Valve’s own Gabe Newell takes to Reddit to publicly explain why the host for the DOTA 2 Shanghai Major, and the entire production team behind it, were fired.
Reddit is no stranger to public drama, and Valve’s own Gabe Newell has provided this aplenty yesterday when he not only confirmed the firing of a prominent host, but called him an ass whilst doing so. Fans watching the DOTA 2 Shanghai Major last night may have been confused as to why James “2GD” Harding was replaced as the official host in the middle of the day, and astoundingly, he was shortly followed by the tournament’s entire production company, KeyTV.
As it turns out, Harding was already on a ‘second chance’ according to Newell, and a combination of the host’s personality and the production team’s failure to ensure things went smoothly prompted the mass firings, which left the major DOTA 2 tournament running as a Twitch-like stream without a production team behind it.
Newell wasn’t afraid to shy from his reasoning behind the firing, and his post to Reddit shortly after Harding disappeared from the stream last night certainly sounds emotional:
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.
Harding had completed day one in his host role for the DOTA 2 Shanghai Major, and was working his way through the second day when he was pulled aside and straight-up fired by a Valve employee. While Valve hasn’t released a formal statement behind why Harding was let go in the middle of a tournament, it’s likely due to the fact that Harding – who enjoyed a ‘bad boy’ persona in the casting world – was prone to swearing during the cast and had supposedly ignored the production crew’s calls for a break.
Fans familiar with the production company itself have speculated that their mass firing is due to massive issues from the production side of things, ranging from frequent disconnects, sound issues, incorrect brackets, and the fact that tournament players themselves were unhappy with the equipment they were given, which somehow sounds more awkward than ESPN’s recent attempt at gaming lingo.
Despite the firings, the tournament is still chugging along and players are still staking their claim on the impressive prize pool: the Shanghai Major is poised to give away $3,000,000 in winnings. The group stage will conclude on February 28, but today will go on without the usual discussion panel as Valve and the tournament organizer try to get things sorted out. The main event doesn’t start until March 2, and Newell said he is looking to have things ‘turned around’ before the finals begin.
Despite this kind of drama and resistance from some sports commentators, there’s little doubt that the e-sports industry is building strong roots and evidently becoming a more reputable industry. While some view drama like this as a major setback (can you imagine if this happened for the Superbowl?), we can only hope that those behind the Shanghai Major can cast this drama aside and deliver some good production value in the upcoming finals.
What do you think about the mass firings from Gabe Newell, Ranters? Do you think he should have waited until the tournament concluded?