Valve has cancelled ticket sales for Dota 2 tournament The International amid a continued covid case rise in Romania.
The International was set to return with a live audience in Bucharest from 12th to 17th October.
But covid case rates have soared recently, and the government this week announced new coronavirus restrictions. Romania has the second lowest vaccination rate in the European Union, just ahead of Bulgaria. Bucharest reached a record of 8.28 per thousand new infections over the past two weeks, among the country's steepest rates.
Valve said it will refund all ticket sales for The International 2021.
"We wanted nothing more than to welcome fans live to the event, but we can no longer do so in a way that allows us to prioritise the health and well-being of both audience members and participants," Valve said in a post on Dota 2's website.
"Those who purchased tickets will be issued a full refund automatically."
The tournament will now go ahead without fans, starting on 7th October with the group stage.
"We look forward to welcoming the best Dota teams in the world to the stage and sharing the experience online with millions of fans around the world," Valve said.
The pandemic has caused multiple video game event cancellations since early last year. This week, Evo's in-person tournament, which was set to see 40 of the world's best fighting game players compete in Las Vegas, was cancelled due to covid.