Almost a year of preparation was put to waste as the Swedish government denied Valve’s request to reclassify The International 10 as an elite sporting event, the organization announced via a blog post on Tuesday.
Valve started working with Sweden back in 2019 for TI10. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan to host the biggest Dota 2 event in the world in Sweden was put on hold.
Fast forward to 2021, Valve kept its communication with both Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm to pursue its plans of holding TI10 in the country. Both organizations kept reassuring Valve that the Dota 2 championships qualified for the ‘elite sporting event’ category.
“Over the course of the past year, Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm continued to reassure us in our regular and constant communications with them that The International – Dota 2 Championships qualified for the same exemptions other elite sporting events there received,” said Valve in a statement.
“However, despite previous reassurances, we were informed two weeks ago that the Swedish Sports Federation had just voted not to accept esports into the sports federation.”
Unfortunately, despite the constant reassurances from both Stockholm Live and Visit Stockholm, the Swedish Sports Federation voted not to accept esports into the sports federation. This meant that esports in Sweden – including Dota 2 – will not be considered as a sport and TI10 will not be classified as an elite sporting event.
Valve tried to get the nod of Sweden’s Minister of Interior to reclassify TI10 as an elite sporting event but to no avail.
“In subsequent (and immediate) meetings with the Swedish Esports Federation (SESF) and Visit Stockholm we discovered our only remaining option was to ask Sweden’s Minister of the Interior to reclassify The International – Dota 2 Championships as an elite sporting event. Our request was immediately denied,” the statement continued.
Without the classification as an elite sporting event, staff, players, and fans might have problems securing visas.
Despite the circumstances, Valve remains committed to holding TI10 this year.
“We feel confident that in either instance we will have a solution that allows us to hold TI10 in Europe this year, and that we will be able to announce an updated plan in the very near future.
“We remain committed to hosting The International this year in a way that is both safe for all involved, and properly celebrates the players and fans of Dota 2. We will be communicating what we find out as soon as we are able. In the meantime, TI qualifiers will still be happening on the originally scheduled dates starting June 23. And later this week, the all-new summer event Nemestice will arrive,” the statement ended.