The International will once again go international, with Valve moving the biggest esports tournament in the world to Shanghai, China in 2019. This will mark the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2011 it has taken place outside of North American soil.
The news came during the final day of the International 2018, in Vancouver, Canada, with vice mayor of Shanghai, Weng Tiehui, making the announcement.
The International 2019 will be held at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai – a place already known to DOTA 2 fans in the region, as it was the host of the DOTA 2 Shanghai Major back in 2016. It was also the host of a good deal of controversy, and a public firing of a production company and host by Gabe Newell.
Hopefully this time around things will go a bit better for all involved - and with space for up to 183,000 in the arena (though this varies depending on the event), there’s certainly room to draw a huge number of DOTA 2 fans from in and around China.
Valve has been pushing its competitors to adapt to a ‘cleaner’ style of presenting themselves recently, with a nudge for teams to drop gambling sponsorship deals one of the most recent occurrences. It’s speculation and nothing more, but that could have been related to the tournament’s move to China.