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:
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 email@example.com.
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.