The Philippines has been a popular destination for Dota 2 tournaments in recent years. However, the upcoming Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds event is now in jeopardy due to a ruling by Valve.
In a blog post, Valve announced that they are removing Galaxy Battles II from the list of official Dota 2 Pro Circuit events. This decision was made due to what Valve considers to be “unreasonable infringements on the privacy of the players” as a condition to enter the country.
While Valve did not specify what these infringements are, it has been revealed by members of the gaming community that it refers to mandatory drug tests for athletes competing in the Philippines. The Games and Amusements Board (GAB), the governing body of sports in the country, requires these drug tests for all professional athletes.
The GAB confirmed this in an official statement, mentioning the drug tests and the requirement for licenses for all professional athletes, including esports players. Last year, local players obtained these licenses as part of the GAB’s recognition of esports professionals as athletes under Philippine law.
As a result of this ruling, Valve has withdrawn all sponsorship and support for Galaxy Battles II. This means that the $500,000 in prize money provided by Valve will no longer be available and the event will not award any qualification points for The International 8. While the event will still take place with the support of organizer Fallout Gaming, it will no longer have the privileges associated with official Pro Circuit tournaments.
Some teams, such as Virtus Pro, have already announced forfeiting their slots in the tournament. If more teams follow suit, the tournament may face cancellation.
Keywords: Philippines, Dota 2, Galaxy Battles II, Valve, ruling, drug tests, Games and Amusements Board (GAB), licenses, sponsorship, support, prize money, The International 8, organizer Fallout Gaming, Virtus Pro, cancellation.