Federation had just voted not to accept esports into the sports federation.”
Valve also tried to reclassify The International as an “elite sporting event” with the minister of the Interior, but was denied. As a result, “anyone attempting to procure a visa for travel into Sweden for TI10 (including players, talent, and staff) would be denied,” Valve said.
With the potential event in Sweden in flux, Valve says it is now exploring “possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe” to host The International, but feels it still will be able to hold an event this year. “We feel confident that in either instance we will have a solution that allows us to hold TI10 in Europe this year, and that we will be able to announce an updated plan in the very near future,” according to Valve.
Despite the uncertainty around where The International will be taking place, qualifiers for the tournament, which will have a $40 million prize pool, will kick off on June 23rd as scheduled.