eSports

Dota 2: Valve Cancel EPICENTER Major and PIT Minor

Both Valve and event organizers issued statements highlighting the safety of fans and players during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dota 2 fans and the DPC got a fresh bout of bad news today. With Valve announcing the cancellation of the fourth Major and Minor of this DPC season. The decision came about as a result of the current global coronavirus pandemic and the logistical problems associated with getting teams and fans to events safely.

The fourth Major, EPICENTER, was scheduled for May 2-10 in Moscow. While the PIT Minor was slated to go ahead in Split, Croatia, in April.

Valve dropped the news in a tweet earlier today.

The plug was pulled on the DPC’s LA Major as well.

The decision comes as many esports events worldwide face similar situations.

Last week E3 announced it wasn’t going ahead this year, and both the LCS and the LEC have suspended their seasons. And CDL has moved its events wholly online for the duration of the pandemic.

What’s the impact on the DPC?

For fans the impact of these cancellations is mostly disappointment; and maybe being out of pocket the costs of tickets and travel.

But for industry professionals; players, coaches, casters and analysts. The impacts can be far wider reaching. While sponsorship deals and partnerships do play a role in esports earnings, the prize money is also an important factor in teams and players salaraies. This is especially the case with the DPC where players rely on events like EPICENTER and the PIT Minor for a large portion of their earnings.

Broadcast talent also take a big hit. Most of the broadcast talent on the screen live at esports events are freelancers. Their contracts for events like these usually involve payments that are sizeable enough to sustain them between events. But with almost half of the events for this year cancelled, that’s a mammoth disruption to their income streams.

For smaller casters there are impacts too. Those who are still finding their feet in the DPC’s casting world making a name for themselves providing coverage of regional tournament qualifiers suddenly find themselves with no qualifiers to cast either.

It’s also difficult to determine how the loss of these events will affect points for TI 10 later this year.

The one thing that is certain, is that people will be feeling the impact of these cancellations right across the Dota 2 pro scene.

EPICENTER apologizes

According to Evgeny Kalganov, Event Director of Epic Esports Events and the EPICENTER Major, the decision was not made lightly.

“The safety of players, fans and employees is the most important thing for us.” He said, while apologizing the event would not go ahead. “We hope that the threat of a pandemic will soon pass, and EPICENTER will again host the best teams in the world.”

Fans who have purchased tickets for the EPICENTER event will receive their refunds “as soon as possible,” Kalganov said. Also adding that the procedure for refunds will be made available to ticket holders shortly.

Image via Clément ‘Cloumzy’ Cellier / PSG eSports

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