Married with Valve

(this is a response to Slack’s video

Slacks nails it right from the start: there is a relationship, a marriage between players and Dota 2. And that relationship is toxic.

  • For the pro players/teams who are told not to ever publicly criticize Valve/Dota and to reach out to them in private to resolve issues with the veiled threat “Valve doesn’t have to do TI forever” (psst, this red flag behaviour)
  • For talent who are almost always too afraid to ever speak out about almost any egregious shit (lest they get blacklisted like many have been already :D)

Bug fixes

“Honestly if you asked me two years ago do you think there’d be something I could post bugs and they would get fixed”.

… From like 2012 until 2015 there was a Dota Forums ( for this exact task — it solved thousands of issues.

On experiments

  • There is no point in having an “experimental year” where honest feedback is influenced in order to achieve an outcome — instead of asking for positivity, Slacks should be part of the rioting crowd.
  • People have been begging for TI to be smaller only so that the money generated from TI can be spread over the year. Sure, this TI will be smaller — but the money will not be spread over the year — Valve has already confirmed to teams that the majors and DPC regionals will be the same prize pool next year.
  • Valve’s experiments have historically attempted to be very very basic from the start, the problem with doing barebones experiments is that it often leads to a lot of iteration before things are ‘fine’. The DPC is a good example of this — the first year of DPC (2017–2018) it was obvious from before the season was locked in that TOs would heavily invite teams [and various other issues] and this would massively disadvantage smaller teams & regions. Instead of pre-empting that issue and putting rules in, Valve allowed those regions to get screwed for a year. DPC this season (2021–22 season) was another good example, as feedback for last season very many teams asked Valve in their team communications / calls to make the DPC regionals shorter (I did not hear one single team say the opposite) so that 3rd party events could occur — Valve refused and kept it at 6 weeks for another year, so there were very few 3rd party events.

On the LCQ

The LCQ only happened because the first major was cancelled — i.e. they had regional finals online and nobody flew anywhere for the major.

It also wasn’t a Valve idea — it was an idea pitched last year (albeit by fans of teams which didn’t make it who had a copium overdose).

On Group Stages

“Should not be good” wat.

“You should not feel like you’re watching TI if you’re watching the groupstage because it’s not TI”. Nobody’s asking for a groupstage that looks as good as the main product — they just want something that looks better than, for example, a regular DPC tour.

“The old talent get to talk to the new talent” — not really because the new talent are bedroom casting, and the top tier of talent are flying to Singapore. TI was always a festival of Dota with everyone being in a single place. That magic has been lost.

On Valve being ‘sad at the negativity’.

I’ve spoken with Dota 2 devs before many many times. Some of them don’t even know who’s being hired for TI (this is from TI7 on, so even whilst it was still in Seattle), they don’t actively take part in TI … so it seems like they have a very obvious path to give feedback to their colleagues. If Valve is a company where people work on what they want, then devs should not be sad at the community - they should be sad at their colleagues making the decisions the community are sad about.



Dota 2 statsman and occasional caster | runs @datdota

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