For those of you with plans to attend this year's Dota 2 world championship, The International 2021, you can start planning accordingly. While a bit late for a some people, Valve unveiled the date of the sale and ticket prices for the upcoming tournament in an official blog post today.

The International Dota 2 Championships begin with Group Stage October 7 - 10, followed by the Main Event at National Arena October 12 - 17.

Tickets to attend the Main Event will be sold in three separate two-day bundles:

Midweek 1 (October 12 and 13): 249 Lei
Midweek 2: (October 14 and 15) 249 Lei
Finals: (October 16 and 17) 999 Lei

Tickets will go on sale September 22, 2021 at 12:00 EEST.

All tickets can be purchased here: theinternational2021.entertix.ro

Converted, that's RM 247/USD 59 for midweek, and RM 991/USD 237 for the finals. Not cheap, but assuming you're already spending money to travel to Bucharest, Romania, it's probably the least of your expenses (unless you live in the vicinity, of course!).

Take note that all attendees of the event must be fully vaccinated and masked (a given during these times). There will be protocols in place to keep everyone at the event as safe as possible. I wouldn't be surprised if there were no in-person activities this year, such as photo ops or autograph sessions. Regardless, it's great that we're slowly getting back to having live audiences for esports events. Not having the sound of the crowd picking up on caster microphones over the past year has left tournament casts feeling pretty empty.

In addition to the tickets, Valve announced that all players will have access to The International 2021 Compendium. At the moment you can start collecting Player Cards for your fantasy team (booster packs for attending teams are also being sold). At the moment we only have access to the Talent list and Player Cards - Fantasy, Main Event and Bracket Predictions will be enabled at a later date. Dota 2 also received several spectator mode improvements so the in-game watching experience will be better - we now get smoke, aegis indicators, BKB, Aegis, shared Tango timers, accurate Roshan timers, Power Rune indicators, and more.

The International 2021 takes place 7-17 October 2021 and will be broadcast live on eGG Network TV. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more news and updates!

It turns out that not everything about 2020 is terrible after all! If you're a Dota 2 fan who has been yearning for the return of the Halloween-themed game mode, Diretide, your prayers have been answered! Just in time for Halloween tomorrow (to be honest, we thought it was going to be on Valve Time), the update brings a new and revamped Diretide game mode but most importantly - loads of hats. Many, many hats!

2020's version of Diretide pits two teams of 5 against each other in a fight to collect the most taffy - a resource that is dropped from creeps, and enemy heroes when you kill them. There will be 5 rounds of gameplay, and by the end of it, the team with the most taffy are considered the winners. Seems simple and fun enough, we can't wait to try it out!

With each victory or loss, players will earn Diretide Points, and for every 100 Diretide Points, players receive a random reward which can be a cosmetic, MMR double down token, a spray, chat wheel sound, or emoticon! Fortunately for people who aren't fans of custom game modes - you can also earn Diretide Points through regular games.

For the full list of rewards, check out the Dota 2 website, or the Dota 2 Wiki. I know what I'll be doing this weekend - not spamming ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Give DIRETIDE!

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