One of the world’s largest event – $40 million in the prize – have to make last-minute changes to its venue this year. DotA 2 – The International 2021, which was scheduled in Stockholm, Sweden in early August this year, now has to find a new home. Thanks to Swedish Sports Federation, which denied categorizing esports as a sport.
Following the story which broke out on June 22 where Valve announced the unsettling conversation with the Swedish government. It was public information that the publisher was in talks with the authorities, but also finding a new venue at the same time if things didn’t work out.
For starters, Swedish sports authorities denied recognizing esports as a sport, which implied participants, organizers, staff, and talent coming into the country wouldn’t get their visas approved.
The update was shared by Valve on their DotA 2 blog, following which the community went into a buzz discussing CS:GO Major 2021, another major event hosted by Valve in the same country. CS:GO though, as sources confirmed, was the priority at the moment despite its sister title DotA 2 failing to amuse the authorities.
The cancellation of DotA 2 The International 2021 was announced by Swedish Esports Association, and confirmed by politician Hanif Bali on Twitter.
“We have now got in touch with Valve who announces that they will not complete the plans with The International in Stockholm,” the association Tweeted.
It translates to, “The Minister of the Interior, Damberg, refuses to issue sports visas to the participants in DOTA International. Thus, the event is canceled and moves to another country. This is one of the largest esports events in the world. Apparently, it does not count as a sport if it does not require tax money.”
The regional qualifiers of DotA 2 will begin in the next few weeks, where the top teams would battle it out for a slot at the LAN finals, which now looks to be somewhere in the Europe, but Sweden.