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.
The Indoor Stadium in Singapore is currently booming as about 12,000 spectators lock their eyes on the heated stage of The International 2022 - Dota 2's biggest tournament of the year. But while the matches are ongoing and spectators fill in the arena, tons of people linger outside. These are Dota 2 fans that couldn't get their hands on the coveted TI11 tickets.
When Valve first released TI11 tickets, it was sold out within minutes and a lot of them fell into the hands of scalpers. Some fans who couldn't find a TI ticket still flew in from other countries. They strolled around the stadium to pick up the Secret Shop items, take pictures, and immerse themselves in the TI environment.
Somewhere near the entrance, a group of Filipinos without TI11 tickets camped outside under the hot Singapore sun and decided to set up a watch party among themselves.
Esports.gg talked to two members of the group, RJ (28) and Philip (30) who are both currently working in Singapore. They initially came to the stadium expecting a screen outside broadcasting games - something quite common back in the days. But that is not the case at TI11 and they had to make do.
Using a 12-inch tablet, a portable speaker, and a chair as a stand, the group hoarded around the screen to enjoy the final games of TI11. During breaks, they close the tablet to save up battery and in the meantime listen to some energizing music.
Philip and RJ are both long-time Dota 2 fans, having played for more than a decade but this is the first time they have attended The International's venue. Even without access to the stadium, they held true to the core value of SEA Dota 2. They did not give up.
Philip: We are long-time fans of Dota 2 and we have been playing since Dota 1, about 10 years ago. This is our first TI but we don't have tickets. So instead of watching at home, we watch the games here and we can still see pro players too!
The group consisted of 20 - 35 year olds and most of them knew each other through Dota 2. This first TI in Southeast Asia brought them to meet up for the first time in real life. Both of them expressed how Dota 2 keeps them entertained throughout the years.
RJ: Every year, Dota 2 evolves.The items, the skills, the techniques. And on top of that, the passion of players is very nice.
Philip: It's always changing and we need to study the game, that gets us hooked. And we also make friends! Some of our friends are here, we met in Dota 2 and we have just met in real life.
Before we waved the group goodbye, Philip stated, "I hope the scalpers leave the community because they are hurting us Dota 2 fans."
Fans without tickets make the best of the situation
We spoke to a couple of fans without TI11 tickets that were sitting outside the stadium. One of them was a 28-year-old Tassaya who came on her own all the way from Thailand. "I've played Dota 2 for 10 years and this is my first TI. I'm very excited but sadly I couldn't get any tickets, and this might even be my first and last TI."
She added, "Dota 2 has helped me a lot, I spent a lot of time playing with my friends and I even learned to speak English from it. I saw TI3 for the first time and have been keeping up with the pro scene ever since."
Marion, a 38-year-old Filipino flew in from Australia with his wife to enjoy TI for the first time, hoping to see pro players and popular talents. He reminisced about the joy of playing Dota 2, a game he has enjoyed for 20 years! "I played the Warcraft mods back then and it got me into gaming. Me and friends hung out at the LAN cafe and even skipped classes," he laughed.
TI11 is reaching its end and the vibes - inside and outside - are incredibly wholesome. Hopefully, there would be more chances for fans to attend these prestigious Dota 2 events and celebrate the game they love.