Valve plans to announce their intention to refund tickets to The International 10 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and restrictions in Bucharest, Romania, multiple sources told Upcomer on Saturday.
After carefully monitoring the landscape, sources said Valve decided this was a necessary step to protect the safety and security of all participants in the tournament.
The inability of fans to attend is another blow for The International 10, an event Valve tried make work in-person repeatedly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was originally slated to go on in Sweden. However, due to the inability for Valve to come to an agreement with the Swedish government, the tournament was delayed a few months and the venue was switched to the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania.
The decision coincides with several participating teams reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in the boot camp that PGL set up for Chinese teams arriving early for the tournament. The teams that have been infected so far include Team Aster and Invictus Gaming, and both participants in the boot camp. On Wednesday, team captain Zhang “LaNm” Zhicheng sounded off on Weibo about the lax precautions set by PGL. While the post has since been deleted, there were still numerous personnel infected by COVID-19 since arriving at the boot camp in Bucharest.
All teams have already flown out to the tournament and are currently preparing for what will still be the biggest DOTA 2 tournament ever. There is still $42 million in prize money up for grabs, and a chance to compete with some of the best teams in the world.