The King is not happy with the state of competitive Dota 2.
Several professional Dota 2 players have begun airing their grievances over the cancelation of the first Major of 2022. The $500,000 event was unceremoniously canceled by Valve due to health concerns. Instead of redistributing the prize money to regional leagues, the money has effectively vanished from the scene. In response, some players are calling for a boycott on first-party competitive play.
The harshest criticism comes from Syed “SumaiL” Hassan of Team Secret. The TI5 champion proposed that the entire Dota 2 pro scene should simply drop out of the second Dota Pro Circuit tour of 2022. He believes that such a drastic measure would either force Valve to improve communication or kill the game entirely.
It’s shocking that a highly successful player on one of the winningest teams in history would make such a call to arms. This would also require a massive amount of cooperation between all 96 teams competing across the upper and lower divisions of six regions. If the call to protest becomes a reality, it would have massive implications.
While SumaiL’s idea would likely lead to some change, it’s important to consider the situation from Valve’s point of view.
Dota 2 is a business venture with the goal of making money. The current battle pass system is entirely detached from the pro scene. The Dota Pro Circuit likely costs Valve more money than it earns. Dota 2 earns way more money from the casual player base than the pro scene. Pro players dropping out of the DPC might not have the negative impact that SumaiL imagines.
But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have impact in the long term.
The International is still an extremely important source of revenue. Only a quarter of the money goes into the prize pool, which means Valve earned at least $120 million from the event. If teams drop out from the Dota Pro Circuit, the path to TI would become murky. Either lower-skilled squads would take their place or the event could be cancelled entirely.
Any other developer would balk at the idea of canceling such an important event. Considering that Valve is already cancelling some of the most important events of the year, the idea of cancelling The International isn’t as crazy as it seems.