The ugly act of scalping and its emotional impact on die-hard fans
Fans of Dota 2 now join concertgoers in expressing outrage at scalpers.
While many fans struggled to get tickets to Dota’s largest annual event, hundreds of scalpers have been capitalising on the situation by reselling the tickets at outrageous prices.
Tickets for the 2022 Dota 2 Championships The International (TI) Playoff Rounds, which are set to take place at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre from Oct 20 to 23, were originally retailing for $88. The tickets are now being resold by scalpers on Carousell at marked-up prices starting from $200.
Meanwhile, the Grand Finals, which will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from Oct 29 to 30, originally cost $498 for a two-day entry but are being sold for $5,500 per pair, five times the price of the original.
Many Dota fans vocalised their anger and disappointment at being unable to get tickets to the International 2022 Dota 2 Championships on social discussion site Reddit.
Reddit user Anomaluna shared the experience of being directed into the queue after visiting the ticketing website. The user was optimistic about getting the tickets, having heard about Ticketmaster’s queue system and how it was designed to be fair.
However, tickets for the first four days of the event were quickly sold out as soon as the user was directed to the ticketing page, with the finals selling out in just a few seconds.
Anomaluna wrote on the Reddit thread: “I was willing to put in the $850~ for all six days of the event. That is not a small amount of money for me. In fact, it’s almost equal to my month’s salary… So even though it’s a lot, I had saved up because it would have been my first TI.
“I’d been struggling financially for the last several years, so it’s not like I ever had the chance to go to a TI in an EU country before. But now that TI is taking place in a SEA country, and I’m doing better money-wise, I had the courage to dream. I had a dream, and it was crushed within minutes”.
In reality, Anomaluna isn’t alone. Apart from Dota’s largest annual event which left its supporters feeling demoralised, thousands of fans all around the world have been in a similar situation and had their dreams crushed upon realising that they could no longer buy tickets to see their favourite band or attend the conference that’s been on their bucket list – all because of the act of scalping.
A bright-eyed fifteen-year-old me once wished to see my favourite band of all time, Coldplay, perform at the Singapore National Stadium back in 2017. My sister and I had been looking forward to purchasing tickets for the show, but they were sold out in less than an hour.
My misery was fuelled even more when I went to other social networking sites such as Twitter and marketplace app Carousell to see other scalpers reselling the tickets at ridiculously high prices.
My dreams were shattered because at that point, which fifteen-year-old had the financial means to purchase a $328 concert ticket when its original retail price was $168?
With not much savings, I eventually gave up that “dream” and was disappointed that I was unable to see my favourite band – until my older sister decided to buy the resold tickets from a third party at a higher price.
At the time, I felt guilty as I knew she had bought the tickets at much higher prices in hopes of making her younger sister’s dream come true. Now that I’ve grown up and know how difficult it is to earn that much money, I feel even worse thinking about what my sister did.
That dream wasn’t just about going to a concert. It meant being able to sing along to all of the songs I had listened to on my bus rides home from school. It meant being able to jump with other fans to A Sky Full of Stars and feeling connected to the artists that I had been admiring since I was a kid. These missed experiences are what make many individuals infuriated at scalpers.
For many of us, it is not just a mere event, concert, or conference. It is an adventure of a lifetime that we wish to experience in our lives.
In a post-pandemic era where concerts, conferences and live events are becoming the norm again, it is inevitable for scalpers to take every opportunity they can to earn a quick buck. But to what cost would you be willing to do it, knowing that it would crush someone’s hopes and dreams?