This COVID-19 pandemic sure does stink, and tonight we received more bad news. Dota Pro Circuit announced that they will be canceling their Winter Major 1 international LAN event due to COVID concerns.
Here's the full statement from the official Dota 2 blog:
As the Winter Tour of the Dota Pro Circuit 2021-2022 season draws to a close, we've made the difficult decision to cancel the first Major. While hopes were high that we could host an international LAN event, the discovery and spread of new strains of COVID-19 and the resulting increase of travel restrictions has made it unfeasible for all qualified teams to gather for a LAN tournament.
As there will be no major, Tour 1 will conclude after all of the regional league tournaments have ended. Players who have participated in Fantasy will receive their rewards before the start of Tour 2.
Teams participating in the DPC earn points by playing in their respective Regional Leagues as well as through international competition at the Majors. Since the first Major is no longer happening, we have decided to redistribute its points to the second and third Major. This way, the balance of points between regional and cross-region play remains the same. The points will be distributed as follows:
- 1st Place - 520 Points
- 2nd Place - 310 Points
- 3rd Place - 210 Points
- 4th Place - 105 Points
- 5th Place - 52 Points
- 1st Place - 680 Points
- 2nd Place - 410 Points
- 3rd Place - 270 Points
- 4th Place - 135 Points
- 5th Place - 68 Points
We will continue to evaluate the situation regarding international travel for future Majors as we progress through the second Tour.
The Dota Pro Circuit Winter Major 1 was set to be the first big LAN competition for 2022, but it appears that the logistics of getting all of the players to one place safely is too daunting, for now. Major 2 and 3 are still planned to take place later this year. E3 2022 canceled their in-person component of the event just last week, so today's Dota news could be the beginning of a trend. United States COVID hospitalizations hit a new all-time record high for a single day, so it is hard to blame Dota Pro Circuit or any event company for exercising some caution as these variants run wild.
The convention industry was also given a sobering data point last week when CES 2022 attendance came in 75% lower than the previous in-person CES in 2020. Check out our own Ozzie Mejia's take on if CES 2022 should have been canceled for a boots on the ground report from a vacant and slow Consumer Electronics Show.
With DICE and GDC right around the corner, and PAX East not so far away, it remains to be seen how this 2022 gaming events calendar is going to play out. One thing is for certain. COVID is not going to magically disappear by then.