DOTA 2 TI10 may leave Sweden after vote bars esports from sports federation

Valve's follow-up requests to qualify The International were immediately denied by Sweden's Minister of the Interior.


Despite previous conversations and assurances to Valve, Sweden has denied The International – DOTA 2 Championships qualification as an elite sporting event. This is an exemption offered to other elite sporting events that allow players, talent, and staff to acquire visas for travel.

Valve announced in a post on June 21, 2021 that the Swedish Sports Federation had voted not to accept esports into the sports federation. This qualification refusal means that players who would usually be able to apply for a visa and enter the country, would be denied. The post also notes that it would be up to the discretion of individual border agents to decide on whether someone was eligible for entry into the country.

Further appeals were made, including an option to have the Minister of the Interior to reclassify The International as an elite sporting event, but those were denied. The post goes on to explain the other options on the table and outlines that Valve still plans to host the event in Europe this year.

We filed an appeal directly with the Swedish government on June 9, but they were unable to provide assistance. On June 14 we followed up asking them to reconsider, and they have so far been unable to offer a resolution. As a result, and in light of the current political situation in Sweden, we have started looking for possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe to host the event this year, in case the Swedish government is unable to accommodate The International - Dota 2 Championships as planned. 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.

It was only last year that Valve opted to delay DOTA 2’s The International due to the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While there were hopes that 2021 would mean a return to norm, it appears that there are more hurdles that must be navigated before players get to fight in the DOTA 2 Championships.

Despite this recent hiccup, Valve states that the DOTA 2 TI10 qualifiers will still be happening on June 23. Be sure to keep it locked to Shacknews as we bring you the latest on the on The International - DOTA 2 Championships.

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Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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