Dota 2's world championship returns to Seattle this year

For the first time since 2017Dota 2's world championship, The International, will return to Valve's hometown of Seattle, Washington. It'll take place from the middle to the end of October in Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. The International has long held prestige as the single most lucrative event in esports, with a base prize pool of US $1.6 million supplemented into the tens of millions by purchase of Dota 2's battle pass.

Valve hasn't announced ticketing or pricing information for the event yet, other than that the number of tickets available should be much higher than for previous events.

This year's group stage will begin on Saturday, October 14, with playoffs immediately afterward. These will be called The Road to the International, as normal. The International proper will begin on Friday, October 27, and run through Sunday, October 29.

Climate Pledge Arena will very notably be the largest venue in the history of The International, with by far the most seating capacity of anywhere the event has been held. The the massive 17-18,000 seat venue in Seattle was renamed by Amazon in 2020.

The last International was a surprising one for many reasons. Held in Singapore, its still-huge $18 million prize pool was the first to be smaller than the event before it. The event was also racked with scandals surrounding ticket scalping, frustrating the community of players who wanted to attend.

This year's international should be a pretty wild one for different reasons. Not just because of the wild card of teams that have succeeded and not in Dota this past year, but because the patch that just got released was basically Dota 3. An overhauled interface, new hero type, and heaping balance changes might be enough, but the massive New Frontiers Update also increased the basic size of a Dota battlefield by 40%. It's a wild shakeup.

You can read the full announcement on the Dota blog.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.