Here is the full TI11 experience in the eyes of a first-time attendee. And flash news, the hero holograms aren’t real..
For the first time in history, The International came to Southeast Asia (SEA) a region of immeasurable passion and love for Dota 2. The massive event was broken down into two weeks – Playoffs and Finals which took place at different venues. And for this TI11 fan experience, I’ll solely focus on the Finals weekend.
The Finals venue at the Singapore Indoor Stadium was starkly different from the Playoffs venue at Suntec Convention Center. It felt like a Dota 2 paradise for fans with every corner of the stadium decorated with everything Dota.
TI11 pass and goodie bag!
First, you collect your pass at the Will Call, and you’ll get the gorgeous pass with a lanyard attached. This pass has a QR code on the back of it to help you access the arena.
Using the pass, you can claim your own goodie bag which contains:
- SteelSeries mousepad
- 2022 Attendance Pin – TI11 Aegis
- A pair of Dota 2 inflatable balloons
- A stack of hero cards
- Dota 2 themed keycaps
- Dota 2 themed masks
- SteelSeries Dota 2 themed pins
- Sling bag
You can take a look at this video by Sophy who walked through what is in the TI11 goodie bag!
Secret Shop, Graffiti Wall, and more booths
In between the stadium and the Kallang Wave Mall, booths fill up the vicinity and fans crowd the space. The Secret Shop which sold Dota 2 merch had people constantly lining up to grab their prized possessions.
A replica of the Aegis stood next to the booths, attracting many people for pictures.
The Graffiti Wall shows the chaotic art formed by fans who came and scribbled all sorts of images and words.
The entire area is spacious and there are plenty of places to sit. People tend to miss this spot but behind the Secret Shop, there is a wall filled with wings from heroes in Dota 2. You can pose with the wings as if they are your own!
The popular Dota 2 staircase at TI11
The massive staircase with a Dota 2 logo parading towards the stadium is probably the key attraction around the stadium. The humongous logo brings out that delightful feeling as you climb the stairs toward the core of TI11, the arena itself. This is the main path to get to the arena and people usually take pictures on the staircase.
Inside the Indoor Stadium
The gates to the arena open at 10 am in the morning and the round stadium with several entrances will be crowded with long lines that dissolve pretty quickly. Before you enter, security will check your bags as they don’t allow any outside food and drinks. This is mildly frustrating as you’ll have to toss any form of food and drinks in your possession into the garbage bin. However, food and beverages are sold inside the stadium.
To enter the arena, attendees have to scan the QR code on their passes. Once in, the lights are dim with a red and bluish ambiance. The striking, red Aegis glows on each of the long banners that draped from the top of the stadium, highlighted by the gorgeous lighting. The stage glows with red outlines and the big, curved screen, displays the Dota 2 stream in all 4 directions of the arena.
The curved edges displayed player cams, their heroes, as well as their inventories which were helpful for live fans that can’t access on-screen Dota 2 extensions.
Players walk in from the left side of the stadium where they would pass by the Aegis of Champions which stood in the middle.
But let’s talk about the crowd. Passionate roaring, applauses, waves – TI11 has astounding energy from every corner of the stadium. And it’s understandable for the first live crowd for TI since 2019.
Watch the live crowd waving their phone flashlights during TI11 finals.
For first-time attendees (like me), most were expecting to see hero holograms that were often portrayed on broadcasts during drafting. On TI11’s broadcasts, spectators can see hero holograms behind players during drafts.
However, I was devastated to know after all these years that they are not real! This is how it looks like in real life..no holograms.
I am one of the victims affected by this revelation and this might just be my Joker arc. Anyways, we move on. (I can’t)
Fans without tickets hang outside
When games were ongoing, I was surprised to see a lot of people hanging outside the stadium. Turns out most of them were fans without TI11 tickets who made it to the venue just so they can enjoy the vibes. They showed tremendous love for the game, coming from other countries just for a chance at seeing popular Dota 2 personalities.
A group of friends even made their own mini watch party to enjoy the games while camping outside the stadium. I interviewed two members of the group to know their story here.
Fans without tickets set up their own mini watch party outside the TI11 stadium
These Dota 2 fans did not let scalpers ruin their TI11 spirit.
As someone who has never experienced TI on-site, TI11 Final weekend was incredibly amazing. Everything was comfortable, accessible, and efficient. The setup was classy and gorgeous. The press room was amazing (though I would love bigger tables), the food was great, and the staffs were friendly. Let’s hope for the next event, this amazing atmosphere lasts the whole TI and not only for 2 short Final days.