Only a week after opening ticket sales, Valve announces that Dota 2 The International 10 will no longer have a live audience. This follows a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases in Romania, where the tournament will be held. Originally, the plan was to hold the tournament in the 55,000-seater Arena Nationala. But instead of roaring cheers and adoring crowds, the world’s top Dota 2 teams will instead be met by empty seats.
This comes as bad news for fans who have already traveled to Romania to attend the tournament. Even though Valve has committed to refunding tickets that have already been bought, many have already booked plane tickets, hotel reservations, or are already in Romania right now. In which case, they will now have to find new things to do in Romania, as they will no longer be allowed to attend the tournament as part of the audience.
Meanwhile, Dota 2 The International 10 will still take place, with the group stage starting this week on Thursday, October 7, 2021. The group stages will last until October 10, 2021. Two teams will be eliminated during the group stages, with the lower-ranked teams headed to the lower bracket, and the higher-ranked teams headed to the upper bracket. The two teams to be eliminated on the group stage will take home $100,000 each.
The Playoffs will start on October 12, 2021, after two days of break. The winners of the tournament will take home about 45% of the prize pool, which amounts to more than $18 million. Fans can join in on the fan by taking part in the Fantasy Draft game in the Dota 2 client, with points accumulated from the fantasy game unlocking exclusive Legacy chests.