A brief apology may not dig Valve out of the hole it’s dug for Dota 2

In a rare break from their policy of minimal communication, Dota 2 developers Valve today issued a follow-up apology and update to their earlier announcement canceling the Winter Tour Major. The message was sent to teams on Wednesday evening and was posted publicly by Team Secret manager Matthew "Cyborgmatt" Bailey.

In the post, Valve apologizes for a lack of communication and unwillingness to take a different approach. Additionally, the apology also expands on the reasoning behind the cancellation. Valve details, crucially, that one of the reasons behind the canceled Major was the "willingness of tournament organizers to run the event."

This detail could confirm the reports that one TO had refused to organize the Major. As well as another report that Valve informed organizers too late that they'd won the tender.

Still on for LAN?!

The most striking part of Valve's apology to teams is the repeated references to an offline event. In the post, the company states that they're "working on a plan to get everyone together in one location" and seem to be attempting to sort out a replacement LAN.

Given the reasoning for the initial cancellation, this seems like a complete 180. The Major was canceled over safety concerns related to COVID and the resultant travel restrictions. Now, less than a day later, the company reportedly is willing to navigate these concerns and restrictions to put on an event.

Valve missing the point

Valve's apology also only minimally addresses many players' and teams' concerns while ignoring others entirely. Communication issues are hinted at, but reduced to Valve leaving teams "out of the loop."

And some of the biggest concerns are not even mentioned. The prize pool, the seemingly wasted months of league play, the disenchantment many in the scene are feeling, are all left out of the reply. Instead, the response fixates on the idea that players are upset they're missing a LAN. 

We documented some of the stunned reactions of Dota 2 players and personalities to the cancellation. Common themes are that it's made the DPC feel like a waste of time, that the effort is meaningless. That Valve doesn't respect its pro players. Ultimately, a short apology and a statement that Valve is working on a plan will be little comfort.

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