Valve’s huge Dota 2 tournament, The International, will take place in Seattle during the earlier month of July this year, according to Gabe Newell.

Newell confirmed the news that the tournament will also be returning to Seattle, probably in a venue larger than previous years, during his Reddit AMA. “We haven’t finalized where this year’s International will be,” claims Newell in the AMA.

“We are pretty sure it will be at Key Arena in Seattle, but we haven’t gotten everything finalized, and there is always a risk that our schedules and theirs won’t align in some way. As soon as we get everything finalized one way or another, we’ll get the dates out there for everyone who would like to attend. Should be fun this year.”

OnGamers confirmed that the tournament would be taking place in mid-July, earlier than the usual August placement. The expected venue of the Key Arena is also a lot larger than the previous location of Benaroya Hall.

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The announcements have not been without controversy. Adam Apicella, MLG’s vice president, stated to OnGamers that he has concerns regarding The International taking place so close in the calendar to their own tournament.

“The growth and excitement around both eSports and Dota 2 activity over the last year has been exponential,” states Apicella. “While we are happy to see the continued popularity and support, we are concerned that the sheer number and proximity of events can have a negative impact on the players and make travel difficult for teams to afford and manage. We always strive to provide our competitors with the greatest conditions and experience possible to ensure they can compete at their best.”

“However, holding tournaments so close together puts tremendous stress on players and affects their overall performance. Although we announced our plans months ago, we are currently discussing the schedule with teams and reassessing our plans to determine what will be the least stressful and most beneficial for all involved.”

Banner image credit: JiroJh