Dota 2‘s Shanghai Major tournament got off to a shaky start this week with a slew of technical problems and controversy over presenter James “2GD” Harding being removed from the show. James has a long-standing reputation in the e-sports community as a popular but abrasive on-camera personality who often offends people live on air for entertainment value. He presented during the first day of the Shanghai Majors before being promptly let go, causing a lot of noise in the community as players demanded that he be brought back. Valve CEO Gabe Newell himself then took to Reddit himself to explain why James was let go, stating,
“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.”
Calling Gabe’s response “more personal than professional,” James later released his own lengthy statement detailing all of his professional dealings and history with Valve. James claimed that he and Gabe had actually met only briefly, discussed previous situations in which commentators weren’t being offered pay for their work, and suggested that there may be a vendetta against him from another Valve employee.