Fans anticipated a spectacular party when Valve revealed that The International would be returning to Seattle for TI12. Instead, the decision to charge high prices for event tickets has drawn significant criticism. Surprisingly, it seems that competitive Dota 2 players have the same thoughts in private. Unnamed sources claim that Valve is severely restricting teams’ access to the behind-the-scenes work, which was formerly offered without question. This involves giving rival teams access to practise facilities and playoff tickets for use during the game.
With the redesigned TI12 format, which renames the group stage and playoffs “The Road to The International” and refers to the top eight as “The International proper,” Valve has changed its stance on private attendance. Surprisingly, Valve will no longer provide teams with suites for group-stage viewing. This perk had been suspended at TI11 in Singapore due to “limited space,” according to the same sources.
Additionally, teams apparently won’t be given paid tickets to give to loved ones, friends, and staff members who want to attend the playoff stage from October 20 to 22. Only 10 “tickets” per team will be available for playoff attendance, in addition to the seven team badges that each opposing organisation will receive. Valve will supply teams with tickets for the last weekend of TI12 from October 27 to 29 at Climate Pledge Arena, although the allotment is limited to 12 per organisation. A team’s additional tickets must be acquired as general admission tickets if they are to be distributed to other people. Up to 20 general admission tickets, each costing a staggering $699 before taxes and fees, are being held in reserve by Valve for each squad.
Restrictions On Attendance And Tickets Of Valve
Along with the restrictions on attendance and tickets, Valve is apparently strictly enforcing a maximum of seven badged people permitted in a practise room at any given moment. This cap contains the five players, the team coach, and one more badge, which is normally given to the manager in most companies. This strategy has caused controversy even though Valve has used it in the past to decrease operational costs and minimise potential personnel-related concerns. Due to the restriction on their capacity to produce material during TI while competing, several teams are dissatisfied with this adjustment. This involves having a dedicated cameraman or crew capture player conversations, pre-game speeches, drafting tips, and more before and after matches.
The fact that some teams are reluctant to express their concerns about these changes because they believe Valve will retaliate is maybe even more concerning. For various factors, numerous sources have stated that they are “afraid of Valve”. One source cited the example of former professional player and analyst Kyle Freeman, who in 2019 switched to commentating at many events, including three TIs. He supposedly got blacklisted by Valve after TI10 in October 2021, most likely because of his open criticism of the competitive scene, and he thereafter seemed to vanish from the Dota community. They don’t want Valve to blacklist them like they did Kyle, the unnamed insider said in more explanation. A direct order from Valve to TOs is not to hire Kyle.
There is no denying that the TI12 ticket costs are outrageous; some fans had to spend about $2,000 after fees in order to attend every day of the playoffs and finals. The underlying unhappiness among teams simply fuels the rising annoyance. Regrettably, considering Valve’s past performance, it seems unlikely that any improvement or public acknowledgment will take place before the event begins on October 12.
In conclusion, there has been debate about Valve’s pricing and access choices for TI12 among fans as well as the Dota 2 competitive scene. It will be interesting to see if Valve addresses these issues as the tournament draws near or if TI12 is remembered for the conflicts it sparked on and off the stage.