Valve fires production company for Shanghai Major

Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore eSports / Valve

Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell said in a Reddit post Friday that the company plans to replace KeyTV, the production company responsible for The Shanghai Major, in time for the main event on March 2.

Newell also gave some insight into the reasons behind removing James "2GD" Harding as host. The full text of his post, which came from a verified Reddit account, reads:

Two things:

1) James. We've had issues with James at previous events. Some Valve people lobbied to bring him back for Shanghai, feeling that he deserved another chance. That was a mistake. James is an ass, and we won't be working with him again.

2) As long as we're firing people, we are also firing the production company that we've been working with on the Shanghai Major. They will be replaced, and we hope to get this turned around before the main event.

As always, I can be reached at


So far The Shanghai Major Group Stage has faced severe technical difficulties, including major delays, audio problems and stream stoppages. On Friday, the Group B Loser's Match featuring Team Spirit against Vici Gaming was delayed by more than two hours.

Toby Dawson, one of the analysts invited to the event, stated in a tweet that there was no longer a production crew for the English stream, and that as a result there would be no panel for Saturday's Group C games.

The beginning of the day for Group C did not have a panel, but the panel returned part way through the day.

2GD has released a statement with his version of events. It gives a significant amount of background information on his hiring, his brief time hosting in Shanghai and past experiences with Valve. In it, he says that Bruno Carlucci told him that his "bottom bitch joke" and being "disrespectful towards players" were the catalyst to his firing.

"I was told to be myself," 2GD said in his statement. "Then maybe someone said ‘nope’ that's not what I want. Which is fine I guess, But handled very unprofessionally. This sucks because the community seemed to be enjoying it."

Jeff Fraser is a supervising editor for theScore eSports.

LGD.Forever Young sign White, swap Jixing and Yao with main roster

Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / LGD Gaming

LGD.Forever Young have signed Lei "White" Yipei to replace Zhang "Xiao8" Ning and have swapped Yao "Yao" Zhenzheng to LGD's main roster for Xiao "Jixing" Zihao, according to Valve's Dota 2 Major Registration page.

Yao was moved to the Forever Young roster in September along with Xiao8 and Luo "lpc" Puchao when the roster was formed. He'll be headed back to the main roster, while Jixing, who replaced Yao on the main roster, will now be taking his place on LGD.FY.

Xiao8 retired earlier this month, and was the captain for the LGD.FY roster. He'll be replaced by White, a relatively unknown player, who will be filling the support role on the team.

LGD.FY recently placed 5th-8th at the Boston Major and fifth in the Dota 2 Professional League Season 2 Top Division.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Cloud9 returns to Dota 2 with ex-Imperial roster

Thumbnail image courtesy of Cloud9

The all-Danish former roster of The Imperial has signed with Cloud9, the organization announced Thursday.

Cloud9 announced their return to Dota 2 through a post on the Red Bull Esports website. C9 CEO Jack Etienne said that his organization believes in the future of the game.

"Dota 2 is and will continue be a top esports title for the foreseeable future," Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne told Red Bull. "Cloud9 is always looking to participate in the most exciting and relevant esports titles."

Jon "13abyKnight" Andersen said that the team's perseverance is one of the qualities that gives it an advantage.

"Every team has issues and the easy thing to do is to throw in the towel, look for another team or just quit altogether," he said. "Sticking together and learning from your mistakes, not being too hard on one another but instead looking inwards and improving as a player and a human being is what sets apart good teams from the best."

While the roster was with The Imperial, they finished fourth-place finish at DreamLeague Season 6, and earned a seat at the regional qualifier after running the gauntlet at the the Boston Major EU open qualifiers. They did not make it to the Major itself after finishing 5th-10th at the Europe qualifier with a 4-5 record in the round robin.

The roster left The Imperial on Dec. 9, at which point the organization's CEO Oli Adams noted that "the opportunity they've been offered was something we could not compete with," and that "It is upsetting that organisations such as ourselves can't grow when bigger ones come knocking."

The roster was known as the Danish Bears before they signed with the Imperial, and they narrowly missed qualification for several major events. They did manage to defeat Ad Finem 3-0 in the Rumble Town finals after victories over RoX and Prodota Gaming.

The new Cloud9 Dota 2 roster is now as follows:

  • Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard
  • Jon "13abyKnight" Andersen
  • Mikki "HesteJoe-Rotten" Junget
  • Danny "Noia" Junget
  • Christopher "Ryze" Winther

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

MVP acquire NoLifer5.Reborn, team renames to MVP Revolution

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MVP have acquired Kyrgyzstan-based Dota 2 team NoLifer5.Reborn and have dubbed the roster MVP Revolution, according to MVP's social media manager Felix "JeeF" Jedelhauser on Monday.

The news closely follows Kim "DuBu" Doo-young's departure from MVP Phoenix earlier today to form Team Onyx with North American Dota 2 veterans Jimmy "DeMoN" Ho and Sam "BuLba" Sosale.

It's not clear why the Korean organization chose to pick up a non-Korean, Kyrgyz team as their secondary squad, but the former NL5.R roster have shown some promising results at the tail end of 2016.

The team primarily competes in the CIS region, but during the national competition, WESG 2016, they competed in the Asia Pacific Finals. There, NL5.R topped their group over lesser MAX.Y and Power Gaming to move on to the playoffs and later swept TNC Pro Team 2-0 in the quarterfinals and swept Signature.Trust 2-0 in the semifinals, the team who notably defeated MVP Phoenix 2-1 in the quarterfinals. NL5.R later lost 2-1 in Grand Finals against, which features former Newbee Young players Zhou "Lwy" Xinyi and Zhang "MelodyLovers" Hangqi.

MVP now have four Dota 2 rosters under their banner after rebranding NL5.R to MVP Revolution, joining the team's primary roster MVP Phoenix and the other secondary squads, MVP HOT6ix and MVP Aegis.

Here's what MVP Revolution's roster looks like:

  • Bektur "Runec" Kulov
  • Duulat "StormC4t" Subankulov
  • ilgiz "NapaleoshQa" Djunuşaliev
  • Džoni "Blizzy" Ri
  • Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest. You can follow him on Twitter.

The most memorable Dota 2 moments of 2016

Thumbnail image courtesy of The International 2016 / Twitch

From rough seas in Shanghai to the top of the world at TI, this was a year full of surprises in Dota 2. In 2016 we saw teams like OG and Wings Gaming ascend with standout performances from new stars and old veterans, while the largest prize pool in esports continued to grow and the game itself changed dramatically.

Good and bad, here's what we'll remember most about Dota 2 in 2016.

'James is an ass'

Where to begin with The Shanghai Major?

The second Major tournament in the 2015-2016 season was marred by production problems, from extreme delays between games, stream lag, frequent audio issues, missing equipment and a lack of food and water for staff. The problems were so bad and so numerous that before the second day of the group stage ended, Valve made the unprecedented decision to fire the English host, James "2GD" Harding, and KeyTV, the production company responsible for the event broadcast.

The move was announced by Valve co-founder Gabe Newell in a Reddit post, in which he declared, "James is an ass, and we won't be working with him again" — a statement that would fuel memes for months to come.

Old Man Fear retires

After 10 years in competitive Dota, Clinton "Fear" Loomis retired from play in August to become Evil Geniuses' coach. Fear ended his playing career as arguably the greatest American Dota player, and one of the best in the world. As the man himself said:

EternalEnvy vs. Team Secret

In October, Jacky "EternalEnvy" Mao accused Team Secret — who he helped win The Shanghai Major — of delaying payments and taking a cut from players' tournament winnings without their consent. EE further alleged that team captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov was verbally abusive and refused to take blame for any of the team's mistakes.

The lengthy blog post gained a great deal of traction in the Dota community. Secret and Puppey only indirectly addressed the allegations.

The Great Fall of China

While the Shanghai broadcast suffered under mismanagement, Chinese teams were having a meltdown of their own.

Going into the event, Chinese invites EHOME, CDEC Gaming and Vici Gaming were riding high on months of strong performances. In the qualifiers, LGD Gaming and Newbee looked to be in top form.

Yet only LGD qualified for the upper bracket after the group stage, where they were promptly knocked down by MVP Phoenix. Not a single Chinese team made it to the Top 8 — precipitating the breakup of almost every roster that attended in the following months.

The rise of Slacks

It turns out Jake "SirActionSlacks" Kanner is the hero Dota 2 deserves.

While he has created content and made appearances at tournaments in years past, 2016 marked the first time Dota's top memer appeared as an interviewer at TI6, as well as the Manila and Boston Majors. Though the choice was initially controversial among fans, Slacks rose to the occasion with interviews and segments that struck just the right balance between serious Dota and comedy.

The first comeback from Mega Creeps in a ticketed match

Game 1 of EHOME vs. Evil Geniuses' upper bracket series at TI6 offered up 75 minutes of the most riveting Dota fans had ever experienced.

After what seemed like ages of back-and-forth battles, EHOME destroyed EG's last barracks to secure Mega Creeps at 71 minutes. EG needed to play perfectly to have any hope — which is exactly what they did. EHOME pushed too far and were repeatedly caught off guard by the American team, who played knowing that they have nothing left to lose.

Ad Finem's 300 moment

Ad Finem was the first European team to qualify for The Boston Major, defeating established teams like Team Liquid and Team Secret in the process. By the time the Major ended, Ad Finem had garnered a legion of fans through their aggressive play and their adamant refusal to give up.

In the playoffs, Ad Finem secured wins over Newbee and LGD.ForeverYoung before crushing Digital Chaos 2-0 in the semifinals. The crowd fell in love with the Greek team, cheering on their enthusiastic celebrations and rooting for them even when they were losing. And they did ultimately lose, 3-1 to OG in the Grand Finals, but their dogged persistence turned their one win in Game 3 into the best game of the event.

The puppet panel

Fans who tuned in for the TI6 pre-game discussion were surprised to see the analyst desk mysteriously transformed...

Wings Gaming conquer TI6

Wings Gaming were one of the few teams that didn't change their roster in the 2015-2016 season, sticking together even as every major competitor in their region disassembled. Though Wings missed both the Frankfurt and Shanghai Majors, they took the opportunity to learn and grow stronger, rather than try to infuse fresh blood.

That perseverance paid off at TI6, where they stormed through the upper bracket to defeat Digital Chaos 3-1 in the Grand Finals and win the largest prize in esports history.

Dota 7.00

Just when the pros thought they had the game mastered, Valve dropped the biggest patch since the initial release of Dota 2.

An overhauled map with shrines and a new Roshan pit, the new hero Monkey King, a new HUD and user-scripted training bots were just a few of the dramatic changes and additions to the game. Along with some standard-issue balance tweaks, every hero was given a new talent tree that dramatically changes the way players build them.

It's not an exaggeration to say that 7.00 flipped the Dota 2 meta on its head, and the effects it will have on competitive play have yet to truly be felt. But if nothing else, 7.00 heralds a fresh and exciting 2017 for Dota.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

Dota update 7.01 adds Necrophos to CM, adjusts XP curve
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

Dota 2's first post-7.00 patch has been released, and it balances a number of heroes as well as adding Necrophos to Captain's Mode and adjusting the XP required to level up in certain intervals.

Click here for the full patch notes via

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