The annual Dota 2 tournament, The International, is one of the most prestigious esports tournaments. In addition, the total prize of the tournament also continues to rise. When it was first held in Cologne, Germany in 2011, the total prize from The International only reached US $ 1.6 million. Last year, the total prizes offered reached US $ 34 million. In addition, Valve also continues to choose different cities to host the tournament. This time, Valve decided to open up opportunities for the city government who wanted to host the proposal, just like the Olympics.
In an official statement, Valve is proud to say that The International has become one of the largest esports tournaments in the world. They also claim, the number of viewers of The International can rival various traditional sports tournaments such as the NFL Superbowl or the US Open Golf Championship. By letting interested municipalities submit proposals, Valve wants to choose the best city – and offer the biggest profit – to organize The International.
“Every host city is always flooded with tourists (about half of the total audience) who will spend money to stay at hotels, eat at restaurants, and visit various tourist attractions,” Valve said, quoted from Polygon. “In addition, Valve will also partner with local companies to obtain various equipment such as lighting, broadcast equipment, and internet networks. Valve will also look for local businesses to be responsible for food, stage construction, decoration, printing, marketing, security, transportation, and entertainment. All of this will have a positive impact on the economy of the host city. “
In 2018, The International was held in Vancouver, Canada. Tourism Vancouver reports, The International’s economic impact reached around US $ 7.8 million, reports PC Gamer. Indeed, major esports tournaments like The International can have a positive impact on the economy of the host city. For example, the Rainbow Six Siege Major tournament held in Raleigh reportedly contributed around US $ 1.45 million to the local economy.
Of course, not just any city will be chosen to host The International. There are several requirements set by Valve. One of them is the existence of an indoor stadium that can accommodate 15 thousand to 18 thousand people. The stadium must also be used for at least 10 days. In addition, the stadium must also have extra space for various activities, such as the fan zone and a place for vendors to showcase their products. In 2019, The International will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.
Another requirement set by Valve is the availability of hotel space for at least 30 thousand people. Not only that, Valve also wants to ensure the availability of an adequate internet network. They also discussed the proximity of the event location to the international airport and the transportation system in a city. If the city government wants the city to host, they must also be able to guarantee the safety of workers, fans and professional esports athletes who compete in The International.
Valve determined that the deadline for submission of proposals was March 31, 2020. While the final decision would be determined on June 15, 2020. The city chosen to hold The International 2021 would be announced at The International 2020 which was held on August 20-25, 2020. Valve’s decision to open up opportunities for a city to offer to host The International – as the Olympics did – is another proof that the esports industry has developed into a large industry. Newzoo estimates that this year, the value of the esports industry will reach US $ 1.1 billion.