As health concerns continue worldwide, Valve has done the expected and delayed the next championship tournament The International for Dota 2.
The International was due to launch on August 18th and run until the 23rd, on April 30 they announced their decision to delay it due to "the global health emergency stemming from COVID-19". They also mentioned how it's now not likely to happen until 2021.
As for the upcoming Battle Pass, they confirmed the 10th International prize pool will still get 25% of funding from the sales of it and they will still be releasing it soon instead of waiting on The International. This way, at least players of Dota 2 won't be missing out directly. No date set for the Battle Pass though, as Valve are working from home it's all taking a bit longer.
It's quite a blow for esports, since The International is one of the absolute biggest events both in terms of audience size and the prize-pool. Last year it repeatedly broke records for it having the biggest prize-pool ever for a single event at about $34,330,068. Player, staff and audience health is absolutely more important though.
After extensive consideration of the global health emergency stemming from COVID-19, we have made the difficult choice to delay The International. We have been exploring various date possibilities, but it is likely that the event will need to happen in 2021. Given the highly volatile landscape for local gathering restrictions, virus trajectory, and global travel policies, we don’t expect to have enough confidence to communicate firm dates in the near future. In the meantime, we are working on restructuring the DPC season for the fall, and will be providing more information as soon as we have it.
The 10th International prize pool will be funded by 25% of sales of the next Battle Pass, which we are planning to release soon instead of closer to the event itself. However, with our team working from home and things taking longer to complete, the release date of the Battle Pass will be at least a couple of weeks later than usual.
We hope everyone in the Dota community is staying as safe as possible, and look forward to a time when we can once again welcome everyone to enjoy the spectacle of The International.
Dota 2 can be played free on Steam.