ESL Causes DOTA 2 Rage

ESL Causes DOTA 2 Rage

ESL Angers Fans.

DOTA 2 fans have been watching the implosion of ESL Gaming over the past few days.
ESL’s poor handling of a shift to facebook and away from Twitch angered a community that finds Twitch completely necessary to the streaming experience.  As things unravelled and ESL sent out DMCA takedowns to twitch streams, the anger went beyond getting an inferior stream.  It became a reaction to a direct attack on the livelihood of many twitch streamers.

The business practice of switching to facebook also became seen by many as a poor short-term business decision, which betrayed existing viewers, destroyed growth, and all seemed to only exists for short-term profit for those on the inside of ESL.

The farce continued when Valve firmly stated that Valve are the owners of DOTA TV and the DMCA takedown requests sent by ESL should not have gone through to the streamers that weren’t breaching Valve’s policies.

Moving to facebook meant a lower quality stream, covered in reactionary emotes, and lacking key features like clipping for those that wanted to share parts of the stream.  It’s clear that facebook is not yet an ideal platform for DOTA streaming.  The embarrassment extended for ESL after one of their VPs, Ulrich Schulze, blocked a prominent tweeter that was less than impressed with having to disable anti-tracking to watch the ESL footage.  Security conscious computer users far prefer to use https in their browsing and aren’t impressed to invite tracking of their browsing just to watch a video game tournament.  This was something that just used to work.

Last year the DOTA streaming was hugely successful, and fans and sponsors were expecting similar numbers for viewing from the latest tournament.   While Russian and Chinese viewer numbers continue to grow, there has been a sharp drop-off for English speaking viewers.  Those with popcorn in hand have been laughing hard at this continued run of terrible decisions from ESL Gaming.
They were a company that seemed so strong last year.

We have now seen them publicly fall apart over this and are now in a position that will be difficult to recover from.  A lot of broken trust, a lot of anger, and a lot of people that don’t want anything to do with them or DOTA after this.

To experience the full force of fan response to this furore the Reddit AMA is a great place to start.
Twitter users have their fair share of angry tweets to read too.

Valves’s stance on broadcasting linked here.
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