The International (TI), arguably the biggest of Dota 2 Championships, becomes the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.
"After extensive consideration of the global health emergency stemming from COVID-19, we have made the difficult choice to delay The International," part of Valve's statement on the official Dota 2 Blog read. "We have been exploring various date possibilities, but it is likely that the event will need to happen in 2021."
According to organizers, they can't promise a schedule for the annual esports tournament "in the near future" due to the unpredictable nature of restrictions on mass gatherings and travel, as well as virus tracking.
On the bright side, this will give participating teams more time to prepare, especially with significant changes in the recent update (7.26b patch).
Valve, meanwhile, will be busy with the Dota Pro Circuit season restructuring and an earlier release of the next Battle Pass than prior TI10. It will come "a couple of weeks later than usual" because the team will be working from home. A chunk of the tournament pass sales (25%) will reportedly go to the competition's prize pool.
"We hope everyone in the Dota community is staying as safe as possible, and look forward to a time when we can once again welcome everyone to enjoy the spectacle of The International."
The news cast a dark cloud over TI regulars: