The International 10 moves to Romania

The International
(Image credit: Valve)

In June, Valve announced that it was looking for a new home for The International 10, the upcoming Dota 2 world championship. The event had been planned for Stockholm, Sweden, but Valve began looking into alternative locations after it was unable to have the tournament recognized as an "elite sporting event." 

Without that classification, Covid-19 restrictions meant that some competitors might not be allowed into the country. A few days later, the Swedish Esports Association confirmed that the event would indeed be moved out of Sweden.

After nearly two weeks of silence, Valve announced today that The International 10 has a new home: The 55,634-seat Arena Nationala in Bucharest, Romania, the country's largest stadium.

"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," Valve said. "Prepare yourselves. At long last, the battle begins."

Romania appears to be fairly middle-of-the-pack among European nations in terms of its Covid-19 management, although the current infection rate is down to just 1% of peak, according to this Reuters infographic. Specific requirements for The International 10 haven't been announced yet, but strict Covid-19 controls are in place for upcoming Euro 2020 matches: Attendees must wear either a surgical or FPP mask and present proof of either Covid-19 vaccination or a recent negative test. Distancing, movement, and contact rules are also in place. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see similar measures enforced for The International.

The International 10 group stage will run October 7-10, followed by Main Stage play on October 12, leading into the final showdown on October 17. This year's prize pool, funded by sales of The International Battle Pass, stands in excess of $40 million.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.