Valve's flagship event, TI10, comes under fire for cost-cutting and poor logistics

Screengrab via: TI10


The International 10, Valve’s flagship Dota 2 event currently being held in Romania, has faced significant criticism from fans, beginning before a single game had been played, and that has continued into the event itself. A slew of problems and cost-cutting measures has seen Valve’s biggest tournament reduced to something of a laughing stock among the Dota 2 community.


Dota 2 fans annoyed at TI10 fake crowd cheers

The latest thing fans are not enjoying is the use of fake crowd noises on stream, with the event being played in an empty arena after organizers were forced to refund tickets due to the COVID situation in Romania. There has been widespread condemnation of the stream experience on social media, with Reddit users asking if there is any way to remove fake cheering.


The aforementioned refunds were also a huge point of frustration for fans that had booked tickets, as the news came just days before the start of the event, meaning spectators were unable to cancel flights if they had not already flown into the country. There were also issues with team facilities, with all teams being asked to essentially play from their hotel rooms, and some teams being given worse facilities based on their DPC ranking. 



Other complaints include the fact casters are being asked to work from some extremely cheap-looking desks, more akin to a local qualifier than a $40M prize pool tournament that has been delayed by more than a year already. This is a far cry from the spectacle supporters are used to from TI, which for years has been known as the jewel in Valve’s esports crown, and one of the greatest events anywhere in the world of competitive gaming.


There has also been criticism online about the catering for the event, and even things like players not having toilet paper in their bathrooms. While fans are sympathetic to the challenges of working in a pandemic, there is also a fair point to be made about the fact this is the richest event in esports, supported by a company that has the means to put on a far more impressive show.

PGL, one of the main tournament organizers, has also been under fire for perceived cost-cutting measures for the CSGO Major, which is running in the arena they originally hoped to have TI in, Stockholm’s Avicii Arena. The situation has been highlighted further by Riot’s work around the League of Legends World Championships, which are currently running far more smoothly in Iceland, with the publishers having spared little expense.

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