Just one day after Fart Studios was forced to forfeit a series in the North American Dota Pro Circuit due to organizer PGL’s regional eligibility ruling, the team has decided to forfeit the rest of its games in a bid to protect the competitive integrity of Division II. And, at the same time, the squad has tabled suggestions for rule changes.
Brian “BSJ” Canavan was the FS player to deliver the double-barreled news, confirming while he and Andrew Jenkins are both in Stockholm working as talent for DreamLeague Season 19, their teammate Danny “iAnnihilate” Cote is in Brazil for personal regions.
As a majority of FS were not playing from NA during yesterday’s matches against Sand King Gómez, and retroactively for the first series they played against ALPHA, the team was forced to forfeit the series despite their availability to play the matches. This is because the DPC’s regional tour system has a rule in place to protect regional competitive integrity and have teams register from outside of their home region.
Despite the default loss applied to FS’ record, the team could have continued competing while using a stand-in for four of the remaining five series. However, the players opted to forfeit their remaining matches—and their spot in Division II for the DPC Summer Tour—to ensure they aren’t unfairly impacting the results of the season.
The team added that they recognize they have broken the rules of the DPC and will deal with the consequences, but that doesn’t mean they won’t use this as a way to discuss the odd applications of this region-locked ruling.
While FS acknowledges the rule was likely set to ensure each region could grow its own talent rather than rely on imports, the Dota 2 squad believes their unique scenario as a team with years of commitment to the region should give them a pass.
“Fart Studios is a team of five formerly competitive players that turned to content creation as a primary source of income due to the instability and unreliability of that competitive Dota 2 paycheck,” BSJ said. “If you are a Div 2 Dota player, the most you can make from a single DPC season is $3,400 per person. There are three seasons per year thus netting you approximately $10,000 annually. This is not news to most people involved in the Dota scene that you do not make a livable wage playing Div 2 Dota.”
FS is a content team, but also heavily cares about the integrity and health of competitive Dota as players and fans—to the point they are willing to give up their Division II spot to help the scene.
The squad also noted they have no issue with players relocating to play in another region, but a rule like that being applied in this way hurts the ecosystem of the game because it will eventually force players to pick between opportunities. It also doesn’t help that the competitive scene as a whole is one of well-documented “instability and unreliability.”
One such drawback is the inability of Division II teams to participate in any third-party tournaments, as most are scheduled in the middle of the DPC season.
“Our situation is one of many examples of how stunting the current system is for any aspiring pros or non-Tier 1 Dota players trying to make a living in the game,” said BSJ. “If we wish to have a healthy ecosystem, rules like the one above must be modified to promote growth within the scene.”
As a result of this stance, FS is proposing a rule change to Valve and its organizers for future DPC regional tours, whereby the majority of the lineup would be eligible to compete in a region if they had been physically located there for more than half of a season.
The wording might need a little work, but FS’ proposed change would essentially work on a credit model that tracks a player’s location and allocates them to a region after a set period. It doesn’t impact the overall rule itself either—it simply allows more flexibility for players who have proven their dedication to a region.
This could be a good solution that maintains regional growth while also giving players who might not be able to commit to an extended period of Dota competition some leeway.
As for Fart Squad, the team has high hopes to return to compete in the future and thanked the community for all of the support over the past several months.