Valve announced this week that its prestigious dota 2 The International tournament will require all attendees to be fully masked and vaccinated in order to participate.
As noted about him dota 2 site, anyone attending the October competition at the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania, must be at least 10 days before their final vaccination, and attendees will need to present proof of inoculation (which must be in English or Romanian) along with a photo ID to access the event grounds and tournament arena. All attendees must also wear a mask and proof of vaccination bracelet along with their registration credentials. Additional security protocols will be implemented throughout the tournament.
Now in its 10th year, The International brings together the best dota 2 teams from around the world to compete for a multi-million dollar prize pool. But for the past year, Valve hasn’t had it easy with COVID-related restrictions for their annual tournament. The company’s initial plans to hold The International 10 in Stockholm were scrapped earlier this summer after the Swedish Sports Federation decided not to include esports in its officially recognized body, a move that meant that anyone traveling for the tournament he would be denied an entry visa.
Valve’s subsequent requests for the Swedish government to intervene were denied, and the company announced the move to Romania in July. (The 2020 tournament, which was also scheduled to be held in Stockholm, was indefinitely delayed in April 2020 for security reasons amid the global pandemic.)
The move to make The International a fully vaccinated and fully masked tournament is just the latest in a growing trend of gaming events tightening COVID restrictions. For example, this summer’s PAX West in Seattle required attendees to present a proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test to enter, in addition to wearing a vaccination proof bracelet along with their registration credentials.
The International 10 group stage, which does not appear to be open to the public, will take place from October 7-10, while the main stage tournament event (the only stage Valve is selling tickets for) will be held. split between two weeks from October 12-15. The finals are scheduled for October 16 and 17. Tickets for the main stage will go on sale on September 22 and will be sold in three separate two-day packages.