Valve should not allow conflicts of interest to occur in Dota 2

Valve is known to be the kind of company that doesn’t get involved too much in its community. And... Radu M. | 14. September 2022

Valve is known to be the kind of company that doesn’t get involved too much in its community. And for the most part, people like it that way. But some things are so annoying that it makes you wonder: is anyone at Valve paying attention to what is going on?

The regional qualifiers for The International 2022 are currently underway. This is the Dota 2 world championship, so you would expect everything to be done by the book.

After all, how hard can it be to tell an organization that they shouldn’t own two separate teams that could potentially end up competing in the same world championship, thus creating a massive and obvious conflict of interest that would diminish the credibility of Dota 2’s esports scene?

Nigma Galaxy’s Dota 2 teams

Usually, we see owners attempting to have multiple teams in a race in a covert manner. But in Nigma Galaxy’s case, the two teams have almost identical names: Nigma Galaxy (for the Western European region) and Nigma Galaxy SEA (for the Southeast Asian region). And both of them compete in the regional qualifiers for The International 11.

One of these two teams — Nigma Galaxy SEA — has already been eliminated from the race, and the other might not qualify either. But imagine a situation in which both teams qualify, either for The International or at least the Last Chance Qualifier event, which is a 12-team tournament designed to select the last two competitors for TI.

If that were the case, the other competitors would have all the right to criticize Valve and to suspect Nigma Galaxy of doing its best to send at least one of their two teams to The International. Given the prize pool that this tournament usually has (we’re talking about tens of millions of dollars here), the conflict of interest is undeniable.

It’s not the first time

This isn’t the first time that something like this occurs in Dota 2. At The International 2018, Vici Gaming had three separate teams in the race! These teams were Vici Gaming (VG), VGJ.Storm, and VGJ.Thunder.

This situation was absolutely ridiculous and two of the three teams actually had to play against each other in the first round of the lower bracket. Of course, the main team (Vici Gaming) won, and let’s assume their victory was completely legitimate. But the situation is still mindboggling for anyone who watches esports and is familiar with traditional sports, where something like this is unheard of.

Header: Valve Corporation