The prices of The International 9 tickets have skyrocketed following their May 24 release, and some Dota 2 fans blame the price hike on scalpers abusing the Chinese ticket selling site Damai.
The Chinese allocation of tickets for The International reportedly sold out in only 53 seconds, with weekend bundles going out of stock even earlier. All ticket sales went to individuals using the early access code provided to Dota Plus users or Battle Pass purchasers—regular Dota fans didn’t even have a chance, as Valve and Damai were forced to cancel the open purchasing period.
Since then, some tickets have reappeared on resale sites such as TaoBao for massively marked-up prices. Originally, weekend passes sold for CNY 2099 ($304 USD); one Dotabuff user reported resale prices as high as $1,800 USD for the last two days of the event.
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“Personally, as a Dota player, I’v (sic) always been dreaming to go to a TI tournament live. For the past years, the tournament is held in America, and its (sic) the first time that it is held in China,” wrote the Dotabuff user. “...If tickets are all sold to scalpers even before I have a chance to buy any, its (sic) just unfair for me, and all other poor players who sacrifice their time trying to get tickets.”
The scalping of The International tickets is nothing new, but this year’s prices represent the greatest price inflation that has ever occurred for the event.