Dota Scheduling Clash Leads To Two No-Show Forfeits

Illustration for article titled iDota /iScheduling Clash Leads To Two No-Show Forfeits

Multiple tournaments scheduled to take place on the same day, today, have led to two Dota 2 teams receiving forfeit losses after being unable to make their scheduled games.

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Dota production hub Moonduck TV announced today that HellRaisers and Mid or Feed have fallen to the lower bracket of the Captain’s Draft qualifiers after an automatic loss was awarded for not being able to make their games. Both teams were participating in the European Summit qualifiers at the time.

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As the tournament scene for a game grows, it can get harder to fit the sheer amount of events into a schedule without conflict. And while the Dota Pro Circuit helps keep the LAN finals clear of obstruction, the myriad of qualifiers for those tournaments can still find themselves overlapping with each other.

Mooduck co-owner Shannon “SUNSFan” Scotten voiced his gripes during the qualifier stream, saying Beyond The Summit (who organize and run the Summit tournament) were initially willing to work around the Captain’s Draft qualifiers, which were announced first, but later wanted Moonduck to accommodate the conflict.

“In my opinion,” said Scotten. “the players are getting screwed, the teams are getting screwed, and we are getting screwed, and the other organizers are benefiting. So it does make me feel a bit salty.”

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Beyond The Summit’s David “LD” Gorman replied on Twitlonger, saying that rescheduling online matches is “a fact of life in competitive Dota, and has been for nearly 10 years now.” Gorman also acknowledges that Captain’s Draft released their schedule first, but says “just because a tournament’s schedule is released first doesn’t mean that it is set in stone and everyone has to work around it. While that’s nice in theory, in practice that results in ‘solutions’ which are wildly impractical for the teams and other events.”

He cites the lack of central governing body for qualifiers before laying out the conflict of the myriad matches that clashed today, between Captain’s Draft, Summit, and DreamLeague. Neither were willing to budge, according to Gorman. One finally had to make the call—or at least, force the teams to make it for them.

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“There are 21 majors/minors and a variety of other events, each of which has their own qualifiers for 6 different regions, and that’s not counting all the non-Valve events,” wrote Gorman in a reddit comment. “These conflicts literally happen all the time, but usually they get resolved in private because organizers compromise and work together to avoid them.”

The oversaturation of tournament matches is not a new problem for esports. As a scene and community grows, the demand for games to watch grows as well. While the upper echelon of competitive squads can opt out of qualifiers, either by being directly invited or picking and choosing which tournament to attend, mid-tier teams don’t always have that luxury.

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Their best option, then, is to enter as many qualifiers as possible and try to make tournaments, in the hopes of achieving enough circuit points and renown to become one of the “invite” teams. And when both parties are too stubborn to budge, it’s as Scotten said himself: the teams are the ones getting screwed. The ones who need those qualifiers to have a chance to get their name and play out there are being robbed of that chance.

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There isn’t a perfect solution to this, so long as there is no governing body to mediate scheduling conflicts like today’s. But beyond just the one elimination tacked onto HellRaisers and Mid or Feed’s qualifier run, this dispute also gave OG a free pass to the grand finals, past Mid or Feed and HellRaisers. Whether OG could have beaten both teams is no longer a question that can be answered, and now two less-renowned squads have to fight for their tournament livelihood due to a game of scheduling chicken.

Freelance writer, Dota enthusiast, Texan.

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DISCUSSION

seoulsister
Seoul Sister

Oh, and just to comment on the ACTUAL scheduling controversy here - it kind of sucks, but is sort of the cost of having an open and free professional system Valve has created compared to the tightly-managed system some companies like Riot use for their games.

It has it’s ups and downs, but ultimately, I don’t feel like the spectators and fans have enough information to pass any sort of real judgment about ‘who screwed who’ or whatever. Ultimately, SUNSfan and LD, and their surrounding folks like Blaze and Godz are the only people who know how the discussions actually went.

But related to all this is that teams also need to do a little of their own self-policing, and consider ‘hey, we’re signing up for four qualifiers in November.’ Too many teams are happy to overbook and let Tournament Organizers sort out the problem - but even if the teams forfeit or drop out of a tournament, it diminishes that tournament and really hurts the credibility of that organization.

Dreamhack went from being a major tournament in the Dota Scene to being minor regional tournament after a couple of season where they had their major competitors drop out and get replaced. (to be fair though, Dreamhack also suffered because Europe and CIS both became weaker regions so they suffered due to being a premier European/CIS tournament).

But ultimately, I feel like trying to pass some sort of moral judgment here is dubious because we only have even the vaguest ideas of what sort of communication was passed back and forth, and SUNSfan is sort of a perpetual gadfly.

I may be a little biased because I know some of the BTS guys, but the depiction of BTS as some Dota Overlords who threw their weight around to sabotage another tournament. I really don’t think most of the people in the Dota pro scene think like that. I’m not going to pretend it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but in general, I think everyone is pretty aware that ‘More Tournaments, Less Fuckups’ is important for the health of the scene, and that every time there is something that messes that up, *everyone* suffers. When the community becomes disenchanted with the pro scene, it is bad for ALL of them.