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For the first time ever, the International Dota 2 Championships are coming to the magical land of Canada, the home of hockey, poutine, telephone poles, and other such stereotypical touchstones. Valve announced today that this year's big donnybrook will take place August 20-25 in the Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 am/1 pm, and 10 pm/1 am, PT on March 23, and will be available in two types: Midweek tickets, which will go for $125 CDN ($96), providing access to the first four days of the event, and Finals tickets, for $250 CDN ($191), granting access to the last two days. If you want to attend for the full stretch, you'll have to spring for both, and no VIP tickets are being offered this year.
Tickets will be available for purchase via ticketmaster.ca, and Valve recommends that you have your account squared away and be logged in before the selling begins. That pretty much covers it, but if you have questions, the International Ticketing FAQ should be able to help you out.
In the period of my life where free time basically equated to Dota time, I’d have loved nothing more than to go the International – especially if it was the one where my friends managed to get themselves trapped in a lift with Blitz. No doubt to avoid a repeat of that incident, Valve are moving this year’s main Dota 2 tournament to Canada, where every elevator comes equipped with a button that summons Justin Trudeau himself to sort things out.
So, Seattle is no longer the seat of the largest esport event in the world. Sorry, Seattle.
Valve have launched a subscription service for Dota 2, named Dota Plus, which is replacing the old tournament-centric Battle Passes with gobs of ongoing statistics and cosmetic bits. Basically, paying 3 per month for Dota Plus member gives you a load of progression tracks and challenges to unlock new skins and voiced taunts and bits. It does have something for beginners too, offering access to an AI assistant giving advice across matches. But it basically continues Dota’s free-to-play philosophy of monetisation being optional and not changing the game. (more…)