Unemployment is skyrocketing due to the impact of the coronavirus, and esports isn’t immune from the trend.
Chaos Esports Club announced the release of its Dota 2 team, specifically citing the coronavirus as the cause for the move. Chaos’ roster competed with the following five players:
“Regrettably we must make significant changes to our business in the aftermath of the pandemic that is currently affecting the world. Due to the suspension of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit, we will be releasing our Dota 2 roster in its entirety,” Chaos EC said in a statement on its website. “We are grateful for their time with us and hope they find another home that is suitable to players of their caliber as quickly as possible.
The coronavirus led to the cancellations of two majors in the ESL One LA Major and the 2020 Epicenter Major, as well as the 2020 Dota PIT Minor. The only other Dota Pro Circuit events set for this year are an unnamed major and the ONE Esports Singapore Major. It is unclear if either of those events will actually happen.
Valve has been publicly silent regarding the future of the Dota Pro Circuit season. The Dota Pro Circuit is a series of events used to decide the direct invitees to The International 2020.
Though organizations will often be disingenuous when discussing reasons for player and team releases, Chaos EC can likely be taken at their word here.
Chaos Esports Club’s Dota 2 team has performed reasonably well to this point in the season, competing at the Dota Summit 11 minor and DreamLeague Season 13 major. Though it failed to win either event, it showed that it remains a threat by qualifying for the ESL One LA Major.
Dota 2 is just starting to get back into action, with ESL announcing that ESL One LA and ESL One Birmingham will be played out as online leagues. It was not made clear if those events will be a part of the Dota Pro Circuit. This also raises questions as to whether The International 2020 will occur at all.
For an organization like Chaos Esports Club, this made holding onto a Dota 2 team untenable.
Dota 2 caster and Chaos manager Jack “KBBQ” Chen stated that the team intends to remain together and look for a new sponsor. Unfortunately, fans might have to expect similar stories with other teams to pop up in the near future.