Dota 2 fans blast PGL for poor stream, in-game Papa John’s ads

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PGL has come under fire once again for frequent streaming issues at The International 2022, and Papa John’s pizza isn’t enough to quell the Dota 2 community.

Dota 2 fans have come out en masse to criticize PGL for poor production quality at The International 2022 Last Chance Qualifier. Players have cited multiple audio issues, camera malfunctions, poor casting, and a generally disappointing atmosphere. Even casual Dota 2 fans have lamented the presence of Papa John’s ads on the main menu, which is a result of PGL accepting TI sponsorships for the first time. 

Just two days into the Last Chance Qualifier, the event has already featured several audio issues and technical mishaps. Poor audio quality or sudden volume spikes are the most common problems among all four streams. Video issues include players’ cameras getting mixed up, with the series between nouns and Teams Secret showcasing the opposite team during big moments.

The most striking incident featured a bungle attempt to transition to player cams resulting in a disorienting loop.

In addition to technical issues, Dota 2 fans have also raised concerns about the offsite casting. Unlike previous TIs, the 2022 edition does not feature in-person talent, with the majority of casters instead assembled in Stockholm and transmitted to the event.

Spectators have cited poor chemistry as well as multiple mid-game disconnections. Valve has stated that the playoffs will feature in-person talent, but that doesn’t help the current situation.

Dota 2 players complain over in-client Papa John’s ads

In addition to peeving esports fans, PGL has also ticked off the general Dota 2 community by putting Papa John’s ads on the game’s main menu.

For the first time in The International history, the Dota 2 event is being sponsored by multiple third-party companies including fast food pizza chain Papa John’s. This has led to several discussions and memes about Papa John’s across popular Dota 2 discussion platforms. Valve has assured fans that these sponsorships do not extend to the playoffs, but they will likely persist through the main event group stage.

Dota 2 enthusiasts even uncovered an ancient Papa John’s social media post attempting to connect with the community. In 2013, the company declared itself a supporter of Evil Geniuses. The pizza delivery chain has not revealed its prediction for The International 2022, but EG will enter the main event as a serious contender. 

For The International 2022, Valve elected to outsource the entire production to PGL. The Romanian company had previously hosted 26 Dota 2 esports events including every International since 2016. However, Valve was still in firm control of those Internationals’ production values, which also ran without sponsorships.

PGL is ultimately to blame for the poor production quality and unwelcome advertisements at The International 2022 Last Chance Qualifier.