Dota 2 developer Valve Software announced on Friday (17 September) that The International 10 (TI10), this year's iteration of the game's annual world championship tournament, will be hosting a live audience once it commences on 7 October in the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania.
Valve said in its latest blog post that "after careful consideration" TI10 will be held in front of a live audience, provided that all attendees will be fully vaccinated and masked.
Fans looking to watch TI10 live will have to be at least 10 days past their final dose and show proof of their vaccination before entering the tournament's venue, at which point they will also be required to wear a mask as an added precaution.
Attendees coming from outside Romania will still be subject to any rules and restrictions specific to their cities and countries of origin, however.
Tickets to TI10's main event will also be going on sale on 12 September at 1200 EEST, with tickets being sold separately in three two-day bundles.
The first two bundles will be for the first four days of the main event, 12 to 13 October as well as 14 and 15 October, and are priced at 249 Lei or just under US$60.
The third bundle for the last two days of the event from 16 to 17 October will be available for 999 Lei or under US$240. Tickets can be purchased here.
"We aim to bring the community together both in person and virtually to finally watch the best teams in the world battle it out for the Aegis of Champions," said Valve.
"We're looking forward to welcoming members of the Dota community in person at the arena, and millions more around the world on our livestream broadcast throughout the event."
Free TI10 Compendium
In addition to confirming a live audience and releasing ticket sales date for TI10, Valve also announced that all Dota 2 players will be gaining access to a free Compendium for the tournament.
As with previous TI Compendium releases, fans and players can further liven up the TI10 experience by collecting player cards and participating in prediction and fantasy events.
Player Cards are already available in the TI10 Compendium, with more content being unlocked as the tournament inches closer.
Players can immediately claim 10 free player card packs to prepare for the TI10 fantasy event, with additional packs being made available each day after you win a single match.
Team-specific player card packs can also be purchased for US$0.49, with 50% of each purchase going to the team of your choice. Players who are also members of Supporter Clubs can also earn additional card packs depending on their tier. In addition, all Supporter Club memberships are now half price.
Valve has also made improvements to Dota 2's spectator mode in anticipation of TI10, with a variety of features such as status indicators for Smoke of Deceit and Aegis of the Immortal, improved Roshan timer, new combo graphs, and more being added.