Valve will be making a major change to The International when it returns in 2019, relocating it to Shanghai, China.
The first iteration of The International, back in 2011, was hosted in Cologne, Germany. Ever since then, the prestigious Dota 2 tournament has found itself in North America.
From 2012 to 2017, The International was hosted in Seattle, US, but things changed this year when it moved to Vancouver, Canada. This was a small change, but nothing compared to what’s coming next year.
The Mercedes-Benz Arena is no stranger to hosting important Dota 2 tournaments. In 2016, the Valve-sanctioned Shanghai Major was hosted out of this very venue. Team Secret emerged victorious at the event, which was infamously plagued by technical issues. Our fingers are crossed that TI9 is a huge step up when it comes around.
It’s no surprise that The International is returning for a ninth year, considering the ridiculously-high prize pool and the overwhelming positive response from fans, players, and personalities alike.
From Fly/S4 ditching the team 8 hours before Supermajor, to being ranked 18 out of 18 by Teamliquid, to taking down their former teammates in dominating fashion, to grinding out the BO5 from down 2-3.
Truly best TI ever. A fairytale ending for the ones who never gave up #TI8
— David Gorman (@LDeeep) August 26, 2018
The International is famous for having the biggest prize pool in the entirety of esports, topping itself in the record books year-in, year-out. This year, over $25.5 million was dished out in total after 110 days of crowdfunding; a battle pass was made available for purchase in-game, with a portion of the sales going straight to the prize pot for the professionals to earn.
Esports Insider says: This move does make some sense, despite everybody becoming accustom to the annual event being hosted in North America. China has a huge fan base when it comes to Dota 2, and a good number of TI champions, too. This change will likely be welcomed by the majority of fans and players as the experience in the Mercedes-Benz Arena will be electric.