How does the cancellation of DotA 2 International affect the PGL CSGO Major this year?

Concerns are being raised about CSGO Major.

How does the cancellation of DotA 2 International affect the PGL CSGO Major this year?
image via PLG CSGO

The future of Counter-Strike's first Global Major Offensive since 2019 is now blurred due to diplomatic influence in Sweden. Valve, the developer of CS: GO and DotA 2, has shared a critical update regarding The International 2021 this year, which could affect CS: GO in the run-up to PGL Major 2021.

Many countries have eased travel restrictions for people fully vaccinated with tests, which has positively impacted the esports ecosystem. As a result, numerous esports have returned to normal, with major events moving to LAN. However, a setback at Valve's DotA 2 has put a huge question mark on what would be the first major CSGO event in two years.

DotA 2's biggest event, The International, will once again be delayed. This time, however, global health problems will not be the reason. The event was scheduled to take place in Sweden, but the Swedish Sports Federation had just voted not to accept e-sports in the sports federation. As a result, professional players and the team may not travel safely to compete at LAN in Sweden, the official press release revealed.

“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 press release said. 

Only "elite sporting events" are eligible to take place during COVID-19 in Sweden. With officials voting T10 and esports out of the sports federation, plans for DOTA 2's biggest event ultimately fell through. While the organizers have already started to control the damage, the whole thing has raised questions about the CSGO Major that is expected to take place in Stockholm, 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,” Valve said.

PGL announced the first CSGO specialization since the pandemic in Stockholm, Sweden. The event was scheduled to run from October 23 to November 7 and would feature a prize pool of $ 2 million, the highest in Counter-Strike history. However, considering the breaking news from DOTA2, it seems highly unlikely that the organizers will be able to set the stage in the Swedish capital.

HLTV sources report that CSGO Stockholm major organizers are still committed to hosting this year's event at a previously announced location. It's worth noting here that the CSGO Major 2021 was hosted by PGL, the company that has hosted The International of DOTA2 for the past few years. Unfortunately, the game venue is also the same as the International 10, raising further concerns regarding PGL Stockholm 2021.

CSGO personalities, presenters, and players have expressed disappointment and shock at the recent development of Sweden's strategy. While some players have criticized the government for sticking to outdated policies, others are pestering the developers for not clarifying the situation.

CSGO fans eagerly awaited to see their favorite players in action on their own turf - LAN. While other games like VALORANT have finally returned to crowd-free LAN events, CSGO remains online during the pandemic. The last CSGO major was the Starladder Berlin Major, which took place in 2019.


The major was expected to be followed by the ESL One Rio Major in Brazil in May 2020, but the event was ultimately scrapped. Instead, "regional major" events were announced online to keep teams engaged and determine entrants for future LAN tournaments.

This is not the first time that the DOTA2 main event has been postponed during the pandemic. However, International 10 was expected to take place, considering the relaxation of travel restrictions. The organizer would probably do his best to find an alternative venue because the event was already in the advanced stages of preparation, and this news is not commercially favorable to the organizers at all.

The production of live events, space rentals, hospitality, betting, merchandising and equipment, etc., all of which would suffer a massive setback. Companies in the fantasy gambling industry that rely on match odds and spend millions on advertising will also see a drop in audience and traction. Similarly, advertisers who buy placements on live streams and other coverage platforms would not see the expected retention.

However, it's great to see Sweden as Valve's considered PGL CS: GO Major 2021 pick after the hostile bypass.

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