Following the cancellation of several Dota Pro Circuit events and their indefinite postponement, Valve has finally issued a response to the community’s demand for clarity as to the future of the professional Dota 2 scene.
Valve Responds to Angered Fans about Dota 2’s Competitive Future
Even though The International prize pool soared past $35 million earlier this week, a lot of competitive teams have been struggling. Many have accused Valve of turning a blind eye on the woes of low and mid-tier teams and building hype that does little to help some of the backbone teams in the community.
Valve, the creators of Dota 2, took a lot of flak from community members for the lack of support for new tournaments to replace the DPC and The International in particular. The company also took some criticism for its policy on streaming rights for competitive matches, too.
As usual, though, Valve developers have been listening and they have responded in an updated published on Friday, September 4. The biggest blow to the community has been the decision to suspend the Dota Pro Circuit indefinitely.
Four DPC events have already been cancelled, leaving most competitive organizations in tatters. Chaos Esports, Geek Fam, and Reality Shift are among the competitive organizations that had been forced to shut down their Dota 2 rosters.
Understandably, Valve’s cautious approach had to do with the threat posed by COVID-19 in hosting LAN events. Valve explained that deferring the DPC indefinitely was motivated by the company’s desire to deliver a quality product rather than a makeshift solution that fails to do the community credit. Valve specifically had this to say:
“While neither the cross-region competition nor the relative distance to The International are absolute requirements, we felt the DPC as both a function of The International and also as a coherent product for fans would be better served by holding off on them for now.”
The company confirmed that it had been in touch with tournament organizers and that they felt uncertain whether they would be able to provide the same quality of broadcasting product in the end, prompting most events to take a backseat for the time being.
Doing the Right Thing Isn’t Always Easy
Because of this feedback, Valve felt that the best course of action was to postpone Minor and Major Pro Circuit events indefinitely. Naturally, the company’s decision was met with a lot of backlash from fans.
Then again, Valve is one of the few gaming companies to have shown a zero-tolerance policy towards compromising the safety of players and members of the staff even at the expense of angering its loyalist fans.
However, the community was mostly angered at Valve’s lack of response as to what would happen while Pro Circuit events are being held off. Valve confirmed that it is in talks with several tournament hosts, four to be precise, to host various events in Europe and China and help fill up the vacuum left by the lack of Pro Circuit tournaments. The company did acknowledged, though, that it could have done a much better job:
“There are still going to be a lot of teams, casters, organizers, and fans around the world that are not going to be meaningfully served based on the current trajectory and that is our fault for not pushing on those and supporting them enough.”
In a bid to fix that, Valve has been reaching out to more tournament hosts than before, hoping to find support in third-party hosts who are willing to support the scene and create tournaments to fill up the vacuum for the remainder of the year.
When Is the DPC Returning: The $35m Question
With The International amassing a hefty prize pool already the event is likely to break all records in terms of prize pool. Yet, for the TI to happen, we will first have to see the DPC return.
According to Valve, events may return at some point in the first few months of 2021. TI10, on the other hand, could be held in Stockholm, Sweden in August, although no confirmation has been given so far.
Another contentious bone has proven DotaTV and streaming rights. Valve has not enacted any changes to facilitate third-party hosts to stream their tournaments, but this may yet change for the better so organizers have laxer rules to deal with.
In fact, starting from September 15 onwards, streamers would be allowed to re-stream Dota2TV feed for “reasonable and non-monetary” purposes. In other words, popular independent casters will have the opportunity to provide commentary for tournaments, but all credit will once again go to tournament organizers. Valve added:
“We believe this will provide more certainty and confidence to community streamers to be able to cast without a lot of turmoil, while at the same time protecting some key interests that tournament organizers have.”
One final detail, though, Valve mentioned was for any streamer who wishes to re-stream content to get in touch with tournament organizers to make sure everyone is on the same page.
While Dota 2 will see a few months of relative drought, independent parties are already working hard to fill up the schedule. Other games have naturally been affected as well. League of Legends’ creator Riot Games had to disqualify Vietnamese teams from attending the League of Legends World Championship.