Valve has officially announced that they will not be supporting DOTA 2’s Galaxy Battles 2018, which was supposed to take place in the Philippines.
A post went live on January 4th which detailed Valve’s official announcement on the matter. The post states that the company doesn’t like the mandatory drug test for all participating players who are entering the country and stated that it is an infringement of the player’s privacy.
The Philippine government is apparently asking for samples from the players, which will be used to test them for crystal meth and marijuana. Something that the Philippine Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has clarified as being within the Philippine Law.
The law states that any professional athlete who wishes to compete within Philippine soil is required to get a license from the Games and Amusement Board and this is a law that has existed since the 70s.
However, Valve has expressed their opinion and doesn’t want to mingle with anything related to politics. Now that they’re stripping the Galaxy Battles of its major status, well-known groups who were invited to compete have already started pulling out. Citing that the competition is no longer worth participating in.
People have given their opinion on the issue and some are thinking that this is most likely more of a safety precaution than anything else. It’s well-known that the Philippines is currently undergoing a “war on drugs” and while it’s been quiet for a while, the visage of previous assassinations on supposed drug users are still fresh in memory.
This is a cause for concern on Valve’s end, since they’ll be asking players to come into a country without knowing if their safety is guaranteed. Some are even stating that at best, those who failed the drug test would be thrown into a prison and at worst, they’ll end up dead on the streets. Some are even joking that competitors will shoot each other and claim them to be drug addicts.
The reaction that people have towards this is really showing that this assumption might be correct, though there are some who say that it might be because Valve knows some of the competitors use drugs that enhance their gaming ability and it would be a severe blow if this becomes known. Although Valve hasn’t given further statements regarding the matter.
While Valve has extensively apologized for the cancellation, they assured the Filipino fans that there are no ill feelings in between them and the company. This is merely a matter of them not agreeing with the Philippines’ drug policy.
They’ve also stated that they’re currently in talks with the tournament organizers and are attempting to find a way to run a different major tournament in place of Galaxy Battles. No announcement has been made on when or where the replacement major will happen.