Rising COVID cases in Romania have led to Valve refunding Dota 2 tournament tickets for the upcoming International event.
The event will take place in Bucharest between the 12th and 17th of October. The International would reintroduce live audiences to a Dota 2 tournament. However, Romania’s increasing COVID rates resulted in a change in government restrictions.
A combination of rising cases and government guidelines meant that changes had to be made. It encouraged Valve to refund Dota 2 tournament tickets, and ultimately cancel its live audience.
NO CHEERING CROWDS HERE
The International tournament will go ahead as scheduled. However, without the cheering crowds, it will likely disappoint both fans and the professional teams. Valve issued a statement on the live audience refunds claiming that it “carefully evaluated” the issue before making its decision. It stated:
“We wanted nothing more than to welcome fans live to the event, but we can no longer do so in a way that allows us to prioritize the health and well-being of both audience members and participants.”
Dota fans will be heartbroken, but the reasoning for refunds is valid. According to Eurogamer, Romania holds one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe. It likely won’t make it any easier for fans eager to see their favourite teams in action.
This isn’t the first disappointment Dota fans have faced this year either. The Swedish Government refused to label Dota 2 esports as an elite sport over the summer this year. However, it also isn’t the first tournament to face cancellation due to COVID. Evo’s fighting game tournament which was set to take place in Las Vegas was recently cancelled.
Dota 2 fans will still be able to watch the tournament online next week. And I doubt they’ll want to miss it as it boasts an eye-watering $40 million prize pool.
How disappointed would you be if Valve refunded your Dota 2 tickets? Let us know over on our social channels!
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Featured Image Credit: EA/DICE