The first Dota 2 Major of the season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus situation in the world is really not the best. The Omicron strain is spreading at an incredible rate across the globe. And now, Valve has announced their decision not to host the first Major DPC of the season.
To compensate, Valve offered to change the distribution of points on the system, which we wrote about in one of our articles. The community has criticized Valve a lot for the poor feedback because the cancellation of the tournament generates a lot of questions. Why would teams want to finish this DPC season? What will happen to the prize money for Major? Where’s the guarantee that the situation won’t happen again at a second Major tournament? Who was the tournament operator of the first Major? All of these questions were left unanswered by Valve. Of course, thanks to some leaked information and rumors, we can get a rough idea of what’s going on within the company. However, only Valve themselves can give better feedback and clarify the situation.
In general, rumors that the first Major of the season will be canceled appeared on the Internet long before the official announcement. Reddit users began actively discussing the news a few days ago. Later, sometime later, team representatives confirmed this theory. HellRaisers was one of the teams that likely had to go to Major. Here’s what HellRaisers sports director Maria Gunina said:
Unfortunately, this news was not a surprise for us. But we were still hoping for a miracle until the announcement.
The community took the news of the postponement of the main tournament of the season very keenly. Valve faced a massive amount of negativity, not only from ordinary players but also from media personalities. Many talents, players, and managers wrote about the lack of transparency on the part of Valve and the terrible attitude towards their own esports community.
Evil Geniuses manager Peter “Panders” Anders wrote a great post expressing his indignation over the Majors cancellation. Anders said that Valve simply does not pay attention to teams in his blog. At the same time, the company asked not to make the public discontent associated with the work of Valve. According to Anders, Valve asked for this at TI10 during a meeting between the company and the participating teams. Instead, Valve asked players and team management to contact them personally if teams suddenly had problems or questions.
In contrast to this request, Anders cites the situation with team PuckChamp, who has the Major’s passing result.
As an example, PuckChamp, a CIS team in good standing to qualify for the major, has players in Kazakhstan. Because of the current political situation of the country, the team and players needed to know information about the major as soon as possible, as leaving and re-entering the country was not a guarantee. Their manager has been desperately trying to get in contact with Valve for weeks about this and hasn’t received any response.
As a result, it turns out that Valve simply does nothing when teams really need trivial advice or help with logistics.
Team Secret player Sumail was also dissatisfied with Valve’s policy on transparency.
If all the teams decide to just not compete in season 2 at least we will have some sort of stable system, either better communication or maybe dota just dies completely. Either way better than the current state of things.
— Sumail (@SumaaaaiL) January 12, 2022
The teams’ reaction
Obviously, those teams and players who were supposed to go to the main tournament of the season were the most affected by the Major’s cancellation. The first DPC season was already ending, and the ranking favorites and table leaders were already known. In Eastern Europe, they were PuckChamp, HellRaisers, and Team Spirit. Of course, the TI champions are probably not as offended as PuckChamp. Since last season, this team has been gaining form, changing the lineup, training. Now the desired result is so close, but at the previous moment, everything fell apart.
In North America, first place went to the Quincy Crew. Their result already makes it clear that the QC would definitely have been participants of the playoff stage of the Majors, but fate played a cruel joke with the North American team. One of the team’s recruits, Ponlo, wrote a heartbreaking tweet about how much he wanted to make it to this tournament.
I've been playing Dota since I was 8, it's been 15years. I've been trying to get to a big tournament since 2012. I dropped out of school to enlist in mandatory army in Singapore so I'd be able to pursue my dream earlier. This meant so much to me I can't even put it into words 1/2
— Remus (@ponlodota) January 13, 2022
Remus has really come a long way towards his dream. Malaysia analyst Leon “Arthur” Lee told us more about it in our exclusive interview.
Rumors about the reasons for the cancellation
Inside a community closed to prying eyes and ears, insiders and rumors are often discussed, which often turn out to be true. One such reason is the cancellation of the first Major in the new DPC season.
According to rumors, Valve canceled the Major not at all because of fear of spreading the Omicron strain, but because of the negligence of the organizers and Valve. According to Tips.gg, the first Major of the season was supposed to hold OGA Dota Pit, but did not meet the deadline and failed to meet their obligations. Instead of solving the problem, Valve decided to simply cancel the tournament.
Not long after the wave of discontent rattled the community, Team Secret manager Matthew “Cyborgmatt” Bailey posted a message from Valve with no specific information about a solution to the Major problem. The company is not happy with the negative feedback it has received from the community. The letter says that Valve is “working to resolve the problem.”
Such wording amused Team Alliance co-owner Kelly Milkies.
Seriously? Working on a plan NOW??
And that's not really addressing the no communication plus threats made to teams in recent 3 years. Shameful that they ask us not to take issues public but only respond when we all do.
Not good enough. Really. https://t.co/XXbhEOm1V5
— Kelly Ong 🇺🇦☮️🇷🇺💙💛 (@kellymilkies) January 13, 2022
What Valve’s next steps will be, it’s hard to say. On the one hand, the company has to reduce the raging negativity. On the other hand – the collective ego does not allow Valve to admit its own mistakes and fix the situation. Perhaps the best solution in this situation would be to explain the situation transparently and find another contractor by moving the date of the tournament. What Valve can really offer teams, players, and Dota 2 fans is still a mystery. At the same time, the well-known tournament operator ESL announced a CS:GO tournament for 24 teams in Katowice, Poland at the Spodek Arena. The tournament is scheduled to start on February 15, which means Omicron isn’t concerned to the organizers. Apparently, ESL found a way to keep safe and minimize the risks associated with COVID-19. At the same time, the selected tournament operator for the organization of the Dota 2 Major failed to do so.