Esports tournament organizer PGL has once again become the target of the Dota 2 community’s ire over a lack of DPC studio broadcasts, following an abundance of production issues across numerous events and titles and a damaged reputation after what many saw as a very “lackluster” version of The International in 2022.
Dota fans have taken to social channels this week, following the resumption of the DPC for Tour Three, to voice concerns over a lack of a studio setup.
Fellow organizers Perfect World in China and Epulze in South-East Asia kicked off their respective regions with a full live broadcast—yet PGL has proceeded with a remote setup for Western Europe and North America.
Dota 2 statistician Ben “Noxville” Steenhuisen pointed out in a tweet on May 15 that a promise from Valve was that major DPC regions would have round-robin stages be accompanied by a studio broadcast, and that it was ‘part of the hype’ surrounding the new circuit, giving more importance to the regular season.
But, following COVID-19 and the 2022 DPC season, PGL won the rights to host both the WEU and NA broadcasts, reportedly beating out other organizers whose bids included a live studio environment, according to Noxville.
“If this is the situation, what is the real differentiator between who produces each region?” the Dota caster asked, adding a point that some regions are even lacking English coverage altogether this season.
The wider community called for more to be done, with one fan saying PGL’s broadcast for WEU Division One was depressing. “Literally the best and most competitive DPC region, done remotely with the same old iffy and bland art assets.”
Another fan pointed out the comparisons between PGL’s European broadcast and Perfect World’s China coverage, which will see the top Chinese teams play each week in a LAN environment in front of a small audience.
Noxville chimed in again in a discussion on Reddit, outlining the fault wasn’t entirely on event organizers who are looking for ways to cut costs. Valve, who originally contributed $9 million USD for non-TI events, had cut back on prize pool contribution and production costs, with only $3.27 million USD allocated across three majors and 18 regional leagues in 2023.
Nevertheless, PGL’s reputation in Dota 2 is at breaking point, particularly following The International 2022 in Singapore. The pinnacle event was plagued by technical faults, dropped frames, integrity issues, and a less-than-impressive on-site experience.
PGL’s dour reputation is shared by the Counter-Strike community who were shocked to hear the organizer had won the bid to host the first CS2 Major in Copenhagen in 2024—despite a track record of production faults dating back to 2017’s Kraków Major.
There is no indication PGL will introduce a live studio broadcast for the rest of the DPC season thus far, but Tour Three has only just begun. The road to the final DPC Major in Bali and TI’s return to Seattle in October continues this week.
Dot Esports reached out to PGL for a response to these complaints.