The TI ticket prices have caused many in the Dota community to question whether they can even get to TI, with SEA disproportionally affected.
On August 3rd, we found out the release date and prices of tickets for TI11. The box office is opening on August 13th, but the Dota community quickly recoiled in horror at the price of tickets. All across social media and Reddit, fans, community members, and others reacted to perhaps the most expensive TI ever.
Ticket prices are as follows (all conversions are right at the time of writing):
- For a single day of the Group Stage, the price is $88 SGD ($63.74 USD)
- For both days of the Finals, a ticket costs $498 SGD ($360.73 USD)
- To attend every day of the competition the final price would be $850 SGD ($615.70 USD)
Now if those prices are causing your eyes to bulge out of your head, you’re not the only one. Couple this with travel costs and accommodation, and a trip to TI11 is now verging on costing multiple thousands of dollars. Naturally, many voiced their concerns. On Reddit, in a thread by u/hungryhusky titled TI finals ticket pricing is a huge blow to SEA fans, many, including the OP, voiced their concerns.
“As one of the more senior Dota players who started playing back in the wc3 days, this is a once in a lifetime event. We are finally being given a chance to attend TI, watch our favorite game live, now within reach. When the pricing was revealed, me and my group of friends were devastated.”
Hungryhusky went on to compare the cost of his fights and other expenses, all of which is dwarfed by the ticket price. Many in the thread from across the world echoed the sentiment. And multiple threads repeated the point. But the issue isn’t just reserved for Reddit users. Prominent members of the Dota community have also spoken out.
Community reactions to TI ticket prices
Streamer and former pro Niklas “Wagamama” Högström had the largest response to his criticism as he balked at the high price of tickets. “For comparison, TI7 was $300 for the same amount of days.”
Dota stats-man extraordinaire and tournament format critic Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen joked about the price, but made a serious point behind it. He states that “negative community outcry on the matter is the only way to give Valve a feedback signal on the issue.”
OG social media manager Manon weighed in. “As of now I cannot afford to go to TI.” Manon later clarified that she didn’t know if OG would be taking their employees to TI, but many were shocked that OG’s SMM didn’t even know if they’d make it to TI11.
Across Twitter, there’s dozens of examples of people shocked at the pricing. Here’s just a few:
And there’s a good reason why people are shocked:
TI11 tickets are massively more expensive than previous editions
Compared to TI10 (cancelled)
- Tickets for the TI11 group stage are 115% more expensive than TI10’s expected price
- Tickets for the TI11 Finals are 52% more expensive TI10’s expected price
- Tickets for the entire event are on average 83% more expensive overall than TI10
Compared to TI9
- Tickets for the TI11 Group Stage are 82% more expensive that TI9’s Ticket Price
- Tickets for the TI11 Finals are 20% more expensive that TI9’s Ticket Price
- Tickets for the entire event are on average 51 % more expensive overall than TI9
Why can they charge so much for TI11?
The sad fact is that even with the huge price hike, Valve will likely still be able to sell out it’s premier event. TI is genuinely a once in a lifetime tournament, and people who are able will pay the huge price tag. But this comes at a huge loss to the Southeast Asian fans who were elated to discover that TI would be heading to a venue within reach for the first time.
Valve may even use the justification that TI11 needs to be so expensive because last year didn’t have a crowd. But it’s certainly a selling point as well. With worries about pandemics, shutdowns, travel restrictions, and other international concerns very much in the forefront of everyone’s minds, there’s even more of a sense that The International is once in a lifetime, regardless of TI ticket price.
For years, TI was locked into its Seattle home. But since it’s been on the road, things haven’t always gone smoothly with the event’s seeming aim to tour the world. 2020’s edition was cancelled. Bucharest in 2021 was played without fans. And now Singapore’s pricing may deter many local fans. Hopefully Valve will listen