Dota 2 developer Valve Software announced on Sunday (22 May) that The International 11 (TI11), this year's iteration of the game's annual world championship tournament, will be held in Singapore in October.
Valve revealed the venue for TI11 during the grand finals of the ESL One Dota 2 Stockholm Major, the first international LAN tournament of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season.
The developer began teasing that TI11's venue will be Singapore in a series of tweets from the official Dota 2 Twitter account that showed figures of Dota 2 heroes placed in a variety of locations around the country.
TI11 will serve as the concluding event of the 2021-2022 DPC season. Teams in the DPC can earn their place at the tournament by earning DPC points from the circuit's regional leagues and Majors.
Teams will have one more chance to earn DPC points during the circuit's Summer Tour regional leagues and the Summer Major in Arlington, Texas.
Once the Summer Major has concluded, the 12 teams at the top of the DPC leaderboard will earn direct invites to TI11. The remaining slots in the tournament will be filled through regional qualifiers.
Since its inception, TI has been setting and breaking the record for the biggest prize pool for a single esports tournament.
The tournament's first iteration in 2011 featured a US$1.6 million prize pool while last year's tournament, TI10, had a whopping US$40 million pot. TI10 champions Team Spirit claimed the grand prize of over US$18.2 million.
TI11 will be a first for Southeast Asia
TI11 will mark the first time that the tournament will be held in Southeast Asia, one of the most competitive regions in the DPC and where arguably the most passionate Dota 2 fans reside.
All but one of the 10 iterations of TI thus far have been held in the West. The first-ever TI back in 2011 was held in Germany while the next six editions from 2012 to 2017 were hosted near Valve's headquarters in Seattle, the United States.
TI8 then moved to Vancouver, Canada in 2018 before the tournament finally came to the East for the first time when TI9 was hosted in Shanghai, China.
Last year's tournament, TI10, was initially planned to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, but the event was forced to pull out of its original venue after the Swedish government refused to give it official recognition.
Valve later announced that TI10 will be held in Bucharest, Romania in front of a live audience, though the decision to host a crowd of fans was later repealed due to rising coronavirus infection rates and new restrictions in the new venue.
Singapore is no stranger to hosting international esports tournaments. In April 2021, the country hosted the ONE Esports Dota 2 Singapore Major, which was won by Chinese team Invictus Gaming.
The republic has also hosted the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang M3 World Championship last December and will host the League of Legends: Wild Rift 2022 Icons Global Championship in June.