The International , Valve's annual Dota 2 tournament, is one of the largest gaming events in the world, a celebration of Steam's most-played game that last year took over a symphony hall in Seattle. A report at onGamers , citing sources from eSports teams and officials, indicates that this year's event will move from July from August, and according to Valve's Gabe Newell, may take over a sports stadium.
"We haven't finalized where this year's International will be," Newell wrote Tuesday during his Reddit AMA . "We are pretty sure it will be at Key Arena in Seattle, but we haven't gotten everything finalized, and there is always a risk that our schedules and theirs won't align in some way. As soon as we get everything finalized one way or another, we'll get the dates out there for everyone who would like to attend. Should be fun this year."
Key Arena hosts concerts and sports events and was the home of Seattle's former NBA team, the SuperSonics. With a potential capacity of more than 17,000 seats, depending on the event, the arena would be a massive upgrade in size from the Benaroya Hall setting of previous tournaments. In any case, it's looking like an especially packed summer for competitive Dota 2 teams, as we've known for months now that the MLG Spring Championship in Anaheim—annually one of the year's biggest eSports events—will take place June 20-22. Another large Dota 2 tournament, held by the Electronic Sports League, is also set to take place at the end of June in Frankfurt, Germany.
The onGamers report also quotes anonymous Major League Gaming sources that say the dense schedule for competitive Dota 2 has them reconsidering plans to feature the game in Anaheim due to the stress on players and teams. Based on the tournament schedule above, the training schedule must be grueling. But there's a lot on the line: the pot for last year's International was a staggering $1.6 million.