Los Angeles-based esports production company Beyond the Summit (BTS) will not be producing a regional league in the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season and its future in Dota 2 has now been rendered 'uncertain', BTS co-founder and renown commentator David "LD" Gorman revealed.
BTS, founded by LD and fellow commentator David "GoDz" Parker in 2012, has long been a fixture of the Dota 2 esports scene and has regularly hosted tournaments in the Americas and Southeast Asia.
The company is also known for its DOTA Summit tournament series, where teams were flown to the BTS studio in Los Angeles to compete in a casual environment that featured players commentating games and participating in skits.
In recent years, BTS has also hosted DPC regional leagues for North America, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe.
However, LD revealed in a post on his personal Twitter account on Thursday (13 October) that BTS will not be producing a DPC league for the 2023 season.
The BTS co-founder added that, while he was fine with the company not being chosen by Dota 2 developer Valve Software, he lamented the "lack of communication and acknowledgement and the way the news was delivered after 10 years."
out not with a bang but a whimper
no idea what the future holds but thanks for everything all these years, love you all always pic.twitter.com/gpnKxnKjxU
— LD (@LDeeep) October 13, 2022
"Personally a terrible and sad day for me, and I know for much of the team here at BTS," said LD.
"Honestly it's unclear if we'll be doing any Dota content at all moving forward. Such an amazing game and community that has given me everything."
A looming shift in Dota 2 esports
The news of BTS no longer producing a DPC league for the 2023 season comes at a time of great uncertainty for the Dota 2 esports scene.
The International 11 (TI11), this year's iteration of the game's annual multimillion-dollar world championship tournament, is set to take place from 15 to 30 October.
While there is still much hype around Dota 2's biggest tournament, there have been a number of controversies surrounding the event and its production.
For one, TI11 is on pace to have the lowest prize pool in years. According to the Dota 2 prize pool tracker, TI11's prize pool sits at US$14.4 million after 41 days of crowdfunding from the 2022 Battle Pass.
For comparison, that amount is lower than the prize pools of TI10, TI9, TI8, and TI7 after the same amount of crowdfunding days.
It is clear that TI11's prize pool won't exceed that of TI10, which had a whopping US$40 million pot. At the pace TI11's prize pool is growing, it is expected to grow no further than US$20 million. TI6 and TI7 had US$20.7 million and US$24.7 million prize pools, respectively.
Many have pointed towards the 2022 Battle Pass' late release and relative lack of content as the reason behind the sluggish growth of TI11's prize pool.
TI11 also marks the first time that TI will have a sponsor, with organiser PGL revealing online betting platform GGBET as the sponsor for the tournament's regional qualifiers, Last Chance Qualifier, and Group Stage.
Since its inception, TI has been both sponsor and ad-free as production costs have been shouldered by both Valve and the Dota 2 community through the event's accompanying Compendiums and Battle Passes.
Many among the community, even pro players, have expressed their disapproval of allowing sponsors for TI — not to mention that said sponsor was a betting company, which brings its own set of concerns from some in the community.
With all the controversy surrounding TI11 on top of a fixture in the scene in BTS being absent from the 2023 DPC, all signs are pointing towards a directional shift for Dota 2 esports.
Whether such a shift will result in good or bad for a pillar of the esports industry remains to be seen.
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