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Valve still keen on pushing through with TI10 despite trouble from Stockholm

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Valve Corporation, the gaming company behind DOTA 2, rued the recent decision of the Swedish Sports Confederation not to accept the Swedish Esports Federation into its fold, which is seen as a huge roadblock for The International 10 to finally take place in Stockholm amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The acceptance of the SESF to the SSC would have helped a lot in classifying TI10 as an elite sporting event in Sweden amid the pandemic that would have led to the tournament pushing through there from Aug. 10-15.

In a statement on Tuesday, Valve admitted that it still tried to persuade the interior minister there to classify TI10 as an elite sporting event even without the SSC nod, but "our request was immediately denied."

"With the minister of the interior failing to recognize The International-Dota 2 Championships as an elite sporting event, anyone attempting to procure a visa for travel into Sweden for TI10 (including players, talent, and staff) would be denied. The absence of this official recognition also means individual border agents would be making decisions about entry for those traveling to the event from countries outside the EU who do not typically need a visa to enter Sweden," Valve further stated.

The company further said that it still tried to appeal twice earlier this month, but the Swedish government has yet to respond in both occasions.

Despite the setback, Valve reiterated, "We remain committed to hosting The International this year in a way that is both safe for all involved, and properly celebrates the players and fans of Dota 2."

The likeliest scenario right now is moving TI10 out of Stockholm, but Valve is still pushing for a European city as the host.

"As a result, and in light of the current political situation in Sweden, we have started looking for possible alternatives elsewhere in Europe to host the event this year, in case the Swedish government is unable to accommodate The International - Dota 2 Championships as planned. We feel confident that in either instance we will have a solution that allows us to hold TI10 in Europe this year, and that we will be able to announce an updated plan in the very near future," Valve further said.

The esports mogul concluded by saying that the regional qualifiers will push through as scheduled starting Wednesday with the South American division.

The Southeast Asian regional, which features four all-Filipino teams namely TNC Predator, Neon, Execration, and Omega, will commence the following Wednesday.

Two teams with Filipino players have qualified for TI10 outright through the DOTA Pro Circuit points, T1 led by Carlo Palad and Karl Baldovino and Evil Geniuses featuring Abed Yusop.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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