Valve to treat TI as Olympics, bids commence for cities to host the event

Dota 2 esports tournament The International (TI) has always attracted a lot of viewers every year and thus the tournament always has the highest prize pool in any esports event. Valve Software has decided to start treating The International like the Olympics, soliciting bids from ‘host cities’ for the annual Dota 2 championships. The announcement is accompanied by a detailed request for proposal (RFP) document. Responses are due by 31 March. “First held in Cologne, Germany in August 2011, The International has become one of the world’s largest sporting events and set numerous records for the largest prize pool in all of esports with its community-driven purse ($34.3 million total prize pool in 2019). Global viewership, international draw, and attendance rival that of the NFL Superbowl, U.S. Open Golf Championship, and the Eurovision Song Contest,” Valve said in an official post. The clear intention is to secure the best possible venue — and the best possible financial outcome — for Valve to host its premier esports event. In order for a city to be eligible to host a TI, they must be able to provide the facilities that Valve needs to run the event. Among them could be fibre connection from a local internet service provider, room for between 15,000 and 18,000 people for 10 days, enough hotel rooms for 30,000 people, high priority safety and more. To create more clarity surrounding the RFP, Valve will be taking questions in written form before 15 March. During this time, countries will be able to figure out what they’re lacking as a venue as well as gain some much-needed answers. According to Valve, cities that end up hosting TI will benefit economically. Previous TI host city, Vancouver, saw a US$7.8 million revenue increase that year due to a bump in hotel bookings as well as heightened activity at tourist attractions, restaurants and more.