Busy schedules and over-committed teams have made dropping out of Dota tournaments a regular trend. Now one team is being penalized for pulling out of one of China’s premier events.
I-League announced this morning that Cloud9 is officially banned from competing in the competition’s third season, a response to the squad’s withdrawal from the $300,000 tournament. The decision marks the first instance of actual punishment for a team withdrawing from a major competition since the trend began in October.
A Tencent Weibo post released by Chinese presenter and director Zhou Lingxiang originally painted Cloud9’s cancellation as a matter of money. Kurtis “Aui 2000” Ling quickly responded, however, stating that his side was uncomfortable with sudden changes in the prize pool (not its size), the lateness of visa information, and the possibility of playing and living in poor conditions.
Cloud9’s cancellation is another in a growing list that began with Alliance’s withdrawal from the Dota 2 Champions League in October. Since that time, Cloud9, Team Secret, Evil Geniuses, and Natus Vincere have all withdrawn from various tournaments in order to either resolve internal issues or clear an over-crowded schedule.
I-League’s decision, however, marks the first actual punishment for such action since the trend began. Cloud9’s ban does preclude them from competing in I-League next season, though Ling’s statement certainly makes it clear the team doesn’t regret the decision.