What’s going on with The International 10?
Dota’s developers Valve has just announced that the 10th iteration of the prestigious tournament, which was going to take place in Sweden this August, will not be going forward as planned. This is because the Swedish Sports Federation has just voted not to accept esports into the federation, subsequently barring spectators from attending any esports event under the country’s current Covid regulations.
What’s in store for CSGO, then?
Such a stance on the world’s largest esports event, apart from being a massive disappointment to Dota fans around the world, also begs the question, what will happen to the CSGO Major also scheduled to take place in Stockholm this October?
An HLTV report states that tournament organisers PGL are still prioritising the Swedish capital as the event’s destination, but if TI10 with its $40,000,000 prize pool was rejected, then what chance does a CSGO Major, with its measly $1,000,000 prize pool in comparison, stand?
Should Malta be considered as The International 10’s location?
Despite our small size, Malta is one of the forefront runners in esports, being recognised on a national scale by the country’s various sports institutions. Furthermore, our position within the heart of the Meditteranean and forming part of the EU means that Tournament Organizers and the Pro Players will already be familiar with the VISA application process. On top of all this, English is one of Malta’s official languages, meaning there will not be a language barrier!
This is where Gaming Malta comes in
Gaming Malta, a government-funded and MGA backed foundation, have been instrumental in organising top tier esports events in Malta. Before Covid19, they helped organise and sponsor Playcon, Malta’s first Game Development and esports expo. This event featured talks from renowned figures in the industry, such as ESL CEO Ralf Reichert.
Malta Is No Stranger To Hosting Top Tier Esports Events
Apart from the overwhelming support from local institutions, Malta is no stranger to Tier 1 esports events, having hosted various CSGO tournaments for some of the world’s top teams in the past couple of years, such as The CSGO SuperNova and The Champions Cup by Eden Esports to name a few.
Even when the pandemic hit, Malta’s esports companies took no time adapting to the new environment, with Eden Esports hosting ten weeks of the Eden Arena: Malta Vibes tournament, a completely online event featuring Tier3 – Tier1 teams throughout the entire summer. This was later followed immediately after by the European Development League, which is still ongoing with its 4th season wrapping up this week.
International Organisers are also getting in on the action
These Malta-based events are not just organised by local companies either. ESL, perhaps the largest tournament organisers in the world, have formed such good relations with the Maltese esports industry that Season 13 of their renowned Pro League, which was forced to move online due to the Covid pandemic, had Gaming Malta as their primary sponsor and Season 14 will take place as a studio event in Malta this coming August.
With all this taken into account, as well as the fact that Malta is one of the leading countries in the world in vaccinating its citizens, with 70% of the adult population being fully vaccinated as of June 26th makes hosting The International 10 or the first CSGO Major in over 2 years on the Maltese islands more than just wishful thinking by local esports fans but a legitimate European host location to organisers everywhere.