| 4. October 2021

The International 10 Will Be Played on an Empty Stadium

When the location of The International 10 was announced, everyone was excited. After all, a stadium with a seating capacity of 55,000, located in one of Europe’s capitals, seemed to be a great venue for the biggest tournament in the history of Dota 2. But at the time, the severity of the Covid-19 situation in Romania was less than 10% of what it is today. Things escalated quickly and Valve decided to pull the plug. Not on the event, fortunately for us all, but on the crowd participation. This means that in principle, TI10 will be played in a huge, empty arena. Few things are as depressing as that for an esports event.

Financial Losses

With no one there to cheer for the teams, Valve and PGL have suffered a serious financial blow. Valve will probably not feel it, but PGL probably will. Of course, we don’t know the details of the arrangement between Valve, PGL, and the Romanian government, but the calculation here is simple.

The best-case scenario would have been a full stadium for 6 days. Given the price of the tickets, that’s 55,000 (seats) * 300 (ticket cost) = 16.5 million Euros. Of course, the stadium wouldn’t have been full, but let’s assume it would have been half full for the whole duration of the event. Even in this case, the losses are significant.

Valve’s Announcement

Valve simply stated that there was nothing they could do. The Covid situation is rapidly aggravating in Romania and a huge crowd is not an option under these conditions. Furthermore, the players of one of the teams (Aster) have already contracted the disease and will need to recover quickly if they want to play in the tournament.

Here’s the main section of Valve’s statement.

“We have been carefully evaluating the continued rise of Covid rates in Romania, as well as the resulting introduction of new local restrictions in Bucharest. 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 International 2021.”