Was bringing back 2GD a ploy to salvage criticism of Ti11?

There has been multiple phenomena, which the Dota 2 fans never expected to occur, but it did in the International 11 (TI11). From the missing Gabe Newell Opening Ceremony to the community-funded championship, TI11 battle pass and ticket scalpers, it’s been rough.

Needless to say, this has been a rough year for Dota 2 fans to stay positive about their favorite Esports.

Welcoming 2GD (back) to TI

James “2GD” Harding was a staple in past Valve-hosted tournaments, which included the infamous Shanghai Major 2016 but also TI2-4. While 2GD has been a staple in early TI Championships, it was the Shanghai Major that really blew 2GD’s reputation to infamy.

Mid-day during the group stage, 2GD was at the panel, and started perhaps a too casual conversation about last night. Whereby, he shared that he wasn’t able to watch adult entertainment at his hotel because of the China’s internet censorship.

Well, unfortunately, the porn joke didn’t go too well with the audience (including Gabe), but that wasn’t the last straw. 2GD received a warning to not say any more porn jokes. However, it was his disrespect towards the Dota 2 players that triggered Gabe’s official statement, quoting “James is an ass.”

The last we saw of 2GD in Dota 2

The rest of the Shanghai Major 2016 had terrible production to top off the entire fiasco 2GD caused. From poor accommodations, technical issues, stolen goods, and more, it was only fitting that KeyTV, the tournament organizer of Shanghai Major 2016 was fired too.

After the personal statement from the CEO of Valve, nobody expected 2GD to be in a Dota 2 tournament anymore.

Uncanny similarities between TI11 and Shanghai Major 2016

Fast forward to TI11, the community negativity has never been this terrible because of how PGL organized it.

We haven’t had such a poorly run major/TI since 2016, it seemed like PGL wanted to save as much cost to run the biggest Dota 2 event of the year. Many teams complained that they can hear noise from caster calls and audience cheers. These are indicative of incoming plays, such as an enemy gank or a sneaky Roshan movement. Particularly, the caster calls could be heard by English-fluent players, who unknowingly capitalize on the advantage.

The lack of sound-proof booths for TI11 Main Event was a major downgrade to past TI Championships. The supposedly noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs just didn’t work as teams could still hear muzzled voices. Team Fnatic sent a formal complaint to Valve, in regards of professional integrity of PGL’s management of TI11.

Additionally, other players have nonchalantly took a stab at the whole situation. For instance, PSG.LGD’s coach, Zhang “xiao8” Ning responded to SirActionSlacks’ question on how they knew to pick Crystal Maiden. To which he replied, “I heard you calling it just now, hence I picked it.”

As a last-ditch effort, PGL attempted to fix the issue by reducing the stadium sound volume, essentially screwing up the live audience experience at TI11 instead. Oh, and let’s not forget why PGL rented a small 500-seating hall for TI11, despite having queues of eager fans hoping to watch TI live in Singapore.

2GD debuts at the host panel at TI11

Anyways, it’s great to see 2GD back in the competitive scene, albeit more grounded than he was in Shanghai Major. It will surely be a treat to have 2GD hosts upcoming DPC majors and TI, but perhaps not the same tournament organizer anymore.

The sentiment is there, and Valve has questions that need answering because the International 11 did not live up to its predecessors.