Bucharest, Romania, will now be hosting The International Dota 2 Championships in October. Amid the turmoil caused by Sweden's government not recognizing The International as an elite sporting event last June, Valve has finally secured a new venue for their biggest esports tournament.
The city of Bucharest was speculated to be a top candidate to be the new host for The International. This is mostly due to it being the home of PGL, Valve's long-time partner tournament organizer. Additionally, it also carries a history with Dota 2. Romania hosted The Bucharest Major in 2018 at the Polyvalent Hall. However, this time the venue will be Romania's biggest stadium, Arena Nationala.
The International 10's Group Stage will run from October 7-10, with the Main Stage kicking off on October 12-17. It also boasts a $40,018,195 prize pool, currently the largest prize pool ever for an esports tournament.
The official statement states: “We are grateful for the partnership we have formed with Romania and the city of Bucharest, and very much look forward to gathering with the global Dota 2 community, both in-person and virtually, to celebrate the elite players and amazing fandom at The International. Prepare yourselves. At long last, the battle begins.”
Twelve teams have directly qualified to the tournament via the Dota Pro Circuit:
- Evil Geniuses
- Quincy Crew
- Invictus Gaming
- Vici Gaming
- Team Secret
- Team Aster
- Thunder Predator
Additionally, four teams have already secured their slots to The International through the Regional Qualifiers:
- Undying (North America)
- SG e-sports (South America)
- Team Spirit (Eastern Europe)
- Fnatic (Southeast Asia)
As of now, Western Europe and China have yet to decide their qualifying teams.