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Valve's silence on Dota 2 is driving away an already-declining player base

Image Credits: Dota 2 - Valve
Image Credits: Dota 2 - Valve
Tee Kay
ANALYST
Modified 06 Oct 2020, 10:07 IST
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It would seem like a lie if we told you that the game which boasts the highest crowd-funded annual prize pool in any sporting competition around the world has a continuously decreasing player count. But yes, this is the condition that Dota players across the globe find themselves in right now, thanks to Valve.

Ever since the pandemic reared its ugly head and all sporting events across the globe got cancelled, there has been close to no response from Valve regarding the DPC (Dota Pro Circuit), or The International, which was set to happen in August.

Like every year, Valve had the battle pass release lined up in May. However, this year, it made an announcement a few weeks before the battle pass came up that The International would be postponed until the pandemic was over.

But the battle pass would go live shortly and like every year, 25% of all pass sales would be added to the prize pool of The International. Later on, it was announced that the International would be conducted in 2021.

Apart from this, there wasn’t much communication from Valve’s end, considering that the entire pro circuit had come to a halt. Over the months, many community figures and pro players have voiced their frustration and anger against the company’s silence.

Today, more than four months since the battle pass was released, and with the prize pool of The International standing at a staggering 39.4 million dollars, Valve is yet to announce the plans and dates for the DPC, and the whole game.

Isn't the COVID pandemic a natural calamity? What can Valve do?

The pandemic and the delays caused to the DPC schedule wouldn't have been a massive issue if not for Valve's lack of communication. Adding fire is the fact that Dota Plus, a paid feature in the game which enables additional guides, skins and chat wheels, has not received an update in more than a year.

And in a damaging development, multiple high-ranked professional players who were playing for tier 2 and tier 3 teams have switched from Dota to other versions of MOBA like League of Legends.

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Towards the end of September, SirActionSlacks, a famous and community-favourite face, released a parody video where he was auditioning to be a community manager for Valve. To no one’s surprise, most of the questions ‘being asked’ to him were met with the “We’re working on it” response.

This only goes to show how frustrated and disappointed everyone in the community is. What’s worse is that this isn’t the first time Valve is neglecting one of its most popular titles. They did it before with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as well.

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The track record of Valve has forced the community to comply with its workings, as when the organization does provide a two-line update, it feels like a huge announcement because of the massive communication gap which it maintains.

At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before the ever-falling player count of Dota 2 reaches a new low as Valve neglects the game which earned more than 100 million dollars over just five months!

Published 06 Oct 2020, 10:07 IST
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