We know why Team SMG was DQed from the TI11 qualifiers

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Team SMG fans are already disappointed at the team missing The International 2022, but at least know they know why.

According to official statements from Team SMG, the Southeast Asian squad missed out on The International 2022 qualifiers due to miscommunication. As a result, the squad has no chance at the most lucrative event of the Dota 2 season. The impact is strong enough that the company even ousted its CEO over the issue. Here’s what went down and how the sponsor responded.

Team SMG clarified the situation with a social media post. In the statement, SMG explained that its Dota 2 team’s absence is due to multiple miscommunications. Team staff had difficulties speaking with both the players and the team manager, though the statement places the responsibility on staff. Either way, the team was formally disqualified from the event.

Team SMG The International 2022 disqualification statement

As a result, several popular players including Daryl “iceiceice” Koh and Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng will not attend the prestigious event. They will also miss out on a prize pool likely to land in the tens of millions. This unfortunate situation will have long-lasting effects on the organization and the players. One particular staff member has already felt the heat.

Team SMG CEO resigns after missing The International 2022

In addition to apologies to fans and players for missing The International 2022, Team SMG’s CEO Kenchi Yap has left the company.

The move is drastic, but it further highlights just how important The International is for Dota 2 teams. While this year’s prize pool is expected to shrink compared to the last TI, it’s still the vast majority of all the money in the entire Dota 2 esports scene. Even last place at the event is a massive payday, and the last chance qualifier can turn an unsuccessful qualifier into a free trip to Singapore. 

Valve has never bothered to rework the problematic money distribution of The International. As a result, Team SMG has lost a ton of money and its CEO.


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