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Canceling the anticipated Dota 2 Winter Major due to Omicron and Delta concerns makes sense, but not having a backup plan is the height of disrespect to pro players, talents, esports organisations, and fans.
But that's Valve for you.
It's not the first time the Dota 2 publisher has canceled something, but it's likely the first time to actually not have any compensation for the work put in by pro players for the season.
It's horribly insulting, and somewhat sets the scene for what we've come to expect from them. Reactionary instead of forward planning.
And pro players, talents, and teams are definitely speaking out this time. No more free passes.
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
Why is the Major's prize pool and points not distributed at least partially to the teams that are qualified/would qualify?
Flew to the other side of the world to play DPC & won, and yet I'm probably gonna make like $2k usd for the whole season after expenses.
— ponlo (@ponlodota) January 12, 2022
The Dota 2 community deserves better from Valve.
— JJ - PimpmuckL (@JJLiebig) January 12, 2022
Welcome to the trenches, enjoy your stay 🌞 pic.twitter.com/bDhglwVgfM
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) January 12, 2022
All the backlash only prompted Valve to finally respond with a message to just players and teams, stating they are "working on a plan" to see if they can get players to one location for a LAN.
Maybe say that in the first place? Or, you know, have a plan to properly address concerns when you announce the cancellation of something. It's basic events management planning 101.
How much of this is Valve's lack of fixed roles due to their fabled flat structure and hierarchy?
I'm guessing it totally is.
It's not working out for your esports scene, so I'm begging you, enough is enough. Hire a third party to manage your esports scene if you don't want to have someone in a fixed role to manage all of the aspects of it. Just give us a proper scene, like in League of Legends.
And if gathering all the teams into one location is impossible, maybe have regional cups so these pro players can actually win something.
Not a Minor, but a proper cup that takes place over the same period, without overlapping so fans can have a glorious and fitting end to the Winter season.
And while you're at it, don't split the Major prize pool. I'm sure you can fork out cash to make these cups rewarding.
Because face it, the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of abatement, and variants are going to keep happening.
How many times will Valve be canceling Majors, or even TI again this year?
Have flowcharts and contingency plans please, instead of just winging it.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com