There have been a lot of angry Dota 2 fans flooding the internet to complain about the recent DMCA notices sent by ESL to a number of Twitch streamers that even got one specific Dota 2 personality’s account shut down. This has caused many fans to boycott the recent Dota 2 eSports tournament broadcast exclusively on Facebook. ESL has come out and done an AMA and the senior vice president of ESL took to Twitter to lash into fans for their outspoken anger concerning the situation. On Thursday, the Dota 2 design team at Valve finally came out with an official statement of their own.
Dota 2 Shuts Down ESL Claims
In regard to ESL sending out its own DMCA notices, forcing many Dota 2 casters to end their streaming and even getting Brian Canavan’s banned for violating the DMCA, the Dota 2 team has taken the side of the streamers.
In the statement, the Dota 2 team stated that Valve alone has the power to send out DMCA notices to anyone they find guilty of infringing on their rights. At the same time, they linked to their official DotaTV guidelines, which specifically states that these casters on Twitch and YouTube have their permission to stream off of DotaTV.
According to the Dota 2 team, there are people like BSJ and Bulldog that are community figures allowed to watch tournament games on their channels. However, there are commercial organizations like BTS that are not allowed to stream it for a profit. At the end of the day, Valve said they are the only people who are allowed to judge who violates their guidelines — and not a company like ESL.
What This Means For ESL And Dota 2
According to the official Dota 2 streaming guidelines, there are two groups of Dota 2 fans. The first likes to watch their favorite teams, players, and casters and will watch it directly from tournament organizers (such as ESL with Facebook). However, there are also those who like the specific personalities and want to watch them play the game while talking about it. Dota 2 wants there to be options for both groups.
This means that as long as the casters on Twitch and Facebook don’t include the broadcaster’s unique content, which means camera movements and announcers, there is nothing that a company like ESL can do to stop them. As far as the Dota 2 team is concerned, they are the only ones who can issue DMCA to casters, and they won’t do it unless they are breaking a rule.
This is huge news and there has been no response yet from ESL or Ulrich Schulze. However, as far as the Dota 2 casters, streamers, and fans who love to watch them are concerned, it sounds like Valve is making it public that they, and not ESL, own the rights to gameplay outside of the Facebook footage.