The International 2014
by RJ Go in

2021 is becoming a year when we welcome back old friends. Last year saw the pandemic cause the postponement of one major event after another. That was particularly the case in the sporting world, including eSports.  The International failed to take place – but this October, it makes a welcome return in Romania.

This Dota 2 championship is massively popular, and to go last year without The International taking place broke many a heart. This year, eSports is back in business, and everyone is counting down the days to when the International 10 Dota 2 event takes place in Bucharest from October 7-17.

Another way in which you can see how important eSports is becoming is the interest from commercial sponsors. For example, sportsbooks like Betway now sponsor eSports teams, and many others like STS Bet now offer odds on eSports tournaments. Press coverage and the massive prize money are one reason the media is also jumping on board.

The International 10 Romania
Credits: Arena Naţională

You may be wondering why this event is taking place in Bucharest this year. Usually, it is held in Sweden, but that’s not been possible this time around. As often seems to be the case, it’s the pandemic that is the reason for the move to Romania. That and an unwillingness in Sweden to accept how important eSports are becoming.

The past year or so may have seen postponements, but it’s generally been a promising time for the world of eSports. There’s more recognition with more coverage of events, and now it’s time to build on that increased popularity, with an event such as the International 10 Dota 2 doing just that.

However, in Sweden, their sports federation isn’t so keen on including eSports. They decided not to allow eSports to become a member and their government also refused to classify the Dota 2 championship as an elite sporting event. That decision meant the competition organizers Valve knew it would be difficult for people to get a visa to go and attend the championships, so bye-bye Sweden and hello Romania.

From October 7 at the Arena Naţională in Bucharest, the Group Stage will take place. This will be followed five days later by the all-important Main Stage section. On October 17, the long road to the final will have been released as the world’s top two Dota 2 sides will compete for the Aegis of Champions Trophy.

Just how much eSports has grown in recent years is illustrated by the fact there is $40.01 million prize money available at the International 10. That’s $6 million more than was up for grabs in the last event.

The International 10
Credits to Valve

Eighteen teams will be taking part in the International 10, all dreaming of becoming champions. Those taking part in Bucharest include SG esports, OG, Team Spirit, and Elephant – don’t you just love the names. Get ready for some more great names as other potential winners include Evil Geniuses, Team Secret and Thunder Predator.

Traveling around the globe still isn’t the easiest of tasks at present. Don’t worry if you are unable to make it to Bucharest for the International 10 Dota 2 championships. Such is the importance of eSports now (someone spread that news in Sweden); there is going to be some fantastic coverage of this event.

Head over to Twitch for live coverage, but that’s not all. There will be plenty of chat, analysis, predictions, and interviews for you to enjoy from October 7-17. There may well be some coverage at online bookmakers, too, as it’s fun watching an event when you have placed a bet.

One look at the list of players taking part in this event shows how global eSports has become. The three countries with the most players are China, Peru, and Russia. Other countries represented include the Philippines, Sweden (probably not fans of their sports federation or government), Pakistan, Singapore, the USA, and Belarus.

The long wait is almost over, and it’s going to be great to see this International 10 event finally take place. It is another chance for the eSports world to spread awareness of just how much it has progressed in recent years. The only way ahead for eSports is forward with more events and even higher prize money.

Hardcore gamer, eSports enthusiast, and digital marketing noob.
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