In today’s edition of “who’s boycotting whom now,” it’s Dota 2 players’ turn in the spotlight!
According to Polygon, the community unrest began last week, when ESL announced that Facebook, not Twitch, would be the official platform for streaming the game’s pro tourneys. The first tournament under those rules, which happened to be in Malaysia, apparently caused numerous technical problems that prompted streamers to route the stream through Twitch so that people could actually watch it.
Of course, that also meant ESL’s advertisers weren’t being seen, and apparently Twitch was pressed into a major crackdown, copyright strike threats, and bans for players for hosting these “unauthorized” streams on its service – or more specifically, for those monetizing the content on Twitch, as explained by ESL.
That’s prompted the boycott of ESL’s streaming altogether; organizers on Reddit are urging Dota 2 fans to watch and stream on Twitch anyway to starve the ESL of eyeballs, arguing that the companies can’t possibly ban everyone. Which sounds like a challenge to me!
“Dota was a custom mini-game that the players and viewers made into what it is today. Dota is nothing without all of us – they don’t get to tell us how and where we watch a game. ESL legally owns the casting and content, but Valve owns the games that you can view in their own client, and they permit streaming on Twitch. ESL does not own the pro players. ESL does not own Dota. Dota is so special because it grew out of the passion of players and fans, and we need to carry that legacy forward to keep the integrity of the game and community.”
#ESLOne Genting update & clarification: there will be no actions or takedowns from ESL for unmonetized/non-commercial ESL One Genting streams.
— ESL Dota2 (@ESLDota2) January 25, 2018