Valve has canceled in-person audience attendance for The International 10 and will now only allow teams, talent, and essential staff to be present during the event, the company revealed today.
Valve confirmed that this decision was made in order to ensure the “safety of all players, talent, and production staff participating in the event” and will begin the process of refunding all ticket sales.
“We wanted nothing more than to welcome fans live to the event, but we can no longer do so in a way that allows us to prioritize the health and well-being of both audience members and participants,” Valve said. “Those who purchased tickets will be issued a full refund automatically.”
This comes just one day after all 10 members of Team Aster, along with multiple players from Invictus Gaming, tested positive for COVID-19 and adopted self-quarantining measures at their hotels in Bucharest, Romania. Valve noted that the new local restrictions in Bucharest regarding COVID also played a part in this decision.
Initially, TI10 was to be hosted in Stockholm, Sweden, but event classification issues with the Swedish government and the Swedish Sports Federation in June led to Valve delaying the event and moving it to Bucharest.
TI10 is still scheduled to begin with the group stage on Oct. 7. During that stage of the competition, players typically compete from separate areas within a hotel or arena ahead of the main event, which is held live on-stage. Valve hasn’t revealed a full schedule yet, but the company confirmed that the event will begin as planned with no further delays.