If you missed out on all the drama from Valve’s disastrous Dota 2 tournament in Shanghai earlier this year, you should treat yourself when you have a spare moment. It was a seemingly never-ending run of illogical decisions, miscommunication and atrocious planning that resulted in players’ equipment going missing, little to no amenities for staff and hours upon hours of delays.
It’s not all Valve’s fault, of course. To hold the US$3 million Major tournament in the first place, they had to work with a Chinese partner. That partner was Perfect World, and they’ve just apologised for the event.
It’s been around a month since the Shanghai Nightmare. If you’re not a fan of Dota 2, you might remember it because things were so strained that Gabe Newell came out and publicly fired one of their English hosts, James “2GD” Harding, after the first day of the broadcast. If you are a Dota 2 fan, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Understandably, Perfect World were compelled to apologise. The letter was posted on the official Chinese portal for Dota2 in English and Mandarin, although it’s not exactly the most grovelling of replies.
Dear DOTA2 Players and Fans,
We deeply regret that a series of mistakes caused a multitude of problems at the Shanghai Major. As the organizer of the event, we must take full responsibility. We sincerely apologize for the disappointment and pain that you experienced.
We have started a full scope investigation and have taken corrective actions, starting with making changes to internal Perfect World personnel. We would ask for forgiveness from all of the DOTA2 fans and players, and hope to rebuild the trust that we have damaged.
It’s nice to know that an investigation has finally begun; one would have thought things would have happened the day the tournament ended. The Marriott certainly investigated when Perfect World reported that players’ items, including the keys for a Maserati, had gone missing.
I’m less effusive about the implication that Perfect World has fired staff as a result of the mistakes: it’s just as possible that people were turned into scapegoats and sacrificed to save face.
Some have speculated that the timing of the apology is intriguing given that Alibaba has just announced their intention to heavily invest in esports. There’s no way to verify that, of course, although it is curious that Perfect World took so long to issue a two paragraph mea culpa for one of the more embarrassing spectacles in recent years.