Valve has canceled in-person attendance at TI10 following a spike in COVID cases in the country. Local restrictions also played a significant role in this decision, said Valve.
The game company took the decision to ensure the safety of all players, talent, and production staff participating in the event. All TI10 ticket sales will be refunded.
“We wanted nothing more than to welcome fans live to the event, but we can no longer do so in a way that allows us to prioritize the health and well-being of both audience members and participants,” Valve said. “Those who purchased tickets will be issued a full refund automatically.”
TI Live Audience Canceled after Rise in COVID cases
The news comes days after several professional players from Chinese teams tested COVID positive. Romania has seen a huge rise in the number of daily COVID cases.
Image Credit: Worldometer.
Romani has been one of the worst-hit by COVID and has seen a new record for daily new cases in the country. The country has vaccinated nearly over a third of its population, the second-lowest vaccination rate in the European Union.
Even as the country is grappling with the rise in COVID cases, there has been a section of the community protesting against the new restrictions. The latest rules include entry restrictions to public spaces such as theaters, cinemas, gyms and restaurants.
Romania always surprising
As per NEW set of rules issued today around 13:00 EEST, restaurants, bars, including those inside shopping malls will operate between 05:00 and 24.00 at 50% capacity for those fully vaccinated
Stores will operate between 5AM and 10PM (1/2)
— Div Dota (@DivDota) October 2, 2021
TI10 will take place from October 7 and features a massive $40 million prize pool. After canceling TI last year, Valve ran into trouble in hosting the event in Sweden due to local regulations. They shifted the mega-event to Bucharest, Romania, but unfortunately, the country has been hit by a severe spike in daily COVID cases.
Community Reacts to Valve’s Decision
The decision to cancel TI10 was unavoidable, Romania has been hit hard by the spike in COVID cases. The Dota 2 community has mostly been accepting of the cancellation, although many fans are left having to bear the costs of the hotel and flight tickets.
Pro dota is great don’t get me wrong but it is not the thing i look forward too at the international. At TI i get to meet friends from around the world that all share the same love for the thing i love. Meeting dudes from stream, meeting dudes ive met in pubs, random new folk 1/2
— SirActionSlacks (@SirActionSlacks) October 3, 2021
We’re now back to no crowd, and a year of crowdfunding we’ll never get back.
There’s hundreds of passionate people working tirelessly to make the Dota competitive scene awesome in every facet – it feels like they are hindered at every step by Valve really.
— Ben Steenhuisen (@Noxville) October 3, 2021
TI10 ticket sales went live on September 16 after months of delay and uncertainty. Some fans believe Valve should not have sold the tickets in the first place, considering the gradual rise in COVID cases in the country. Hindsight is 2020 but Valve made the right decision to cancel in-person attendance at the event.
What’s next at TI?
The International 10 is will take place as planned on October 7. The Dota 2 mega-event has a $40 million prize pool and features the best Dota 2 teams in action. The event will still take place on LAN as many teams have already arrived in Bucharest, however, it will not feature a live audience.
Earlier this week, several members of Team Aster tested positive for COVID. The team had been boot camping in the country for several weeks now and lack of adequate precautions led to Team Aster players contracting COVID.
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