Ukrainians are forced to work with Russians on The International 2022, a Dota 2 tournament

The world’s largest annual Dota 2 tournament, The International, traditionally selects a talent team of analysts and commentators to cover the event. Only 7 Ukrainians were selected for The International 2022, while the number of Russians reached 37. For their sole comfort, the event venue was even moved to another place.

And, as commentator Vitaly Volochai reported on his Telegram channel, the tournament organizer Valve forces Ukrainian commentators to work with Russians during The International. The company doesn’t let them make a completely Ukrainian shift, allowing to work together and not cross paths with anyone.

Valve fully adjusts to the comfort of Russians

In 2021, there were 13 Ukrainians, 12 Russians, and 1 Belarusian on the talent list. This year, the ratio has changed dramatically: Valve has invited 37 Russians, 1 Belarusian, and only 7 Ukrainians. Furthermore, the English and Russian analytical studio was originally supposed to operate in Oslo. But due to the gradual closing of the borders with Russia, Valve decided to move the studio to Kazakhstan.

“People who received invitations to The International were given a simple choice: either to work with this “unsurpassed talent pool” or to be traded for another Russian. In fact, this is a choice without a choice. Meaning, either you give up on your dreams and huge fees, which are very important to many in times of war. Or you work with the people who I don’t have to describe,”

Volochai notes.

Among the invited Russians, there are absolutely open Ukrainophobes and Putinists, who wished Ukrainians to be killed by a rocket on their streams, and drew their swastikas — “z”.

“There were creme de la creme of society like Smile, who first supports OMON, then flees to Kazakhstan, and Nongrata, who was drawing “z” yesterday on his stream. The rest regards the war, at best, as “everything is unclear,”

Roman “Casper” Lepekhin says.

All suggestions to separate Ukrainians from the Russian commentators and let them work autonomously, Valve ignored.

“As far as I know, the organizers were offered options with an all-Ukrainian shift, who will simply work together and not cross paths with anyone. But the organizers were not concerned about these problems. They don’t really want to help Ukrainian talents. If you don’t like it, you can just refuse.”

What to do with The International 2022?

The only right solution is to boycott the broadcast of The International 2022. As noted in the profile subreddit: “If Valve is so greedy that they cannot make the right decisions, then the community should help them with it.”

Besides, all the mentioned problems apply only to the English and Russian broadcasts. In Ukraine, there will be a Ukrainian broadcast organized by WePlay Esports. And there will be no problems with Russians or accurate war assessment.

“Watching the Russian-language broadcast of “TI” doesn’t even make sense. I don’t understand why to even bring this topic. We will all watch the Ukrainian broadcast anyway. Because it will be a million times better, both in terms of content, and talents, and absolutely everything,”

Volochai said.