Professional Dota 2 caster Austin “Capitalist” Walsh tweeted a scathing critique of the game’s professional scene last night, calling out North American organizations for shuffling their rosters too often and reducing fan interest in teams as a result.
“As soon as a bump in the road proves X player isn’t good enough, it’s time to find another player to shuffle around,” wrote Capitalist in the Twitter thread.
Match notifications, latest esports news, and more. Get the Upcomer app now.
The reshuffling of American Dota 2 teams is a very real phenomenon. With the exception of Evil Geniuses—who Capitalist specifically credited in his tweets for their loyalty to their players—the next-highest-placing NA teams at last year’s The International, OpTic Gaming and VGJ.Storm, have since been completely gutted and reformed. On the other hand, the lineups of leading European teams such as OG have remained largely unchanged for years.
Former EG player and current Ninjas in Pyjamas member Peter “ppd” Dager responded to Capitalist’s assertions in a Reddit post. “Roster shuffling is the least of NA’s problems,” wrote ppd. “[North American] DotA has a very small player-base in comparison to other regions where DotA is played.”
According to ppd, the bigger problem facing Dota 2 in North America and beyond is the gradual stagnation of the game’s player and viewer base. “I don’t think Dota has done the best job attracting new players over the years and as a result these new players will turn to other games,” he wrote.
It’s unclear whether the blame for Dota’s plateauing lies on the heads of organizations or on Valve. But this controversy shows that both casters and professional players have realized that the structure of the scene must change in order for the game to flourish.