Just 11 days before first Major in 2018, Valve has announced that due to new government regulations in the Philippines they will be removing the Major status as well as Pro Circuit qualiying points.
Drug testing to blame? Urine test for marijuana and meth required
The reason behind a drugs test is that, in the Philippines, esports players were granted athlete status last year, and as a result must obey the same rules as the other traditional sport disciplines such as soccer, boxing, swimming according to the GAB.
— Pao, Tyrant of Orazca (@paolomuerte) January 5, 2018
Filipino esports journalist Pao Bago has shared the letter issued by the Games and Amusement board, where it clearly shows that esports player being considered athlete in the country they must undergo the same test as an athlete would.
Valve, Regarding Galaxy Battles Major
Based on information we’ve recently confirmed regarding new government regulations for esports players entering the Philippines, we have decided to rescind the tournament’s Major designation, including the Pro Circuit qualifying points, for the Galaxy Battles 2018 tournament. This is based on what we feel are unreasonable infringements on the privacy of the players, as a condition to enter the country.
They have mentioned that the tournament itself may still proceed, but without any involvement of Valve or the Dota Pro Circuit. At this stage, it’s unclear whether it can realistically go ahead. However, losing the Major status means that Galaxy Battles II should lose half of it’s prizepool which would only leave it on $500,000.
Valve has also confirmed that they are talking to the tournament organizers to try to run a new event with the same invited teams including the Pro Circuit points that would have been available at Galaxy battles II.
Fallout Gaming the Galaxy Battles’ organizer, yet another fail?
Major All Stars Tournament, which was held in 2015, Kuala Lumpur was the first organizer’s “screw up” major. Poor production and organization rolled into one disaster of an event, hours of delay betwen the games, team booth were caught on fire due to poor wiring and so on… On top of that, it took over a year for a prize pools to be paid to the winners.
So there is a open fire in Navi’s booth.. Like something burned out
— Vitalii Volochai (@v1lat) March 20, 2015
@ZyoriTV 100K dollar prizepool tournaments, cockroaches and plastic chairs in player-rooms. goodshit.jpg
— Simon Haag (@Handsken1) March 20, 2015
A company with a tremendously terrible track record, a history of corruption, broken promises, owning money and god knows what more somehow found their way to host yet another Major. It’s not sure whether the organization will continue to host Valve-sponsored tournaments, but for the fans around the world this will be a crushing blow for sure, as it’s unclear whether teams will still compete.
Virtus.pro first to pull out of Galaxy Battles II
General Manager of Virtus Pro, Roman Dvoryankin stated out:
Considering yesterday’s Valve’s resolution regarding Galaxy Battles II official Dota Pro Circuit championship status withdrawal, we have made the decision of declining the tournament’s invitation. I wish to thank Valve’s management for effective addressing of the problem and excellent communication with participant teams. The status withdrawal from Valve was the main reason behind our cancellation of the invitation. The said status, among all things, imposes additional standards of players’ safety, event’s technical security and logistics on the event’s organizers. Furthermore, the participation in rating tournaments has always been our main goal, therefore Galaxy Battles DPC points loss absolves the tournament of sense in that regard
Virtus pro were the first team to step out of the upcoming ex-Major. There have been seven other teams directly invited to the event and six teams qualified. Two remaining slots would be filled through Wild Card event held offline directly before the group stage.
Team Secret to follow up with drop out
While they are waiting for their finalist to show up at Captains Draft 4.0, Team Secret has provided a quick update to their loyal fans regarding the Valve rescind Major status:
With the withdrawal of Valve support from the tournament, Galaxy Battles is no longer an official Major in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit. As such, our organization and players will respectfully decline our qualification slot and withdraw our participation from this event.
John Yao, the CEO of Team Secret have recently commented on Reddit regarding the concerns surrounding the drug testin:
For the record, the concern was not drug testing in itself… the issue is that any drug testing would not be done according to international standards, in a WADA-certified lab. There’s not enough transparency there, and therefore introduces a lot of risk to foreigners in a unfamiliar environment.
I can’t speak for Valve, but those were the first concerns that come to mind for me when it comes to mitigating risk and protecting my players
Team Liquid third team to cancel their attendance
In light of the recent announcement, we will not be attending the Galaxy Battles Major.https://t.co/h9L6MbpmHg
— Team Liquid (@TeamLiquid) January 5, 2018
The future of the ex-Major tournaments appears to be blurry now as many teams have already started to step out of the event. What we really question is, what does this mean for the future of electronic sports in the Philippines? How it’s possible to create a Major or Minor?