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Does The International's Move to 2021 Open the Door for..

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Does The International's Move to 2021 Open the Door for Console eSports?

Does The International's Move to 2021 Open the Door for Console eSports?
Published by doa666 on Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Tagged: Gaming, Xbox One,

The International, an annual eSports world championship competition for Dota 2, has been delayed until 2021. While this comes as a result of broader, more pressing social concerns across the globe, the event’s postponement perhaps opens the door for console gaming to make substantial strides forward on a competitive level. So, let’s take a look at the latest news regarding The International and discuss the potential implications of the delay on competitive gaming.

Does The International's Move to 2021 Open the Door for Console eSports?
"The International at KeyArena" by Dota 2 The International

The Decision to Delay the Record-Breaking Event

Although the news to delay The International would have disappointed some gaming fans, the decision is ultimately a testament to the role that viewers play in making the competition a globally enjoyed event. The tournament, that was due to be held at the Ericsson Globe arena in Stockholm this August, has since been indefinitely delayed until 2021 in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, according to The Esports Observer.

Unfortunately, the postponement of TI10 sees the delay of what is arguably the world’s largest eSports event of the year, as per WIN.gg. Largely unrivaled in popularity, the competition repeatedly sets a new prize pool record. In regards to format, 12 teams receive invitations, while the remaining six have to qualify in making up the participants.

Having recorded a record-breaking crowdfunded prize pool total for an eSports event back in 2019, anticipation was building that this year’s event would be even more exciting and lucrative. Although it would have been difficult to surpass the $34 million sum set by the ninth installment of the competition, yearly progression data shows that a new record could have been possible in 2020. As per Dota 2 Prize Pool Tracker, The International has generally enjoyed financial growth year on year, with the 2019 prize pot being almost double that on offer back in 2015.

What Could This Mean for Console eSports?

While, of course, it's a tremendous loss for the competitive gaming scene to have lost The International in 2020, it’s perhaps advantageous to look for silver linings from a purely game-related perspective. As the annual Dota 2 event is typically one of the year’s most anticipated eSports tournaments for the PC platform, the postponement somewhat opens that door for traditional consoles to target competitive gaming’s audience base.

Although they’re already popular games from an eSports standpoint, Xbox One titles such as FIFA 20, Fortnite, and Rocket League could reach new heights over the next 12 months. As Xbox players reign supreme on the Electronic Arts football franchise, the foundations are already in place to target substantial short-term growth.

Xbox One Controller
Source: Unsplash

Moreover, this may also present an opportunity for new releases to establish themselves within the eSports world. Despite the fact that it’s not currently available on Xbox, Fall Guys could be making its way to the Microsoft platform in the near future, with the title’s developers stating they would “love” to bring the game to new consoles. Given that the Mediatonic release has recently broken records for being the best performing non-AAA game on Twitch this year, as per Ginx TV, the audience base is there for eSports success should the title crossover onto the Xbox One.

An Event That’s Worth Waiting For

At the time of writing, few details are set in stone concerning The International’s return in 2021. However, it’s without doubt that the world renowned event will likely come back with a desire to reach new, unprecedented heights within the eSports industry. Until then, there’s an opportunity for consoles to take their competitive markets to new audiences.
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