Over the past week the big story in the world of Dota 2 has been the Galaxy Battles tournament losing its status as a $1 million Major tournament on the official Dota Pro Circuit due to drug testing laws in the Philippines.
Valve dropped support from the event after it was revealed all players would have to pass drug tests for marijuana and methamphetamine, meaning the event lost $500,000 in prize pool value and will not be able to hand out any Pro Circuit Points which teams can use to qualify for The International 8 later this year. This resulted in a number of teams dropping out of the event, taking it from a 16 team Major to an eight team tournament with no official circuit standing.
For the event organisers Fallout Gaming this has been a very stressful and difficult week, however, Adrian Gaffor, managing director of Fallout Gaming took some time out to speak to me about the ordeal and how the last few days have gone.
Mike Stubbs: When did you first find out that Valve was pulling support from your event?
Adrian Gaffor: We found out upon the release of their public statement, no prior notice was given nor discussion that this would happen. We found out upon release of their statement that they were pulling the event, however an inquiry was made on the 4th of January about what were the details of the drug test, then on the 5th the public notice was made without discussion or negotiation. Only after the announcement were we able to start talks.
Stubbs: Did they try and work with you to get to solved, or did they just pull support straight away?
Gaffor: They pulled their support directly without hesitate nor consultation. Fallout Gaming contacted Valve upon receiving this information via their blog and presented options on which we could potential work on, they were not well received by Valve resulting in their decision being final. The duration of this was over 48 hours after announcement.
Stubbs: Do you anticipate more teams dropping out in the coming days?
Gaffor: Since the announcement we understand that teams will drop out, rightfully so as qualifying points need to be considered in the tournaments for 2018, being part of the DPC was an honor for us. We have since confirmed all teams that will play in the Galaxy Battles tournament on the 19-21st of this month.
The teams are:
– Team Spirit
– Pain Gaming
– Team Infamous
Stubbs: From your statement it is clear you support the drug testing laws. Do you not think that testing for performance enhancing substances would be more beneficial than for substances such as marijuana that is legal in areas where players live?
Gaffor: We believe that professional athletes regardless of genre should abide by national law in which the tournament is held. We do understand that marijuana is legal in certain parts of the world, however, international level athletes must take into consideration the laws of countries they will be participating in. It is natural for sporting athletes to abide by this as they have endorsement contracts and corporate management policies to abide by. It is not controlling, but rather the next step to ensuring that we reach the next phase of maturity in esports, which, is what the overall scene and community want, for it to enter into the Olympics.
Stubbs: If a player had failed one of the drug tests, what would the repercussions have been? Would they have been allowed into the country, would they be allowed to play the event, would they face legal action?
Gaffor: They would not have been allowed to participate in the tournament nor would they be eligible for the esports player license.
Stubbs: Will this impact you hosting tournaments in the Philippines in the future?
Gaffor: Hosting in the Philippines will not be an issue, but it is the acceptance of having laws like these that will only further improve the competitive scene as a whole. The teams were notified on the first week of December on the tests they would have upon entering to the Philippines for the tournament.
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