If you’ve been following the DOTA 2 scene recently, you’ve probably heard about the ongoing disaster that is the Shanghai Major. The second of three new Valve-sponsored LAN events that was created as a complement to the annual International tournament, Shanghai has had several bumps in the road over the past week, and as the tournament moved into the playoffs, things have spiraled further out of control.
During the group stages, there were many production snafus, with games delayed upwards of an hour and featuring frequent pauses. The analyst portions of the broadcasts were poorly produced, and struggled to fill time as games began stretching far into the night. In the middle of the second day of games, Valve’s Gabe Newell actually spoke publicly on Reddit and fired the production team for the litany of problems, as well as the on-screen host, James “2GD” Harding, citing unprofessional conduct (which caused a general outcry from his sizable fan base). Things seemed to settle down from a production standpoint after that, but after a brief break between the group stages and the playoffs, which took place in front of a live audience at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, chaos erupted once again.
The first series of the playoffs was delayed for over 90 minutes, and when things finally got underway, the online stream of the games was inconsistent and at times, un-watchable. In addition, due to the extreme delays, the arena itself closed to the public and forced spectators to leave, with several series left to play. Numerous player and staff complaints have flooded onto Twitter, with emphasis placed on poor communication, extreme production gaffes, and general disgust with how the entire event has been handled.
As of 9 am Eastern Standard Time, when this article was published, there are still three series left to play, with the second day of games scheduled to begin in roughly twelve hours. It’s hard to believe that will be the case, and it will be interesting to see if there will be any new response from Valve.
Here are some of the comments made on Twitter during Day One:
The venue does not allow spectators after 9:30pm so it has been emptied, resulting in the last 3 series w/ no crowd pic.twitter.com/z3IQSSVMoA
— Toby Dawson (@TobiWanDOTA) March 2, 2016
Directing the entire English broadcast and I don't even have a pass. Initially had no food & water too. I will die here
— Bonnie (@BonnieElvira) March 2, 2016
Game is delayed.
The Shanghai Major's staff has lost Ramzes666's keyboard…
— Team Spirit (@Team__Spirit) March 2, 2016
If James was an "ass", I'd like to hear what one word Gabe would use to describe the entirety of this event. #ShanghaiMajor
— Owen Davies (@ODPixel) March 2, 2016