The Dota 2 World Championships will have to move elsewhere this year as its long-awaited Stockholm forecast has vanished amid a decision to classify Swedish government officials. Valve had been working with local and national agencies since 2019 to plan the tenth release of The International. The International is the highest paid sports event, with more than $ 40 million this year.
"Despite the above guarantees, two weeks ago we were informed that the Swedish Sports Federation had just voted not to accept sports in the sports federation," Valve told an announcement. Valve later appealed to the Swedish Interior Minister, who refused to recognize The International 10 as an "elite sporting event". Without this classification, contestants are not guaranteed entry into the country due to Covid-19 restrictions. You can imagine that it is difficult to have a tournament when there is a possibility that some team members will not be able to appear.
Valve appealed directly to the Swedish government, but was denied assistance and a subsequent appeal did not provide a solution. "As a result, and in light of the current political situation in Sweden, we have begun to look for possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe to host the event this year," Valve said.
There is a possibility that the event will continue to move forward in Stockholm, but this announcement makes it seem unlikely that this will be the case. Valve said it is "confident" that an updated plan will be announced in the very near future.
The top ten qualifiers will start this week, June 23, and the Dota 2 summer event – Nemestice – will still be released later this week. (No date. Classic Valve!)