Teams competing at this year’s The International tournament have been told by its organiser, Valve, not to take on sponsorship deals from gambling companies.
According to VP Esports, Valve held a meeting with teams competing at the DOTA 2 tournament and ‘advised the professional teams to stop accepting sponsorship from any gambling website’. However as some teams have long-term contracts with gambling outlets in place, the manner in which they are to end these partnerships is up in the air. Details and further discussion will follow ‘later’, according to Valve.
The drive to clean up the CS:GO competitive scene has been going on for a number of years now, with entire teams previously banned over a match fixing scandal (with one player ultimately retiring as a result). The muddied waters have slowly been clearing up, but CS:GO’s recent history is riddled with controversial examples related to unregulated gambling.
Other studios have previously distanced themselves from gambling related to their products, such as Psyonix and Rocket League, or Riot and League of Legends. As esports grow, a legitimate front has to be backed up with legitimacy behind the scenes – Valve’s move makes sense, but time will tell how rigorous the ban is.
The International 2018's main event will take place in the Rogers Arena, Vancouver, running from August 20-25. Group round robin matches to decide on elimination seeding begin today, August 15.