DOTA 2 WRAP UP
March 30th, 2020
The Story of the Maxline League Season 2The rise and fall of the Maxline League Season 2, a tale of the power of Liquipedia, and the need for integrity. The transcripts of this story can mostly be found in the depths of the Liquipedia Dota 2 Discord chat, which is open to the public.
Most of the interactions involved were had between a user by the name of Impest, who is seemingly an admin for the Maxline tournaments, and a long time Dota 2 Liquipedia contributor kala. Impest first reaches out for assistance with creating a page for a new tournament, then a couple days later posts the schedule for the Maxline League Season 2 game schedule, with a reply from the “PGL | BenQ” account stating that Impest is the Maxline admin. Later, Impest proceeds to post more information about the closed qualifier.
As information about the rosters for the teams competing in the event are posted on the tournament’s Liquipedia page, kala begins to draw attention to their players. “Having no names would be less obvious than coming up with 5 random,” kala writes, with another member of the channel comparing it to the Red Star Cup, which had already been accused of fraudulent activity by a Redditor’s investigation. Kala then moved the tournament to userspace, outside of the view of the public, based on integrity.
Impest begins to protest kala’s actions, stating that they fully paid out the prize pool for previous events, and he had no proof of illegitimacy, and should keep such slander to Reddit. kala responds by pointing out that during the Maxline Winter Madness, there were questionable full roster substitution mid-tournament, that Pinnacle Sports, a betting site, voided most of the games due to highly irregular betting patterns, and even that a friend of a friend informed him the team Try2Win would throw their games. Impest defended by stating that Valve approved the event, and his issues should be brought up with Valve. Kala followed up with an ultimatum, that the event would stay in userspace, or the staff would have to ban him from Liquipedia.
Impest attempts to see what can be done to salvage the situation. First by replacing two of the teams in question. The tournament page is again deleted, and kala reaffirms his position on the fact that there are still smurf teams within the event. After a brief back and forth about a potential imposter posing as the manager for team Khan, Impest is never heard from again. He is seemingly replaced by a new account to the Discord channel, going by the name Samurai, who takes Impest’s position in the argument. He defends that the team in question has at least 3 known players and accuses kala of bias against Maxline. kala replies with his inability to find the full roster anywhere publicly, to which Samurai informs him that he was just the head of esports for Maxline. kala again defends his position, for which Samurai points out that Red Star Cup remains allowed on Liquipedia and brings to light the need for accreditation by having a Liquipedia page to bring in viewers.
Within less than 5 hours of Samurai’s last message in the discord channel, both Cyber Legacy and Vikin.gg confirmed the cancellation of the Maxline League Season 2. Looking outside of Discord proved futile, as there was no public information available about the event besides stats on the qualifiers, and the announcement made by teams formerly participating.
Immediate Future of Pro DotaThe future is online, regional, and immediately unknown. With no end in sight of the global quarantine, many tournament organizers are attempting to appease the masses with regionally based online events. Until everyone decides to open international borders, we can expect this trend to continue, and only hope no one tries any cross-server play, because those coin-flips were the worst.
With the online environment being the mainstay for the time being, there needs to be the shift we expected to see next season. Unfortunately, team-houses are not something you can slap together in no time, when the whole world is working from home. Without it though, you can expect to see more frequent tournament delays like witnessed in the business associates versus CR4ZY series of the ESL One Los Angeles Online Tournament. Clinton "Fear" Loomis had disconnected due to a power outage, causing the game to be paused for around 48 minutes, which was only 12 minutes less than the entire series. Oliver "skiter" Lepko even tweeted a picture of the office CR4ZY rented for him, so he could have a proper facility to participate in the online tournaments.
The early enforcement of regional rosters, pressured through ping and not by Valve, has seen both EG and NiP swap around their rosters to accommodate the limitations of online play. Lucky enough for some regions, they’re local bias has strayed them away from international talent. In regions where living costs are low, but talent is high, top players will have to either take a hiatus or play for their local organizations.
Finally, the uncertainty of the current state of the DPC is seeing its first wave of causalities. Though the blame doesn’t fall completely on Valve, as making any rash decisions about the future of the DPC could prove costly, both Chaos Esports and Team Singularity have had to release their rosters. It’s hard to determine if any word from Valve would have swayed these rosters’ fates. When the backbone of the competitive scene has done little to publicly reassure organizations and sponsors, it should come to no surprise that organizations drop out. This is also heavily impacting the Tier 2 and Tier 3 scenes, as the need for tournament organizers to hold open qualifiers without restrictions will most likely fall to the wayside, and invitations will go to those who will bring in the most viewers.