Rock stars, a struggling hockey club and many entertainers have discovered how hard it is to fill Rogers Arena for one night, let alone six.
But on Monday, the Canucks house opens its doors and welcomes thousands of raw fans of the video game Dota 2, an event similar to the Super Bowl of esports.
They will be there for the main event of The International: a six-day 16-day professional esports event with 16 teams from & # 39; the world's best Dota 2 players against each other in a $ 30-plus million tournament that attracts thousands of viewers personally and millions more online.
It is the height of competition for a video game with an estimated 10 million active players worldwide, drawn by the combination of fantasy, strategy and teamwork.
The game has a fanatical fanbase that invests hours of time and millions of dollars and almost crowdfunded all the big prize pots.
Vancouver & # 39; s Kurtis & # 39; Aui_2000 & # 39; Ling is a former winner of The International and won the 2015 title and with that a part of the $ 6.6 million first prize money of the US.
"Dota is an incredibly difficult game to come in. But once you understand, the strategic depth of the game is so high and it is incredibly exciting to watch, "he said.
"But at the same time, if I were a new spectator, I would have no idea what was going on."
If you are one of those new fans, here are a few things you should know about The International and Dota 2.
What is Dota 2?
Here come the acronyms.
Dota 2 is an online fighting arena game for multiple players or MOBA. In the game, two teams of five players select each character and fight over a virtual landscape in an effort to destroy each other's base, an old name.
Dota itself is an acronym for Defense of the Ancients, and as the name implies, Dota 2 was launched as a sequel to the original Dota.
One more: The International is the official name of the event, but most will just call it TI. Vancouver organizes the eighth edition of the tournament, so this is informally known as TI8.
"It is absolutely electric," said Ling from The International. "There are so many people from all over the world who are only there to watch how you play videogames, it's madness."
Is not it boring to see other people playing video games?
This is probably the case in your living room. But in a tournament setting within an NHL arena, it is a real sports spectacle.
"The crowd is really nice, everyone in that arena wants to see the good Dota so if you are good Dotapeople will be happy with it, "said Artour & Arteezy & Babaev, a TI veteran from Vancouver at the age of 22.
Matches playing with teams that are each sheltered in transparent, sound-proof boxes that are roughly positioned in the middle of the ice at a hockey match.
Fans watch and respond while the action is being performed live on the screens above.
"The only thing you can really hear is the vibration of the crowd," Babaev said of playing amid the busy TI atmosphere.
"It's a bit muted, but you hear the vibration."
Most games at the main event of TI are the best of three games, with the big finals of Saturday between the last two teams being contested as a best of five.
No one has won The International twice, which means that a TI victory brings exceptional prestige in the game world.
For whom will local fans cheer for this?
Some teams only consist of players from one country or region, so national flags are a very common phenomenon on the stands.
Some players have massive social media esteem and are the rock stars of the tournament.
For hometown fans, there will be five Canadians this week at the main event of TI – two players and three coaches – including the Ling and Babaev from B.C.
- Artour & Arteezy & # 39; Babaev – raised in Vancouver & # 39; s West End, Babaev will compete in his fifth TI, this time with Evil Geniuses.
- Kurtis & # 39; Aui_2000 & # 39; Ling – winner of TI5, he is this year's tournament as coach for Fnatic.
- Jacky & # 39; EternaLEnVy & # 39; Mao – a player from Ontario fighting for Fnatic who plays in his trip TI.
- Aaron & # 39; Clairvoyance & # 39; Kim – a coach born in Korea from Toronto, who will be at his second TI, this time for VGJ.Storm.
- Sivatheeban "1437" Sivanathapillai – a Toronto-based gamer who is a veteran of five TI & # 39; s as a player and who will coach TNC Predator