Valve responds to criticisms about DPC season and broadcasting rights
Valve speaks out in response to the outcry regarding the postponed DPC season and once again about streamer vs tournament organizer broadcasts.
It was just over one week ago when Valve announced they were postponing the upcoming DPC season which was to begin October 5th. Not only was there public outcry from both the fans and even those within the professional scene, but organizations even started to drop their Dota 2 squads as a result.
During that time the age-old debate of streamers vs tournament organizers broadcasting rights also surfaced —no doubt as a factor related to the lack of professional scene lately and the financial impact for all key stakeholders. Both streamers and TO's would be vying for the viewers and the revenue that comes along with such, especially with an uncertain future and decreasing interest from the audience. Again, an issue directly related to the lack of DPC event and support from Valve.
Breaking their silence rather quickly, Valve made a statement on both issues at hand and attempted to provide some much-needed clarity.
We’ve heard a lot of complaints recently about the state of DPC and we agree that there is more that we should do. We wanted to use this blog to walk you through what happened before, what our thoughts were, and what we will do going forward.
Soon after we announced that we were not immediately proceeding with DPC as planned, we received a lot of negative feedback from fans. We think that a lot of the points that were raised were reasonable criticisms towards us, especially because we did not communicate what our intentions were, and what they could expect in the future.
For this upcoming competitive season, there are going to be at least four third party events and leagues in EU/CIS events, three in China, and a few others that are still in the preliminary planning stages and are not able to commit at this time. 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. We expect that these events will be gradually announced over the remaining season as soon as they are ready to communicate to fans and teams.
Another piece of feedback we got from players as well as fans was wanting more clarity in what we were thinking were the likely dates for DPC and TI to resume. Our outlook right now is that we are anticipating the start of DPC to be in the first month or two of 2021. Our hope is that by the time the first DPC league concludes, travel limitations will be more predictable and spontaneous restrictions will be less likely, thus allowing for Majors with cross-region competition to happen. We are also operating under the assumption that the most likely outcome is for The International to happen in Stockholm in August 2021. While we have other countries as backups, we recognize that fans would be upset if we moved it to another location if the time savings weren’t meaningful enough.
Essentially, there will be professional and competitive events between now and at least January when they 'hope' to begin the DPC season. Yes, no official DPC season for at least another four months.
And that isn't sitting well with many players.
We’ve also heard your feedback and concerns around Dota TV streaming rights. This has been a topic we’ve discussed openly in the past and, as we gathered more data, our thoughts have evolved slightly. 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 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.
Now the streamers and TOs will need to work together on the issue, but with communication always seeming to be limited or a downfall, some are concerned that it will just muddy the waters even more.
For now, Valve has at least attempted to put out some fires and address issues in an timely manner -- something that is out of character for the software developer.
Should they be applauded or still held more accountable for taking a much more active role? You tell us!