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Dota 2 International 2019 moves to Shanghai

First time the championship has been held outside of North America since the 2011 debut

Valve is moving its biggest esports event far from its home market, with Shanghai announced as the host city or The International 2019.

The reveal was announced during the last day of this year's Dota 2 tournament, which took place at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada. A video has been posted with the vice mayor of Shanghai, Weng Tiehui, making the announcement.

The ninth iteration of International will be held at the Chinese city's Mercedez-Benz Arena, with Tiehui adding: "The city of Shanghai will provide its full support for the event."

This will be the first time the tournament has been held outside North America since 2012, following a successful inaugural competition held alongside Gamescom 2011 in Cologne, Germany.

The majority of Internationals have been held in Seattle, with this year's event moving to Vancouver while its usual venue undergoes construction work.

The move is no doubt in recognition of how big Dota 2 has become as an esport in China. In the final rankings for The International 2018, six of the top 18 teams were Chinese - more than any other nation - with the nation's PSG.LGD team placing second.

This year's prize pool of $24.8 million was one of the largest in esports history.

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