Dota 2 Controversy Erupts As Host Is Ejected From Tournament

Update: Valve boss Gabe Newell has personally posted an update regarding the situation on reddit. He stated the following:

Two things:

1) James. 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.

2) As long as we’re firing people, we are also firing the production company that we’ve been working with on the Shanghai Major. They will be replaced, and we hope to get this turned around before the main event.

As always, I can be reached at [email protected].


Stone cold.

Original post follows.

The Dota 2 Shanghai Major tournament has become the subject of controversy today after it was revealed that one of the championship’s hosts, James “2GD” Harding, has been unceremoniously dismissed from hosting the show and ejected by the organizers. The event has been underway for only a day.

Harding revealed on Twitter that he wouldn’t be returning to the Shanghai major after his first day and that he was let go after hosting a segment. He also revealed that the decision to can him was one made by Valve, the creators of Dota 2.

Harding has been a regular face in the Dota 2 community, having previously hosted many major events. PC Gamer notes that Harding had not been very visible last year, and that his presence at the Shanghai major represented something of a return for the host.

Valve has not released any official statement explaining their decision to sack Harding from hosting the event. Members of the community speculate that his typical irreverent attitude towards pro-players and jokes may have rubbed the organizers the wrong way. Harding himself has been less than forthcoming about why he thinks he was let go, and says he will sleep on it before sharing his thoughts.

The ejection of Harding feels like icing on an event that’s already being referred to as a disaster by the community despite the excellent quality of its games. The event has been marred by a host of technical problems relating to the stream, excessive delays between matches, and an overall lack of production quality. According to the community, Harding was the only element that kept the event entertaining as its producers were dealing with all the technical issues. His removal may have only served to hurt the event overall. 

As one redditor named kill-it-kid states: “James is literally the only thing going right. Might as well fire him and make everything consistent.”