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Where should Dota 2 events really be held?

Where should Dota 2 events really be held?

The seasonal visa plague has returned to cast a winter fever before the Boston Major; this time, it has robbed us of seven players, including a whole team.

Four Chinese players from two teams have been replaced, which is often expected at Valve’s USA events due to bureaucratic difficulties. But after weeks of silence since their direct invite, Filipino squad Execration revealed that three out of five players’ visas were not processed in time. As a result, the visibly and deeply disappointed team has been replaced by Chinese squad LGD.

Each time these issues come about, there’s collective rage against the US bureaucratic machine, and the decisions by tournament organizers to hold them in America despite these issues. Why are events held in a country which is so difficult to travel to? In light of this recurring annoyance, I asked the Dota 2 community what places would be a better alternative.

Statsperson Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen, who hails from South Africa and has done work at Valve events, was thoughtful in his picks. He did consider his home country briefly, but was mostly concerned about the far distances that most teams would experience.

“I think some areas like Prague and the Balkans would be great”

“To me, a good location would be a place where esports is a holiday,” he noted. He also lists cost, visa issues, ability to fill a stadium, travel distance, and security—all part of logistical and infrastructure questions that would ease the implementation of a tournament.

Noxville listed locations such as Sweden, Thailand, Spain, Portugal, and Hong Kong. When asked to narrow down the list, though, he settled on Macao, which he compared positively to China, with Malaysia as an alternate choice.

Cristy “Pandora” Ramadani also had suggestions, having dealt with similar visa questions as assistant manager of European squad ProDota. “I think some area like Prague and the Balkans would be great… Greece even,” she says. “These [areas] have fewer countries that would require a visa.” They also have, according to Pandora, “looser or easier criteria and higher rate of acceptance, but are cheap enough to run a great event.” She also believes these tournament organizers utilizing these regions could “welcome the economic advantages and still have means to host and address needs.”

While many personalities on Twitter and Reddit advocated for northern European countries such as Germany and the Scandinavian nations to host events, Pandora noted that traveling to Europe is trickier now than it used to be.

There was no denying the electrifying atmosphere of ESL One Manila and Valve’s Manila Major

“Europe is having a bit of crisis with immigration and refugees,” she explained. “Germany and France are having so many problems, visas could be more difficult given the increase of crime against immigrants.” She also mentioned that CIS countries already had relatively strict visa requirements. This problem was rumored to be one of several reasons behind Boston Major production company PGL’s Boston pick, as reliable sources claim they were looking to host this event in the CIS region.

When asked to pick a final location, Pandora chose to move to the other side of the world: the Philippines, “because crowd atmosphere is crucial too.” Such regions have basic tourist infrastructure, and there was no denying the electrifying atmosphere of ESL One Manila and Valve’s Manila Major.

Despite recurring speculation and passionate discussion, the question of The Ultimate Esports Location may never be answered. After all, the world is too big to accommodate everyone, and too small to ignore international politics. The discussions and problems of “why here” or “why not there” will exist as long as esports professionals and fans live on different continents, and until pageant contestants can stop asking for world peace.

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