Gorgc Leaves OG – Let’s Talk Broadcasting Rights in Dota 2
After a tumultuous few weeks in the Dota 2 scene, Valve has spoken up with a surprisingly detailed (detailed for Valve) blog post about their plans for the competitive scene AND an elusive ruling on the topic of exclusivity and broadcast rights for professional matches.
Before we dive in, a bit of background on the two issues at hand.
Back in February, Valve announced that the 2020-2021 DPC season would consist of three majors, no minors, and a series of online regional leagues. However, in light of the global pandemic and the postponement of TI10, the entire schedule was thrown into chaos. While we as a community expected delays and an unconventional year, the regional leagues seemed like the obvious stop gap for the scene while we waited for the return of in person events. Valve didn’t see it that way.
In the above tweet, Valve announced that pretty much everything was on hold – and the community was NOT happy. Players, casters, and community members saw a reliable future deteriorate with questions of stability plaguing everyone. This morning’s announcement about Geek Fam and Reality Rift dropping their rosters, with the lack of a DPC system being a large factor in the decision.
The topic of broadcast exclusivity isn’t new at all, and our article last week sums up most of the history around it. However it was a tweet from Kyle attacking SingSing (and a subsequent apology and longer explanation) that really got the conversation going again. The ultimate problem is most simply described as this: Valve’s stance on non-tournament affiliated casters is that they were free to broadcast and cover tournament streams, depriving tournament organizers of the ability to provide exclusivity to sponsors. This impacts TOs abilities to fund their tournaments, limits the talent they can hire, and deprives them of the budget to innovate and improve.
Valve has decided to update their stance on third party streamers, stating that “Organizers that run Dota 2 Tournaments will have to provide community streamers with a reasonable and simple to execute set of non-monetary requirements, such as displaying the organizers sponsors on their streams or having a slight delay on the games. Community streamers will be able to use the DotaTV feed in their broadcast as long as they agree to those requirements.”
While this isn’t exactly exclusivity, it does ensure that tournament sponsors will have visibility on ALL tournament coverage.
We ultimately still believe that community streamers providing their own commentary of a tournament is a net positive value to fans and the competitive scene. We also believe that in the long term, the tournament themselves benefit from additional exposure to fans of those community streamers. However, it is true that this can cause a short term loss of revenue as well as a reduced ability to monetize more effectively for tournament organizers. Starting September 15, the Dota license we will be updated to reflect the following: Organizers that run Dota 2 Tournaments will have to provide community streamers with a reasonable and simple to execute set of non-monetary requirements, such as displaying the organizers sponsors on their streams or having a slight delay on the games. Community streamers will be able to use the DotaTV feed in their broadcast as long as they agree to those requirements.
Unfortunately, as with many Valve blog posts, we are left with a few questions. Will TOs have the ability to DMCA community streamers that do not follow their posted guidelines? Or does that responsibility still lie with Valve? (This might just be answered by someone with a better understanding of what the term ‘Dota license’ covers and means in this case). Will TOs comply with providing ‘simple’ requirements? Or will they intentionally ignore and block out streamers they don’t want covering their event? How far ahead of a time will a streamer need to clear covering a game?
This is a step, but a first step. (And almost identical to the one they took with CSGO last year). A step that does, once again, leave out a lot of specifics and leave the onus on the TOs to navigate community backlash for looking to protect their sponsor relationships.
The majority of the blog post looks to give some clarity around TI10 and resuming the normal DPC system, as well as justifying the lack of regional leagues. The quick takes are these: TI10 will likely be in Stockholm with an aim of August 2021. Valve hopes to resume the DPC starting in early 2021 if possible. There will be no DPC point related events until that time, and EU/CIS/China have a lot of unannounced third party events planned for the next several months. They also state that they will be looking to provide assistance to run events in the regions that currently look pretty empty.
However, there are still going to be a lot of teams, casters, organizers and fans around the world that are not going to be meaningfully served based on the current trajectory and that is our fault for not pushing on those and supporting them enough. With that in mind, we’ve started reaching out to many more tournament organizers to offer help and financial support in order to be able to create increased coverage globally for the remainder of the year
Not exactly. Communication and some transparency are both very helpful, but in a scene where everything has been about getting to TI (or at least to a LAN) – a series of fairly meaningless online events with the same casters, the same players, and nothing really on the line (what’s $100K in light of a 34 million dollar event?).
North and South America as well as South East Asia have, are, and will struggle without the DPC to guarantee visibility to sponsors. Viewers struggle to find a reason to care while watching these games, and the rivalries between teams doesn’t mean much when nothing is really on the line.
This last part comes as a bit of doom and gloom – but obviously this isn’t all bad. The community has a better idea of what is coming for them, and teams and players know that there are plans for resuming the DPC at some point in the semi near future. But as always, we are left a bit lacking on specifics and the hands on approach many crave.
Egor “flamie” Vasilev will be left out of RMR tournaments and DreamHack Masters Spring 2021.
Natus Vincere will be performing at the upcoming RMR tournaments with a change in its roster, due to the player-change penalty rules established by Valve. The team has announced through Twitter that they are moving away from the six-man roster approach to adhere to Valve’s new rules. Because of this, Egor “flamie” Vasilev will be left out of their roster for the upcoming RMR (Regional Major Ranking) tournaments and DreamHack Masters Spring 2021. On the other hand, Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy will hold a permanent position on the team.
The five-man roster of NAVI CS:GO for the first RMR tournament is settled: get all the details.
— NAVI (@natusvincere) April 11, 2021
Due to Valve rules stipulating penalties for using substitute players, NaVi’s rotating six-player roster was put in question. A team found in violation has to undergo a compounding penalty of 20% of the points earned at the event if they substitute at least one player during the tournament. In response, Na’Vi has said “Valve made it clear that they do not intend to change the rules. Na’Vi needs as many points as possible to qualify for the Major. In this regard, the team had to coordinate the final roster for the next tournament to avoid penalty points.”
Na’Vi will prepare for their upcoming challenges at a boot camp in Kyiv, Ukraine, from April 11-24. DreamHack Masters Spring, their first focus, will be held between April 29 and May 9. The later CIS RMR tournament is expected to take place in May, around the same time as the European and the North American tournaments. “Despite this, DreamHack is still an important tournament for NAVI,” the organization noted.
The decision to opt for b1t over flamie was not explained in detail. But the team’s coach, Andrii “B1ad3” Gorodenskyi, will be providing clarification in a YouTube video to be posted “next week.”
NaVi roster for DreamHack Spring:
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Adin Ross is a popular Twitch streamer and YouTuber who is known for playing Grand Theft Auto: Online RP & NBA 2K during his streams, having over 600,000+ followers on the platform. However, he has been under the spotlight recently due to various controversial events surrounding his streams and personal life. Just recently his channel fell victim to trolls who were using bots to follow his channel which resulted in his follower count going over 4 million followers.
Adin was streaming alongside ZIAS!, a famous YouTuber who is known for reacting to music videos and vlogging. During the stream, Zias answered a phone call and called Adin a “f*ggot” while he was reportedly away from his room.
Adin immediately contacted a Twitch mod who said “it’s fine” to continue the stream as Adin was not the one who used the derogatory term, yet he was banned immediately while freestyling in front of 83,000 viewers. This isn’t the first time his channel was banned as he was previously banned for a week on June 8 2020 due to an unknown reason.
His followers started the ‘#FreeAdin’ movement to clear his ban as they claim that it was unfair. Adin later tweeted the hashtag, stating “Free Adin #freeadin. Mfs don’t wanna see me win. All G tho… let’s hope it’s not a perm.”
It is unclear how long his suspension will last as it could be another week-long ban or even last up to 3 days.
Teamwork in Warzone can be hard, but this Reddit user may have solved all our problems.
It’s been just over a year since the release of Warzone, and while many players team up with a regular squad, some like to play with randoms online. In both scenarios, communication between your team can be hard, and Warzone’s UI does nothing to help that.
Well, Reddit user Abood_Abuoaid has created a new mockup for the Warzone UI, showing each player’s scorestreaks, plates, gas mask, etc.
With over 5.5k Upvotes at the time of writing, this has proved to be very popular, with many players calling for the update to come soon. Warzone already shows if players have self revive, so adding the other icons shouldn’t be too much hassle for the developers.
This little addition to the Warzone UI would change the game drastically. Teamwork would be much easier, and the leader of the squad who’s always checking up on their teammates’ plate/UAV situation wouldn’t have to keep asking.
If we see this update, it’s likely to come with the Warzone map change that is rumored to happen soon. With a move to a Black Ops Cold War-themed Verdansk, many players will be excited to see what arrives in the coming months.
Throughout April 10, the top World of Warcraft teams continued to duke it out in the Arena World Championship Shadowlands Circuit. A place in the Season 1 Finals was at stake.
Day 1 of the third week of round-robin matches began with games between Creed and Tegridy Damp in the Nagrand Arena. Creed won the first game and followed that up with two more victories.
Tegridy Damp tried to land a Freezing Trap for crowd control, but it was to no avail as the opposing team’s Demon Hunter landed The Hunt and helped end the third game.
In the games between Blast Wave Bros and Ad Hoc Gaming, the latter team took the series with a quick 3-0. Against their opponent’s they played in the Nagrand Arena, Dalaran Sewers and Tiger’s Peak.
When Skill Capped faced Reload Esports, the first team was victorious in the Nagrand Arena. However, Reload Esports tied the score 1-1 at Hook Point. The third game took place in Empyrean Domain and had a nail-biting end, with Skill Capped earning another win.
— WoW Esports (@WoWEsports) April 10, 2021
Reload Esports had to win the next game, but the Dalaran Sewers arena went to their opponents. Meanwhile, the Method EU versus Cowana Gaming games were intense as both teams had a score of 2-2. Method EU won the fifth game in Empyrean Domain. This victory closed out the third week of Europe’s Arena World Championship games.
Over in the other region, the first round of games began with Unitas versus Cloud9. The latter team fought against their opponents in the Nagrand Arena, Ashamane’s Fall and Hook Point. They obtained victory with three consecutive wins.
World of Warcraft team Hamsters & Hares then clashed against OTK. While Hamsters & Hares earned a win in the first game, OTK tied the score 1-1 in the next arena.
Hamsters & Hares succumbing to @OTKnetwork in this second game, bringing this series to a tie and we’re moving onto GAME THREE!
— WoW Esports (@WoWEsports) April 10, 2021
OTK continued to turn the games around in the following two games, earning a score of 3-1.
The final game of the day came down to Method NA versus the Golden Guardians. Although the latter team fought valiantly in three different arenas, Method NA closed it out with a score of 3-0.
The first season of the Arena World Championship Shadowlands Circuit consists of four weekends. Once completed, each region’s top four World of Warcraft teams will head into the Season 1 Finals.
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