Dota 2 International is one of the biggest eSports tournaments of the past 7 years.
The International had its first tournament in Cologne, Germany. But in 2011, relocated to Valve's home of Bellevue/Seattle, Washington and have had the tournament take place there every year afterward at the KeyArena. The 2018 International, however, will be held at Roger's Arena in Vancouver, B.C. In 2017, though, Valve gave a few clues as to why relocation was necessary.
In February 2017, Valve co-founder and president Gabe Newell spoke at a press conference, voicing concerns that Valve employees born outside of the U.S. had. They were worried about the Trump Administration's "crackdown on visitor visas." This was also a major concern for the hundreds of non-U.S. competitors and fans who flock to The International to play and cheer on their team and friends. Erik Johnson made it clear that the proposed changes to U.S. visas could have a damaging effect on the tournament and that Valve would relocate the tournament if they need to.
Another variable affecting Valve's decision to relocate the massive tournament has to do with KeyArena's $600 million renovation to court an NHL team to Seattle. "The Oak View Group, owners of the KeyArena, hope to have the venue's renovation completed in time for the 2020-21 NHL season." The proposed renovation is to take place late August 2018, which would interfere with The International event.
Dota 2 is an online, free-to-play, multi-player battle arena or MOBA. The 2018 first place winners of Dota 2 The International stand to win over $10 million.
Do you play Dota 2? Do you watch The International? Let us know on Ge'NeL's Facebook page.