dota 2 fans were overjoyed to learn that The International (TI), games’ biggest annual event, will return in 2021. However, Sweden, the country hosting the event, has just decided that esports is not a professional sport. That much dota 2 players, talent and staff hoping to attend TI10 would not be granted a visa to Sweden on this basis.
According to the announcement on the dota 2 website, Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm assured Valve that TI10 qualified for the same exemptions as more traditional elite sporting events in Sweden. However, two weeks ago, the Swedish Sports Federation voted against accepting esports in the federation.
Valve immediately met with the Swedish Esports Federation and Visit Stockholm to see what can be done to remedy the situation. Was told to contact the Swedish Interior Minister to have The International reclassified as an elite sporting event. It did. This request was immediately rejected.
The ongoing struggle for recognition
After some amateur research, I found out which sports the Swedish Sports Federation considers ‘elite’. The incredibly well-supported and well-paid sports such as bocce, curling, table tennis and hiking (yes, one leg after another) are all considered top sports in Sweden. There is also something called varpa, where heavy metal discs are thrown at a stick.
TI10 has a prize pool of over $40 million USD. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s more money than all the players in all the sports I mentioned above earn per year.
Valve is now waiting for the Swedish government to find a solution to the problem. So far none have come out. Valve has therefore started looking for an alternative location in Europe. The dota 2 The developer has also expressed confidence that it will be able to host TI10 this year. The TI qualifiers will still take place as scheduled, starting June 23.
To end on a more light-hearted note, the announcement closed with the reveal that a new event called Nemestice is coming dota 2 this summer. Valve has not released any further information about the event. However, trusted Download 2 insider (who could be Icefrog?) Wykrhm Reddy shared the image below: on Twitter.
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