Valve apologizes for major cancellation: social media riot forces company to open dialogue

Alisa Barladyan
17 Jan 2022

On January 12th, Valve announced the cancellation of the 2022 Dota Winter Major. The corporation didn't explain its position properly. Instead, Valve just pinned the blame on Covid and the restrictions imposed. They posted this news in a small message. Neither pro players nor regular people didn't like this attitude as they didn't have an idea that this would happen. It turns out that the pros just lost 1,5 months, trying to qualify for the Major, while others just lost the world competition. This triggered the social media revolts, and some players decided to boycott the 2nd Season of the DPC. In less than 24 hours, Valve reached all the top teams, made an apology and promised to do its best to hold another competition instead of the Major. Learn more about Valve's position and why the community and players are fed up with the company in this article from

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Valve is the synonym with the absence of communication

As it was mentioned above, the official reason for the Major cancellation was the Covid Pandemic. Although considering how Valve disregards Dota 2, it seems that the company didn't want to hold the tournament after the main contractor and the winner of the tender had refused to do that. Then Valve decided to give up on the major.

It must be admitted that there were some objective reasons to cancel the major. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that soon the whole world will face another Covid wave. Moreover, it will be very contagious because of the new strain - omicron. That's what the experts say. Logically, few countries will allow a mass event in this scenario. And we are not epidemiologists to say what and how should be done during the Pandemic and whether it is worth risking people's health.

Although, COVID-19 doesn't prevent holding LAN tournaments in other esports disciplines. For example, the big ESL CS:GO tournament will be held in Katowice in February. No one bothers them.

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Considering the current realities, the cancellation of the Major is quite a logical decision that no one can complain about. This is the Pandemic. There are complaints about how Valve delivered this information. As usual, the company didn't say anything until the very last moment and then just canceled the Major. While the players kept doing their best to qualify for the major, it was suddenly canceled.

Valve is known for the absence of any interaction with the community. It doesn't have its blog or official representatives. Only Gabe gave up on Dota 2 and IceFrog a long time ago and whose identity is kept secret. The problem with Valve's communication has been known for a long time. It is impossible to contact the company, and even large clubs need to wait weeks to respond. It has been discussed for a long time, but Valve doesn't care about that either. If you don't like something - go out. Such a position of Valve was that "set on fire" all Dota 2 fans on the day of the Major cancellation.

Dota players staged the revolt in social networks

Said Samail SumaiL

After the news of the Major cancellation broke, professional players and all concerned people began to resent Valve's position and how it silently canceled the major. Nearly everyone wrote about it, pointing to various mistakes in Valve's decision. Said Samail SumaiL Hassan, the Team Secret's Mid, perhaps had the most striking reaction. He posted a lot of laughing emojis and then called on all organizations to declare a boycott of Valve.

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If all the teams decide not to participate in the second season of DPC 2021/2022, then we will either get a more stable system or better feedback from Valve, or Dota 2 will die. Anything is better than what we have now.

Said Samail SumaiL Hassan

Victor GeneRaL Nigrini was the only famous professional player who openly supported Said, leaving a "+" in the tweet thread. No one else checked in there, but everyone became outraged. This time there were no indifferent people. For example, Alexander Nix Levin compared Valve to a school bully who has to be fought back to leave everyone alone.

It's a shame that one of the greatest games is being killed by its developer. Sumail's suggestion sounds adequate. So far, Valve has got away with everything. Nothing will change as long as powerful organizations or players will tolerate this. Everything will continue to be as it is now. A bully from school stops bullying the weak only when he is rebuffed. When you tolerate, he will only get more and more impudent.

Alexander Nix Levin

Anatoly Boo1k Ivanov

Anatoly Boo1k Ivanov, the Coach of the squad, also expressed hope that Valve would listen more carefully to the community and respond to its comments in the future. At the same time, he admitted that the team didn't play well, so the cancellation of the major could be perceived as a benefit for the Bears in some sense.

Maurice KheZu Gutman, Quincy Crew captain, joined the riot and stated that Valve didn't appreciate the contribution of professional teams and players to the development of the discipline and the game itself.

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Valve believes that professional players, teams and clubs do not increase the value of its product and that people watch Dota 2 tournaments only because of the game itself. At least, this is what the actions and decisions of this company show. They don't care about their so-called partners. The development of Dota 2 is beneficial for everyone. The people, who are speaking out online now, love this game. They have devoted their whole lives to it. I'm not saying this to harm Valve, but I want to draw attention to the problem, hoping for positive changes. I can't watch what's happening and do nothing.

Maurice KheZu Gutman

Where's the money?

Dota 2

The support of the Quincy Crew Dota 2 Remus Ponlo Go Zhi Xian touched upon a very interesting topic. He complained about the distribution of the prize pool and DPC points after canceling the first Major of the season.

Why are the major prize pool and DPC points not distributed among the teams that would qualify for the tournament at least partially? I flew to the other side of the world to play in the DPC season and won. However, after all the expenses, I will most likely receive only 2 thousand dollars for the season. Although, if I fly back to Singapore, I will have to spend this money. So it looks like I'll go to zero.

Remus Ponlo Guo Zhi Xian

Indeed, Valve redistributed the DPC points from the winter Major to the other two, but no one talked about the prize money. By the way, the prize fund of the major should be 500 thousand dollars. It would be spread among teams if everything was normal, but Valve took the prize back. However, the players who qualified for this tournament deserve at least a small part of the prize pool to compensate for their expenses during the season.

Now it turns out that people played for a month and a half in the league, and eventually, they were denied the opportunity to earn extra money in the Major. Yes, most esports players are rich, but there are also examples such as Ponlo. Valve would have the sense to divide this money between the teams selected for the Major to reduce their anger a bit. Apparently, Valve doesn't even think about this.

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What does Valve management think?


The manager of the Evil Geniuses team, Peter Anders, almost answered this question. He said that long ago, he got a request from the company's representatives not to turn to public platforms if problems connected with the Dota 2 esports scene arise. He also noted that Valve considered TI a "project for the soul."

Valve held a meeting with all the teams at TI10. After explaining the DPC schedule for the following years, we made two conclusions. The first is that when teams have problems, they should stop turning directly to public platforms and should contact Valve instead. The second is that Valve considers TI as a project for the soul. The company does not receive much revenue from TI, and when teams turn to public platforms complaining about problems, it reduces Valve's motivation to continue to hold TI.

Peter Anders

This is such a curious position. They say we do what we want, and if you complain, we will be unhappy. And anyway, we don't get much money from you, so that we will pull the plug at any moment, and you bugger off. That's what Valve representatives said, but they did it more politely.

On the one hand, the boss calls the tune. Valve is the creator of Dota 2 and has a right to do anything with the game. It can cancel tournaments, ban players, loot money from the Battle Pass, or turn off all servers even tomorrow. On the other hand, no one will play Dota 2 with such an approach, although Valve is the most unreliable company. And when all the big clubs with sponsors leave the game, it will die soon. Perhaps that is why Valve usually doesn't cause big scandals as happened this time (at least, it tries).

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Valve apologized to the players and teams

During this spontaneity riot, Team Secret's chief operating officer Matthew Cyborgmatt Bailey posted a tweet with a Valve's quote. The company's representatives (again, there are no names) apologize to everyone for canceling the Major. It was unclear what Team Secret had to do with that. Later, all teams from the first division received similar messages. This way, the letter was titled «Update on the first major DPC».

We heard your disappointment about the cancellation of the first Major. We made this decision based on several factors. Some of them are connected with Omicron, some with logistical restrictions, and the desire of tournament operators to hold the event. We should have worked better to keep you aware of the possible risks of the event, and we should also have been more determined in applying an alternative approach to find a way to finish the first season. We apologize for that. We are working on a plan to find out if we can get everyone at one place and play a LAN tournament. This event will have many restrictions imposed due to the current situation in the world. We will let you know as soon as we have more details.


It's not so bad, at least to get an apology from Valve. However, it can also be criticized. The company realized that it had screwed up and tried to hush it up. That is why Valve sent letters only to the teams and didn't make a public statement to the community.

As for holding another tournament, it doesn't make sense at all. You can't hold the Major, but you can hold an international tournament at the same time? It sounds like nonsense. If the tournament takes place (although there are huge doubts), then teams from all regions won't participate since the Ping won't be able to (the tournament will most likely be online). And if Valve can hold an international tournament offline, what is the point in canceling the winter Major? So everything is too complicated as usual, and we don't have any details.

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