Why PGL’s DPC-2021 Major Was A Tough But Right Decision By Valve
Leakage tells that PGL will held the first DPC LAN of the year in Singapore. Why them?
In some miraculous and mysterious way, the information about the upcoming offline tournament closing the first season of the DPC league in Dota 2 was leaked: PGL will organize the first major of the updated season and the community immediately howled (as, in fact, always): why a tournament operator who didn’t have a hand in creating anything during the pandemic and did not help the scene in any way received the most important quota from Valve? Not only will they be hosting The International in August, and right after it the CS:GO Major in the same arena in the same capital, but they also took over the first and so hotly anticipated LAN tournament, which will mark the end of the “COVID era” of esports?
There are a lot of questions from players, commentators, analysts, and indeed everyone who follows Dota, but there are no answers, although you should not expect anything else from Valve. Nevertheless, in this column, I will venture to explain why this decision, and no other, is the most correct, honest, and just. To do this, we must accept one simple truth: Valve has no reason to take risks. Rather, on the contrary, now is the time to play safe.
First, let's take a quick look at the history of the company: all Gabe’s games required long development times, many hours of polishing, and point-wise decisions. And that's why their games have always come out great. Even Artifact was very good, with an interesting idea for CCG and a sound start, because the community trusted and trusts the company. It was only marketing solutions that failed (a paid game with almost pay-to-win mechanics, and the client and the subtleties were too crude for the full-price release version), which completely ruined all potential.
Let's take a look at the online era as well, that is, 2020. WePlay, EEE, ESL, Dreamhack, whoever held tournaments. Unlike the same PGL, which did not organize a single one in 2020.
Let's walk through the possible tournament organizers.
WePlay hosted several tournaments in 2020, including the Bukovel Minor LAN, which rivaled the majors in quality and coverage, and ToW: Mad Moon LAN, which blew up the internet with cyberpunk before it was mainstream. Charity Play, a charity tournament to raise funds for the fight against COVID, the PUSHKA League, the OMEGA League, as well as the RMR CS:GO tournament in the summer (CS’ DPC analog) were held online.
There is also ESL, which is known not only for quality but also quantity: ESL One LA, divided into six regions in the spring, Birmingham at the beginning of summer, Thailand and Germany later. There are Dota Pit and Dreamhack, which deserve attention and respect - excellent TOs, ready to work, Valve just have to say a word.
But the first DPC tournament of the "post-covid era" (as some say, although the virus has not disappeared) will be made by PGL. And this, weighing all the pros and cons, is an absolutely correct decision.
Why PGL? They've been doing TIs for Valve since 2015. They made majors several times a year, and they did them successfully. They did their job well, they weren’t famous for innovations, they are more like “It ain't much, but it's honest work”. And at the first major tournament after a year of downtime for the DPC, at the first Dota 2 LAN tournament since the Minor before Los Angeles, we will finally be able to see our favorite teams in action on the arena, on stage, albeit, most likely, in a bubble. And I'm 100% sure the PGL will handle it.
The point is not that e.g. WePlay or ESL would not have coped with the task, but imagine the situation: every year for ten years you visit the market to get some vegetables, but more often you buy tomatoes for your family's favorite lasagna from Jack: his vegetables are delicious, good, he never fails you, and the tomatoes he sells go well in any dish. Although sometimes for the sake of experiment, you take tomatoes from George (they are of a different variety, more fleshy and sweet, rather for salad), and from Anna (she sells tart tomatoes, but they are great for pizza). And so, all the nearby fields were mowed down by the disease and for a whole year, you could not buy tomatoes. And when the market blooms red again, who will you go to?
Valve almost never takes risks. They will choose Jack. They have always chosen and will always choose him.
The only question that defies logic is why Singapore? Indeed, in China, the current DPC league is already in full swing in an offline format. So, there are several answers.
ONE Esports were supposed to hold Major in Singapore together with PGL in the summer of 2020. That is, the dates and agreements were set last year, if not earlier.
Strict rules for the bubble are for the greater good because there will be less risk for everyone involved, and, accordingly, less risk for Gabe's company.
PGL is trusted more and there is a very good reason for that: a long and successful work experience. In addition, it will also be a run-in of TI, which in turn will become a beta test for the first CS:GO Major. Valve has built a competent approach to get back on track: first, with a quiet step along the well-trodden paths, and only then they will try something new. And we need to accept this, although sometimes financial and strategic decisions may seem completely incomprehensible and biased.