Valve announced on July 7 that the venue for The International 10 tournament taking place this October is the Arena Nationala in Bucharest, Romania.
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) July 7, 2021
The Arena Nationala has hosted events such as the 2011-2012 UEFA Europa league. It also frequently hosts matches for the Romanian National football team. Now the stadium will hold The International 10. The Romanian arena will provide an arena for teams to fight for their share of the $40 million prize pool.
Why is The International 10 taking place in Romania?
The late venue announcement is due to complications that stemmed from Valve’s original venue in Stockholm, Sweden. A month before The International 10’s August start date, Valve announced that the Swedish government had decided not to recognize esports players as athletes. The policy would make it incredibly difficult for teams to secure a Visa on short notice in order to participate in The International. Due to these changes, Valve decided that it would move the tournament elsewhere.
With the reveal of the location, Valve has also released dates for the Group Stage and Main stage. Group stage games will run from October 7-10, and Main Stage play will kick off October 12. If the format remains the same as previous years, the Group Stage will be a round robin of all qualified teams. After the Group Stage ends, teams will enter seeds according to their record into a double elimination bracket to determine an eventual winner.
Potential contract issues
NALCS Player Association Executive Director Phillip Aram brought up potential contract issues regarding the International’s start date being in October.
“Moving TI to Oct is fascinating contractually because: Valve invites the 5 specific players who qualified, most contracts expire Sept of x year,” Aram tweeted. “So…a whole team could attend TI as free agents, individual players could opt out and attend unaffiliated with their qualifying org.”
Moving TI to Oct is fascinating contractually because:
-Valve invites the 5 specific players who qualified
-Most contracts expire Sept of x year
-A whole team could attend TI as free agents
-Individual players could opt out and attend unaffiliated to their qualifying org https://t.co/NU3hWg1zj3
— Phillip Aram (@Phillip_Aram) July 7, 2021
Most contracts between teams expire in September of any given year. If a team decides to not continue with their current sponsor, a whole team of free agents could attend The International 10. Valve has always made it clear that it invites players to The International, not organizations.