Valve has taken a significant step in helping serve its fan base by clarifying its stance around community broadcasting for Dota 2.
In a statement released on the official Dota 2 blog earlier this week, Valve stated that in addition to streams produced by tournament organisers, they believe that “anyone should be able to broadcast a match from DotaTV for their audience”. This new rule allows popular streamers such as Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg and Grant “GrandGrant” Harris an avenue to show competitive games on their channels, but the change does come with some additional stipulations.
Valve’s first rule is that amateur streams don’t broadcast “in a commercial manner or in a way that directly competes with the tournament organizer’s stream”. That means no additional advertising (such as overlays), and no sponsorships. It’s a sensible move, providing official tournament sponsors with protection from misuse or third-party conflicts of interest. It does, however, seem to leave streamers open to donations and Twitch subscriptions, which will still allow for personalities to monetise their streams.
Broadly speaking, we see two groups of fans (with some degree of overlap). Some fans follow competitive play … other fans have strong affinities to specific personalities. We want to make sure that there is content available that serves both groups of customers.
Additionally, community streamers are forbidden from reusing official broadcast assets such as camerawork and the events’ official casting, denying outside broadcasters the possibility of profiting from the original organisers’ production. The final rule is disallowing studios from broadcasting each others’ events, with the ultimate message for everyone to “play nice”.
Potential broadcasters should note that the Dota 2 event calendar for 2018 has started filling out, with ESL announcing their first event for the upcoming year. Classed as a minor, it will take place in Malaysia from the 23rd-28th of January, and the tournament will see $400,000 (£304,000) alongside 400 qualifying points for The Invitational up for grabs.
Esports Insider says: It’s rather disarming to see a developer take a lax and sensible approach to tournament broadcasting, and this should be a net positive for the Dota 2 community. Amateur casters looking to make their mark should definitely take the opportunity to benefit from this rule clarification.