The normal post-TI shuffle has begun in Dota 2, but this year there is another element to the madness. As ever, players and even whole teams are moving, retiring, coming back and being swapped, but in 2018 the organisations are also having to have a shake out after a long-overdue ruling from Valve finally came into effect.
The new rule, which states that owners are only allowed to have one team in The International or qualifying events for the same, doesn’t seem like it should have too much impact, especially when you consider it has not been introduced for Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) tournaments. However, those events are a source of points toward qualifying for Valve’s crown jewel, and we’ve seen in CSGO the impact that not being allowed to compete in the biggest events can have on a player’s career, regardless of potential.
Valve also states that “this includes cases in which players have financial ties to other teams,” a rule that will need more exploration before it is clear how impactful it will be, but their more obvious ruling is already starting to take effect. Today, TheNet.com announced they had ended their relationship with TNC Tigers, one of two orgs they had funded in 2018 alongside TNC Predator, with the Tigers being moved to a new owner.
One shot per owner
The team will move forward playing under the Static Dream banner, still as the Tigers, while TNC will be allowed to have one shot at a TI title, rather than two. For those who are not aware, there is not evidence or accusation that TNC ever used their dual ownership to violate the spirit or the rules of the game, but the simple potential for that to happen was already far too ridiculous to exist in what is supposed to be a competitive discipline.
Other moves will take more fan attention, but this has the potential to be the most meaningful, as it could open up new opportunities for teams and break some of the hold a small group of very rich people currently have on aspects of esports. With similar rules coming into effect in CSGO, it is refreshing to see Valve finally start to take competitive integrity seriously, and a great sign for the scene.