Dota 2’s The International has been an event that we at Gambling News have been following for a while. After years in North America, the event is finally on the move. This year’s edition took place in Canada, and it’s not stopping there. The next stop is Shanghai, China.
From West to East – The International is Coming to China
The International 2018 (TI) has skyrocketed in terms of viewership and prize pool. This year’s edition was the largest event in terms of ready cash money that went directly to the players, with the winning team, OG, nabbing the lion’s share of the spoils. Now, Dota 2 and the developers in Valve are considering a new challenge – moving the event to Shanghai.
And it makes perfect sense. China is topping the global charts in terms of the Internet population and total revenues generated through gaming. In fact, the market for esports is also booming in the country and Dota 2 has a strong following there. Not to mention that many of the teams that end up dominating the game are Chinese, although Dota 2 is better balanced with Western teams often routing the Easterners, as opposed to League of Legends for example.
Valve used the last day of the International to announce that the event would be effectively moving to its new destination. Of course, it’s unlikely to have Dota 2 TI become exclusively dedicated to the Chinese public. In fact, after Shanghai, the next most logical move is to see TI stop in Europe, and that would be simply a spectacle to behold.
All the Action You Can Have at the Mercedes-Benz Arena
The TI 2019’s edition will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Meanwhile, the country’s professional Dota 2 athletes constitute the bulk of professional players and they have cumulatively earned $50 million between themselves. Looking at the winners of overall TI’s, it’s worth noting that Chinese teams have so far claimed the title three times and the have predominantly finished in the first three spots.
Chinese Dota 2 athletes have earned $50 million from playing the game. They have won three out of eight TI events.
At TI 2018, we saw six Chinese teams out of the competing 18 squads. Four of these teams had managed to perform majestically at the Dota 2 Pro Circuit, allowing themselves a direct invitation to the event, which goes to show that Chinese powerhouses are among the strongest crop of teams at the Dota 2 scene at all.
China Is Business Ready and Friendly
China has also become increasingly accommodating when it comes to business. New investment, particularly in esports has been welcome. The country’s esports athletes are excelling at many and varied gaming titles, including League of Legends and Overwatch, although South Koreans are also making a splash there.
Tencent, China’s largest telecoms behemoth, has been making large investments in competitive gaming, putting down staggering sums to support various games, developers, studios, and athletes.
China is definitely well-developed in terms of the esports ecosystem to host an event as important as TI 2019.