Chongqing Major talent springs a few surprises
The talent for the Chongqing Dota 2 Major was announced and it’s fair to say there have been some raised eyebrows after a turbulent build-up to the event. Many of the biggest names in Dota are missing, with some confirming they were invited to the event, but declined to attend.
Related: Chongqing Major live stream
Chongqing is of course the Major overshadowed by the racism incidents surrounding two players, Kuku and Skem, and it seems the fallout from that has had an impact on the talent pool.
Some top names discussed a boycott on Twitter, while others have confirmed they were invited to attend but decided not to. William ‘Blitz’ Lee and Austin ‘Capitalist’ Walsh were invited to cast at the event, as they did at TI8, but Blitz confirmed on Reddit that they turned the job down, although he stopped short of stating the decision related to the bans, or alleged interference from the Chinese government that followed.
Richard Campbell gets chance to shine
There has inevitably been some fan backlash, although that is also the case at every other event as there is inevitably, in the eyes of the community, one person who "should" be there but isn’t. However, industry titans such as Redeye were quick to point out that complaining about a lack of X, Y or Z didn’t have to also evolve into denigrating new talent before it has a chance to shine, as is only fair.
Among the new names is Richard Campbell, a multi-game presenter who has recently worked in World of Warcraft as a host. He will be taking sole responsibility for the English stream host gig, which is itself not that usual for a big Dota event and will surely be a test of his improvisational skill, as well as his ability to deal with the notorious issues that can plague events in China.
There are also some big names in attendance, with Tobiwan, Nahaz, Fogged, Lyrical and GoDz all familiar faces to fans of tier-one tournaments and, with this being a Major in the country where TI9 is due to take place, you can understand why they were not as vocal as they might have been about the perceived injustices in the build-up.
To be honest, coming out in defence of racism is never a good look and, even if the reported reaction from the Chinese authorities was also a bit over the top, it makes sense that few, if any, intelligent folk want to put all their eggs into the pro-racism basket.
Hopefully, though, the action will overshadow the negativity, and show all the interested parties why it makes more sense to work together than draw lines, especially with the most influential nation in gaming today. There is enough tier-one talent here to make for a very special tournament, and who knows, by the end we might have a few new favourites for fans to want at future events if all goes well.