Valve cancels Dota 2 Winter Major and pisses off pretty much every pro in the scene

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Valve has canceled the first Dota 2 major of 2022, which would have happened in February and will be the cornerstone for the pro scene’s winter tour.

“As the Winter Tour of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021-2022 season draws to a close, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the first Major,” A blogpost from the developer says, “While expectations were high that we might host an international LAN event, the discovery and spread of new strains of COVID-19 and the resulting increase in travel restrictions have made it impossible for all eligible teams to gather for a LAN tournament “


Because of this decision, the Winter Tour will end after all regional league tournaments are over. Valve also stated that the ranking points distributed over this Major will be transferred to the second and third majors later in the year. “That way, the balance of points between regional and cross-regional play remains the same.” Here’s How Points Will Be Redistributed,

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(Image credit: Suzy Pratt/FilmMagic)

The reaction among the Dota 2 esports community has been overwhelmingly negative. It’s not because Dota fans think Valve should have called “Screw Covid” and moved on with it. Late cancellations cause some real and serious problems for Dota 2’s esports teams, both financially and in terms of points just pushed down the road. Additionally, there is currently no information from Valve regarding knock-on effects, such as when players can no longer be transferred between teams, which usually occurs after the Major.

Had the event happened, the spectators would not have been involved. Dota 2 LAN events have been private for almost two years, while plans to allow spectators at The International 10 in Bucharest were scrapped.

After the various esports teams have made it clear what they think of the decision, Na’Vi has chosen the medium of meme.

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Dota 2 pro Maurice ‘Khezu’ Gutmann also expressed his disappointment over the call.

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Several other event organizers have decided to cancel events at some point over the years. The specific problem with this last-minute cancellation is that Dota 2’s esports scene is absolutely huge and dependent in part on Valve’s financial backing: the major would have distributed approximately $500,000 among competing teams. Indeed, the Dota Pro circuit aims to provide stability to the competitive scene, and its league element is basically a qualifier for a given Major.

I spoke to a member of the Dota 2 Pro scene who didn’t want to go on record, but said that without the Major “it feels like you don’t play anything.” Valve’s decision not to reallocate prize money has caused major problems for some teams, as it’s not even getting back on the line: it’s just gone. Why did this happen after so long? Why was this tournament not replaced by regional tournaments?

These issues, of course, align with many widespread criticisms of how the valve operates. The company is notorious for a lack of communication, which is one thing when you’re talking about a game release, but a whole other kettle of fish when people’s livelihoods depend on your decisions. The decision to cancel this Major was announced via a blogpost, followed by no further official word, which left the professionals and teams seeking some answers to the above questions puzzled.

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There’s a pervasive sense that Valve screwed up here, and it’s certainly being mixed up now — with more general criticisms of Dota 2: Some think the latest Battle Pass was a rip-off, others think. That’s why Valve doesn’t support the game and the Pro scene as it should be, and there hasn’t been a major update to the game for a while.

Its core, however, is that Valve canceled the event at the last minute while the professional outfits were producing it, taking a considerable amount off the scene without questioning the decision. (And it’s not like Valve is short of money. Dota 2 alone is clearly a profitable game.)

Valve wisely decided that an individual event was a bad idea at this point in time in the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pro-view complaints about how it happened seem entirely reasonable, given Valve’s resourcefulness and scale. To some extent unnecessary.

I’ve contacted Valve for comment and will update with any feedback.

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