The International, the largest Dota 2 tournament in the world, will move to Shanghai, China for its 2019 edition.
The announcement came on Saturday of The International with a statement from Weng Tiehui, a Vice Major of Shanghai. The translated statement shown on The International’s stream is as follows:
Hello, dear Dota 2 teams and esports fans. On behalf of Shanghai city government, and 24 million Shanghai citizens, we are happy and honored to be selected by Valve as the host city of next year’s Dota 2 Championships. The city of Shanghai will provide its full support for the event.
I am currently in the Pudong zone of the Shanghai World Expo. The 2019 Dota 2 Championships will take place in the Mercedez-Benz Arena behind me.
Next year, join us in anticipation and in excitement for the greatest Dota 2 event of the year here in Shanghai.
Dear friends, welcome to Shanghai! TI9 Dota 2 Championships!
While most TI events have been held in Seattle, there have been three exceptions in its nine-year history. The first International in 2011 was held in Germany as the Dota 2 showcase event. This year, the venue moved from Seattle to Vancouver due to construction concerns.
This iteration of the annual Dota 2 tournament will take place in the Mercedes-Benz Arena, which holds 183,000 spectators — nearly ten times that of this year’s venue, Rogers Arena in Vancouver, which holds 18,860.
China is one of the largest audiences and player bases for Dota 2. For the last four International tournaments, there have been five Chinese teams among the competitors, and the Association for Chinese Esports, which manages major Chinese esports organizations, has massive regional interest in Dota 2.
Dota 2 and other esports have been largely successful spectator points of interest. Several large Dota 2 events have been held in China, including the Dota Asia Championship, the recent Super Major and the infamous 2015 Shanghai Major. Last year, the League of Legends Worlds finals was held in the Beijing National Stadium, better known as 2008’s “Bird Nest” stadium.