Despite it being its second biggest game
Here’s something I never even thought of until today: Dota 2 is a huge eSport. The International is one of the biggest annual events in gaming, and this year had a prize pool of over $18 million. It’s by far the most played game on Steam, and its players clock millions, if not billions, of hours into it each month. Dota 2 is insanely big.
Yet… so is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It’s the second most played game on Steam after Dota 2, and it comes from a series with a history of being one of the biggest FPS in eSports. Counter-Strike has always been huge and was huge before Dota 2 was even a thing. So where is its International? Why isn’t Valve pushing that as much as Dota 2 when it has been shown that the idea of supporting the competitive community comes with a huge financial benefit?
Well IGN asked Valve’s Erik Johnson just that, and the answer was so characteristically Valve:
“We’re pretty comfortable with different projects taking different approaches to solve similar problems… As a company we actually learn more when we do that. If we all point everything in the same direction, we’d have a real blind spot for when we’re screwing up. In some ways, you want to diversify a bunch of decisions across different projects because you zero in on the right answer quickly, as opposed to ‘we have this thing that’s working, everybody do that right now.”
This fits in with Valve’s corporate structure of little clusters of people floating between products, with management being more hands-off than in other companies. While the idea does make sense, it feels weird to me that Valve is using its second biggest game as a test bed for just not doing anything and seeing what happens.
Team Fortress 2 and Day of Defeat: Source are both less played and less competitive, and would probably not be as responsive to being pushed towards eSports than CS:GO, so why they’re letting one of their biggest money makers just sit there is a weird thing to me. Then again, I don’t think Valve has thought about Day of Defeat: Source since 2006.
What do you think? Would you want to see Valve support competitive CS:GO play more in a way similar to The International?